Rhône Varietals in Amador County
According to Amador County Wine Grape Grower’s (ACWGGA) Bill Easton, you have to plant grapes where they can achieve greatness. In other words, you need the right soil and climate for the right type of grape. Amador County is a prime location in particular for the Syrah grape, a Rhone varietal, because the soil is similar to France’s Northern Rhone region, and our climate is favorable to this grape.
Amador grapes are planted on farmland consisting of either granite or volcanic soils. Sierra series decomposed granite can be found in both the Shenandoah Valley AVA as well as Fiddletown AVA. Volcanic soils, consisting of Aiken loam or Sites loam are found more commonly in the Fiddletown appellation and at higher elevations.
Another Rhône varietal, Grenache, does best in a light and sandy granite loam. Winegrower Bill Easton says great grapes are grown when you are able to match the right soil profile with the right varietal and where the grapes just make the ripeness finish line each year. These vineyards make the most expressive wines.
Climatic conditions also affect the wines, and in Amador they help create elegant, expressive, and structured wines capable of gaining complexity. The vineyards in our mountainous areas give us low yields of very distinctive grapes.
Please come and visit us to try these two and many other wonderful nuanced world-class expressions of Rhône varietals in Amador.