July 30, 2013
In Amador County, a rural stretch of the Sierra foothills southeast of Sacramento, stand some of the oldest remnants of California wine culture: 140-year-old Zinfandel vines, a winery that dates back to 1859, and Gold Rush towns aplenty. There are dozens of wineries here, many of them family owned, and most of which offer free tasting and reasonably priced bottles. We went to taste the wine and the history of Amador County's Shenandoah Valley, hoping to better understand the early days of our home state. Photographs by Ian S. Port.