Amador County was organized in 1854 from portions of El Dorado and Calaveras counties; ten years later, a portion of its original geographic area was ceded to Alpine County. It is named for Jose Maria Amador, a native-born Californian (1794) who successfully mined gold near present day Amador City in 1848. Later, some of the Mother Lode’s most successful gold mines were located in Amador County, including the Kennedy, Argonaut, and Keystone. While not as well known as the Napa-Sonoma regions, Amador County is renowned for its zinfandel wines (although many other varietals are produced as well). The county has a high percentage of old zinfandel vines, some more than 125 years old—including the original Grandpere vineyard planted before 1869—which produce intense zinfandel flavors. As of the 2010 Federal Census, its population was 38,091. The county seat is at Jackson, but the largest city is Ione. It is the fifth-smallest county in California by land area and second-smallest by total area.