Zinfandel

California’s signature grape variety is also Amador County’s specialty, representing over two-thirds of the county’s 3,330 acres of bearing vines. The region’s old, dry-farmed, low-yielding hillside vines, most head-trained and on their own roots, produce robust, full-bodied, spicy zinfandels with ripe blackberry and plum fruit, cedar, clove and anise spice, and hints of raisin and cocoa. Zinfandels from Shenandoah Valley tend to be riper and earthier than Fiddletown zins, which display brighter, more cherry-like fruit tones. Amador zinfandels are versatile food wines especially well-matched with hearty dishes such as grilled red meats, tomato-sauce pastas, and flavorful cheeses.