This trip is an easy 45 minute trip from the Sacramento area to the Shenandoah Valley wine region in the Sierra Foothills of Amador County. In just a few hours time, you can visit some very exciting and innovative wineries in this emerging wine country. We have listed four wineries to choose from; two large and two small. You can pick up your picnic lunch in Plymouth at the Pokerville Market.

Choose from these Wineries

Montevina Winery – Largest and most modern winery, picnic tables
Villa Toscano – Elegant and most beautiful surroundings, bistro open for lunch
Domaine de la Terre Rouge – Rhone wine specialist, picnic tables

Directions from the Sacramento Area

• Take Highway 50 E. towards South Lake Tahoe.
• Take the Bradshaw Road exit, turn right after exiting.
• Travel about 3 miles along the city street to Highway 16/Jackson Road
• Turn left and travel Highway 16/Jackson Road about 20 miles to Plymouth
• In Plymouth watch for the signs pointing to the direction of the wineries.
• Turn right onto Shenandoah Road (E 16).
• Travel about 3/4 mile to a fork in the road and stay to the left.
• Travel just a short distance to Shenandoah School Road, then turn right.

Directions from the Sacramento Airport

• Leave the airport and take Interstate 5 south, towards Sacramento.
• Take Highway 99/50 exit (San Francisco, Lake Tahoe)
• Go east toward Placerville.
• Look for the Bradshaw exit and follow the directions above.

Picnic Lunch

Best place to pick up lunch is Pokerville Market in Plymouth. Villa Toscano has a bistro serving lunch

Montevina Winery

The entrance to Montevina will be on the right as you drive along Shenandoah School Road. Montevina is the very first winery to start producing wines in the Sierra foothills after Prohibition. The first thing you will notice is a very big and modern winery building. The winery houses state-of-the-art winemaking equipment. The 64,000 sq. ft. winery produces many different varietals including several Italian wines. One interesting wine is the SHR School House Road wine. The wine is a blend from 40 arcres planted with 80% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sarah, and 7% Barbera. The grapes are fermented together. Try it. The regular Zinfandel is quite good and priced nicely. We also like the Syrah.

Tasting room open daily, 11 to 4 pm
(209) 245-6942, e-mail:

Villa Toscano

Head back the way you came and turn right onto Shenandoah Road. Villa Toscano Winery will be on the right in just a short distance. As you turn into the entrance to Villa Toscano you will immediately notice a considerable contrast to the other wineries in the area. This is an elegant new winery beautifully landscaped against the surrounding vineyards and hillsides. It will remind you of a classic Italian villa. The tasting room is spacious and loaded with many items for sale. Besides the regular wine tasting, the tasting room has an area set aside for barrel tasting and the opportunity to buy futures. Futures means that you buy the wines now at a discount and then wait for them to be bottled at a later date. The winery recently added a bistro serving lunch on a daily basis. The wines are very tasty and we particularly like the Zinfandel and the Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon.

Tasting room open 10 to 5pm daily
(209) 245-3800, e-mail:

Domaine de la Terra Rouge

Drive along Shenandoah Road and watch for Dickson Road on the left. Turn left and you will come to the winery in about a quarter of a mile. The winery began operation in the mid 1980s. This a small family winery but it produces two series of wines. The Easton label features the more traditional California varietals, while the Terra Rouge label features their Rhone varietals. They have gained quite a reputation for their Rhone varietals, particularly the Syrahs. They make four different Syrahs, and you will have to taste at least a couple of these. The tasting room is new, having opened in the summer of 2002.

Tasting room open Friday to Sunday, 11 to 4 pm
(209) 245-4277, e-mail: