Californian Wine

Viticulture in California began in the 1700s as Spanish missionaries worked their way north from the South American colonies. Grapes (of the Mission, a.k.a. Pais, variety) were originally planted with the intention of producing ceremonial wine and the first wineries were established for the cultivation of Mission grapes. From these beginnings, Parisian oenologist Jean Louis Vignes is credited with being the first person to import European vines for general consumption to Los Angeles in 1833. 

 
This was followed in the 1850’s with Hungarian businessman  Agoston Haraszthy, who came to California after establishing businesses in Wisconsin. Finding the prevalent Mission grape to be of inferior quality, he began to select high quality vines from Europe and established vineyards in Crystal Springs outside San Francisco with the help of a government viticulture grant. Though found culpable for some shady business practices outside the wine industry, he was able to relocate his vines Read more »

Mentor for Californian Wines

Eric Guido

Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

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Popular wines made in California under $20

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Varietals Produced in California View all

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

Subregions of California

  • Amador County

      Amador County, in the Sierra Foothills district of California, is named for mid-1840s ranc...

  • Central Coast

      Central Coast is a vast AVA that spans between Santa Barbara County in the south to the Sa...

  • Mendocino County

      Mendocino County AVA is a large and climatically diverse region within the North Coast reg...

  • Monterey County

      The Monterey County AVA is part of the Central Coast region in California, below San Franc...

  • Napa County

    There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the ...

  • North Coast

      The North Coast AVA is a region that spans eight counties and dozens of prestigious subreg...

  • San Francisco Bay

    AVA is one of California’s ‘Mega’ appellations. This vast AVA, covering over 1.5 million acres, ...

  • San Luis Obispo County

      San Luis Obispo is part of the larger wine Central Coast region of California, located at ...

  • Santa Cruz Mountains

      The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is a vast region within San Francisco Bay in California’s Cen...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Livingston Cellars

    Since 1984 and 17 years, the de facto estate wine of Livingston Moffett winery has been bottled ...

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

  • 3 Blind Moose

    Truth be told, the moose aren’t blind. They just think it’s cool to share good wine with friends,...

  • Charles Shaw Winery

    The Charles Shaw label is best known for producing wines of “extreme value.” These became popul...

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Barefoot Cellars

    We got our start as a "garage wine" back in the Sixties but really stepped up what Barefoot wa...

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California on Snooth

  • I'm still not "drinking the Pinot Noir kool-aid," but I have to ... to ... seek in most of the California reds that I enjoy) here.  A gentle hint of strawberry that also comes with a surprising spiciness that suggests clove.  If there is one dimension that rises to the top, it is acid.  This wine has a nice tartness.  Light bodied.  Over the ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • The Ojai Vineyard Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice wine. Fruit flavor is of strawberry. Very nice tartness. Maybe a bit of clove spiciness. (?) Fairly light-bodied. I can see the elegance that Pinot Noir fans seem to seek in this wine. Velvety smooth. Nothing smacks you in the face. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Well, we have returned to the Diamond Bar adobe.Thank you to the Outtheres for ... & wine establishments in California wine country.Los Tres Amigos:  Foxall, Outthere, Robin Akhurst with EMark.This was the first time that Mr. and Mrs. EMark ever had a tasting with an actual real, live winemaker.  Not only was it a lot of fun, it was tremendous... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Mirassou Winery Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Floral and sweet-smelling aromas of ripe cherry and mixed berry on the nose. More ripe cherry on the palate with a nicely tart acidity giving a note of sweetened dried cranberries coming through and a spicy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Jacqueline Bahue Cabernet Franc Lodi 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A Naked Wines Selection. Deep and Dark in the Glass. Opens with Spearmint, Mint, and Ripe Cherries. then to a bit of Cola, Vanilla, and Earth. Bit of an alcohol bite, but Oak & Cedar, Roasted Green Chile and Paprika. A noticeable Sandalwood scents. Long finish of Oak/Cherry/Strawberry. Nicely balanced Tannins and Acidity. Seems quite young stil... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Edmeades Gianoli Vineyard Zinfandel Mendocino Ridge 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Powerful aromatics of earthy salinity, ripe raspberry and black cherry and a floral violet note on the nose. This is nicely heated on the palate, with a well rounded spice box of cinnamon, clove and anise coming through and more black cherry and bright red fruits washing over towards the finish that turns floral again right before it becomes all... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Half an open bottle taken home from Jack & Rosanne's 50th wedding anniversary. Did not drink the remainder for a week+ after it had been opened. That said, no complaints and no accolades. It was still drinkable. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Turley Zinfandel Juvenile 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Black and blue fruit on the nose. PnP it was jammy with black fruit, some white pepper, baking spices and a long finish of very smooth tannins. The jamminess resolved with some air and became a tasty well balanced wine. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Trentadue la Storia Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Not an earth shattering merlot but solid with good quality wine making behind it. A core of dark berry fruit, spice, woody notes, anise and chocolate leads to a sweetish flush of dark cherry tannins that are chewy and framing. Balanced acidity leads to a nice finish that's short but full. Drink now - Paul 88 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Dark Horse Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


  • Thank you very much for this information. I love the wine!. http://usaphen375.com

    Comment by 1160807capitanoensy 1160807 capitanoensy


  • Beyond the Vine (www.4beyondthevine.com) has completed it’s first in a series of blind tasting to find the best Syrah producer in Santa Clara County. The first flight was a good representation of 12 Syrah from south Santa Clara County and one inexpensive mystery bottle. Entries were as follows; ’07 Clos La Chance, ’07 Creek View, ’07 Fernwood, ...

    Comment by 921334greg112558 921334 greg112558


  • zinfandel

    Comment by 579496Didu 579496 Didu


  • Zinfandel

    Comment by 579496Didu 579496 Didu


  • Is there a winery in or near Pleasanton, CA that has a good merlot? My daughter is there working and I wanted her to pick me up some local wine.

    Comment by 541781Pam Burns 541781 Pam Burns


  • Does anyone have any comments about Peay Wines?

    Comment by 512854hawks8999 512854 hawks8999


  • Has anyone ever heard of "Kitchen Sink" vineyards? I was given a bottle of KITCHEN SINK red........it was a mixture of cabernet, petite Sirah, merlot, zinfandel. It was actually a nice surprise in taste. I just don't know where to get it......is it expensive or inexpensive? Would like an opinion from someone.

    Comment by 156349shari duff 156349 shari duff


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 33093Chris Carpita 33093 Chris Carpita


  • This a most amazing,wine growing state.We have such an array of decent to great wines to please the novice all the way to the greatest wine snob.-to be continued....

    Comment by 308614THEDOGE 308614 THEDOGE


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