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California Shenandoah Valley Wine

California Shenandoah Valley is an AVA that is mainly located in Amador County in the Sierra Foothills region of California. It is the least elevated of the AVAs in the region, making it well suited to the production of big, brawny Zinfandel and Italian varieties such as Sangiovese and Barbera.

Vineyards stretch across the rolling valley floor, surrounded by hills that separate the zone from the neighboring AVA of Fiddletown in the east. During the Gold Rush of the 1840s and 1850s, the town of Plymouth within the valley was settled, and the production of wine to supply the influx of migrants became an important source of income. At the turn of the century, Shenandoah Valley was one of the largest centers of wine production in California.

Hillside vineyards in the Shenandoah Valley
©Giacomo Paniccaci

Prohibition had a devastating effect on the wine industry in the area, and vineyards were largely forgotten until the 1970s, when winemaking was revived. Luckily, many of the vineyards were still intact, and today, California Shenandoah Valley boasts some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the state.

Because of the area's relatively low elevation (around 1400ft/425m above sea level), its climate is less influenced by the Sierra Nevada mountains than it would be if the AVA were higher. Consequently, it has one of the hottest climates in the region.

The soil is largely made up of decomposed granite and sandy loam. Well drained and infertile, it is excellent for growing wine grapes: Because the vines must put down deeper roots to get to the water, fewer berries are produced, but these have more-concentrated flavors. The combination of the soil and the hot, dry climate means that California Shenandoah Valley wines are generally rich and complex. 

The California Shenandoah Valley AVA is so-named to distinguish it from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley AVA, a mountainous wine-producing zone that is decidedly cooler and wetter in nature.

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We found 97 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Vino Noceto Sangiovese, Shenandoah Valley, USA Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $15 15793
Amador Cellars Syrah, Shenandoah Valley, USA Syrah $25 23245
Amador Foothill Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Shenandoah Valley, USA Sauvignon Blanc $13 26461
Young's Vineyard Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, USA Zinfandel $25 32590
Villa Toscano Old Vine Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, USA Zinfandel $18 36481
Domaine de la Terre Rouge Easton Cabernet Sauvignon, Shenandoah Valley, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $30 44770
Domaine de la Terre Rouge Syrah Sentinel Oak Vineyard Pyramid Block, Shenandoah Valley, USA Syrah $35 48547
Vino Noceto Sangiovese Riserva, California, USA Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $26 53727
C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery Southern Exposure Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, USA Petite Sirah - Zinfandel $31 56710
C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery Estate Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, USA Zinfandel $18 68948
Story Winery Red Passion Zinfandel, California Shenandoah Valley, USA Zinfandel $15 75301
C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery Estate Grown Petite Sirah, Shenandoah Valley, USA Petite Sirah (Durif) $18 76629
Dillian Primitivo, Shenandoah Valley, USA Primitivo $26 77316
C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery Estate Grown Block 4 Primitivo, Shenandoah Valley, USA Primitivo $16 79444
Amador Foothill Winery Estate Sangiovese, Shenandoah Valley, USA Sangiovese (Nielluccio) $16 91276
Domaine de la Terre Rouge Easton Barbera, Shenandoah Valley, USA Barbera $25 93247
Andis Indian Creek Vineyard Primitivo, California Shenandoah Valley, USA Primitivo $23 96370
Amador Foothill Winery Aglianico, Shenandoah Valley, USA Aglianico $23 99900
Karmere Vineyards & Winery Juana Primabera, Shenandoah Valley, USA N/A $26 107815
C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery Gallery Collection Interlude Red, Shenandoah Valley, USA Petite Sirah - Syrah - Zinfandel $25 109328
C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery Sauvignon Blanc, California, USA Sauvignon Blanc $18 115610
Bray Vineyards Primitivo, Shenandoah Valley, USA Primitivo $18 119005
Amador Foothill Winery Semillon, Shenandoah Valley, USA Semillon $13 120819
Villa Toscano Barbera, Shenandoah Valley, USA Barbera $20 120819
Bray Vineyards Barbera, Shenandoah Valley, USA Barbera $18 124672
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