Shenandoah School Road – Amador County near Plymouth
This is the fifth in a series of great California wine country backroads. Shenandoah School Road curls around in a U shape off the main road in the Shenandoah Valley, Highway E16, or the Shenandoah Road, just outside of the town of Plymouth. Shenandoah School Road is marked by rolling hills and expansive views of vineyards, grasslands, and majestic oak trees. Our favorite wineries along this road are Wilderotter Winery, Terra d’Oro Winery, and Cooper Vineyards.
The very first winery on Shenandoah School road is Wilderotter Winery, located on the right just after turning onto Shenandoah School Road. The tasting room is quite cozy, decorated with local artists’ paintings, and has a great view of the vineyards. Jay Wilderotter is the owner and winemaker. Jay had been selling his grapes to local wineries, but in 2003 decided to try his hand at making wines. In his first year, Jay produced 650 cases of wine and now produces 3500 cases. The Viognier and Roussanne wines are delightful. Around the middle of this wine country backroad is Terra D’Oro owned by the Trinchero Family of the Napa Valley. It used to be called Montevina Winery. This is a picturesque winery with a very comfortable tasting room and outdoor area ideal for a picnic lunch. The last of our favorite wineries on this road is Cooper Vineyards. The Cooper family has been growing grapes for years and is now producing some fantastic wines under the guidance of winemaker Michael Roser. The tasting room is Mediterranean style and displays some terrific views of vineyards. The Cooper Vineyards Barbera is a standout.
One note: One of the most popular activities along this road is a visit to the Amador Flower Farm. Park your car inside the farm and walk the gardens. It is fun and comforting, and you just might find a plant or two to take home with you to remind you of this memorable wine country backroad.