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Our Story

Home of the first post-Prohibition winery in Amador County, established 50 years ago, Terra d’Oro was a pioneer in helping re-establish the region’s production of fine wine.

Today, Terra d’Oro is acclaimed for its elegant red wines and aromatic white wines, all crafted from our 800+ acres of sustainably farmed vineyards.

History

The Story of Terra d’Oro

Amador’s first winery established after Prohibition was founded in 1970 by renowned winemaker Cary Gott, and he released the first wines under the Terra d’Oro label in 1973.  In 1981, Jeff Meyers joined the team as enologist, then became winemaker a year later. Terra d’Oro’s early success with Amador Zinfandel and other wines, in particular Italian varietals, were key in helping re-establish the region’s reputation for fine wine.

In 1988, the Trinchero family, which had been purchasing grapes from the Amador region for 20 years, purchased the winery and 240-acre vineyard. Over the years, the family has invested in subsequent vineyards, and in early 2000, completed construction of a new, state-of-the-art winery at the site of the original winery, designed to unlock the potential of each acre of Terra d’Oro’s vineyards.  

In 2017, Emily Haines joined as the winemaker and continues the tradition of producing wines lauded for their elegance and balance. Jeff Meyers serves as general manager and vice president of the winery.

Today, Terra d’Oro farms and produces award-winning wines from its 800+ acres of sustainably farmed vines in Amador County and the Clarksburg AVA.

Historic Arial Shot of Vineyard and Winery


The story behind the name

The name Terra d’Oro (Italian for “land of gold”) perfectly reflects the Amador region’s richness of its history, its natural resources and its wines.

In the 1850s, the discovery of the famous “Mother Lode” here in the Sierra foothills attracted prospectors from around the world seeking their fortune in gold. Some chose to plant vineyards instead, to satisfy the thirst of the thousands of miners, and soon after, to make a living as the gold mines began to run dry. Many of these were Italian pioneers who planted primarily Zinfandel and Italian varietals that thrived in the region’s granite and iron-rich volcanic soils.

By the 1890s, Amador County wine had replaced gold as the region’s most precious resource, with 100+ wineries—more than any other region in California—within its borders. But just as the mines had run dry a few decades before, the wineries also ran dry with the arrival of Prohibition in the 1920s, and they were compelled to shut their doors and leave many of the vines untended.

But the region’s reputation for its winegrapes didn’t die. Some 50 years later, as founder/winemaker Cary Gott staked his claim and crafted his first wines in Amador, he selected the name Terra d’Oro as a fitting tribute to the region’s history, the Italian pioneers who first planted vines here, and the rich character and intensity of the region’s wines.

The barrel room at Terra d'Oro winery