We hear this all the time. “We really like this area but don’t want to let too many people know about it”. Recently an influx of “I sure hope this doesn’t become like Napa”.
There is a consciousness of NOT becoming like Napa and that may be the attraction of the Sierra Foothills to winemakers and future winery owners. They don’t want the Napa Valley glitz and glitter. However, they do want the recognition and respect. In 1997 there were 12 wineries in Amador County. Most were family run wineries that had been around for about 12 – 20 years. Many home winemakers with careers in the Bay Area looking to live the dream of owning a winery.
Today, Amador has about 40 wineries. Not all are low key home winemakers looking to fulfill the dream. To play strong in the market these days it seems everything must be bigger, larger, better and more expensive. Just like when we look at new restaurants and the millions of dollars that are poured into them. Does more expensive mean better? In my book, not necessarily.
But will Amador not become Napa? It’s up to our community to consciously make the right decisions to protect our rural, down home atmosphere. To preserve the past while living in the present. It’s a fine line we will walk.