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Gold Rush Vineyards

Located east of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this region includes Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne, and Yuba Counties. Its colorful Gold Rush tales and long agricultural history make this a fascinating Zinfandel area to explore. Some of the earliest documented Zinfandel vineyards were planted here between 1852 and 1869, and some still survive today, protected by their remote locations…the Original Grandpere Vineyard, planted in 1869, is the oldest documented Zinfandel vineyard still producing wine.

Zinfandel accounts for about 40% of the grapevine acreage planted in the Sierra Foothills in unique decomposed granite soils that are found nowhere else in the world. These soils vary within the region and have been characterized as thin and austere to deep, moderately to well-drained, and from fertile to forgiving but less fertile! But, nearly all of the Zinfandel vineyards here are at fairly high elevation (from 1,200 to 3,500 feet) which places them above the fog, gives access to sunshine, and makes them struggle just a little, producing grapes with dark pigments, strong tannins, and concentrated flavor. Grapes tend to be picked later here than in coastal regions, so the wines are deeply colored, with bright forward fruit, jammy, ripe black raspberry flavors, and a strong black cherry, verging on cola, character. There is an intensity of color, aroma, tannin, and flavor.

The American Viticultural Areas within this region are California Shenandoah Valley, El Dorado, Fairplay, Fiddletown, North Yuba, and Sierra Foothills.


Zinfandel Stories: Sierra Foothills

Sierra Foothills Events

Dec 9, 2016
Amador County Fairgrounds
Ignite Your Senses! An immersive food and wine experience. Amador County Fairgrounds
Mar 2, 2018 - Mar 5, 2018
Amador County
Perfect for wine enthusiasts and newbies alike, Behind the Cellar Door is a weekend filled with delectable food pairings, educational seminars, and hard-to-find wines all in an intimate Amador Wine Country setting.
Dec 5, 2016
Bella Grace Vineyards | Sutter Creek, CA
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