1869 Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards – Oldest Zin
When in Amador, visit wineries making wine from the oldest Zinfandel vineyard in the U.S.
The 1869 Old Vine Zinfandel vineyard is located in the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County. It is the oldest Zinfandel vineyard in California. It is also known as the Original Grandpere Vineyard. Only four wineries are able to purchase and make wine from this historic vineyard. These wineries are Andis Wines, Scott Harvey Wines, and Vino Noceto in the Amador County. The fourth winery, located in nearby Lodi, is Macchia Wines. The historic 1869 Grandpere is located on Steiner Road behind the Renwood Winery. You can view it from a distance, but it is off-limits to the public.
Scott Harvey and his wife Terri purchased the vineyard in 1982 and Scott named it the Grandpere Vineyard. Later Scott and his wife divorced, and Terri is now the owner of this historic vineyard. It’s a little complicated but at some point, Renwood winery cloned some of the Grandpere vines and replanted another vineyard nearby with the cuttings. Renwood trademarked the name Grandpere, apparently unbeknownst to Terri Harvey. A huge court battle ensued with Renwood the winner. Terri is allowed to call this vineyard the Original Grandpere Vineyard. Scott Harvey has tagged it Vineyard 1869. Needless to say, Renwood winery is not able to obtain any of the original old vine Zinfandel. Renwood winery later ran into financial difficulties and sold the winery in 2011 to an Argentine wine group. The current owners have revitalized the winery, but of course cannot make a single Zinfandel wine from the original vineyard.
When in Amador wine country, visit the wineries that make the Original Grandpere Zinfandel
Scott Harvey has two tasting rooms in Amador. In the gold country town of Sutter Creek, the Scott Harvey Tasting Room is open daily from 11am to 5 pm. Scott also has a winery and tasting room on Shenandoah Road in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. This tasting room is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 5 pm. Scott is one of the original winemakers in this wine region and is well respected in the wine community. All of his wines are made in an old-world style and are food-friendly wines. The red wines will age wonderfully and as he states, “will develop bottle bouquet over time.” Please see Scott Harvey Wines for complete tasting information.
This is a wonderful family-owned winery. It is a small, very friendly winery and is lots of fun to visit. The winery was founded in 1987 by Suzy and Jim Gullet. The Vino Noceto winery specializes in Sangiovese wines, but does indeed produce a wonderful Zinfandel from the Original Grandpere Vineyard. They call it the OGP Zinfandel. It sells for $29 at the winery. Vino Noceto is open daily from 11am to 4 pm and is located on Shenandoah Road. Please see the Vino Noceto Website for more details.
Andis is one of the more recently-established wineries in the Shenandoah Valley. Its winery and tasting room are modern and spacious and a huge contrast to the more laid-back style of the older and established wineries in Amador. The winery produces a wide range of wines, from a tasty Sauvignon Blanc to the deep and complex Original Grandpere Zinfandel pictured at the top of the article. The Andis winery is open daily from 11am to 4:30 pm. Please see the Andis Wines Website for more details.