Exploring Amador's Wine Country

By Lyndsey Schnabel

If you are looking for a day trip with a group of friends or a romantic getaway with a loved one, look no further, Amador County a is wonderful place to getaway – and it’s only a hour outside of Sacramento.

Head up Highway 49 and enter the beautiful acres of grapes and rolling hills as it leads to the Shenandoah Valley (near the small town of Plymouth where there are over 36 wineries which are family-owned).

As we made our way – in a party bus provided my Fretty’s Limo Service to celebrate a 30the birthday – we made stops at Jeff Runquist Wines, Amador Cellars, Helwig Vineyards & Winery and Deaver’s Winery.

All the wineries treated us like royalty and offered snacks with our tastings. They have a huge variety of different wines to taste, sure to please everyone from the beginner to the connoisseur.

  • TIP: If you’re traveling with a group, call ahead and let them know so they’re prepared. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll have less time to wait/chaos when you arrive.

I would have to say my favorites were Deaver’s Winery and Jeff Runquist Wines.

Jeff Runquist Wines

Deaver’s Winery offered the most amazing wine, and they had a huge tent set up right outside the tasting room, which enabled us to enjoy the amazing weather. They also offered some YUMMY food including a baked potato bar, with all the topping you could possible think of.

Jeff Runquist Wines offered a private tasting area for $10.00 a person and of course that tasting fee can be applied to a bottle of your favorite wine (most of the bottles are in the $20 range).

Most of the wineries provide free tastings or require a small fee (way smaller than Napa/Sonoma) that goes towards your purchase of a bottle. The thing about these small family-owned wineries is that you can really sense their passion and dedication. They take the time to tell you about their vineyards and the wines they produce, which makes for a much more intimate and unique experience than some of the bigger wineries in Napa and Sonoma.

Bottom line? If you’re looking for a good place to taste that’s close to the grid – Amador County is the place to be.


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