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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

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...

  • Lake County

    Lake County is an emerging wine region within California’s North Coast, north of Napa. Clear La...

  • 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...

  • Calaveras

    is a picturesque and remote area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Popular with o...

  • Contra Costa

    The Contra Costa County AVA is located within the San Francisco Bay region of California’s Cent...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

  • Middle Sister

    Because we remember swim lessons and day camp and beach houses. Because we forget bad boyfriends,...

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

    For over 150 years, Almaden Vineyards wines have been welcome at America's table. We offer a wide...

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California on Snooth

  • amour here.....do excuse my poor quality images...but that's all I ... the ... the left.....Both are from California. Photo taken at my home a few days ago.....Yes...that's me...amour! Read More

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


  • Robert Keenan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District 2005

    Snoothrank:

    Nose is of olive and Indian spices. Whoa! A tannic beast. Definitely the antonym of a spoofed, fruit-forward Napa Cab. Quite light on the dark currant fruit, but then the tannin really smacks you. Vininess mid-palate. Really unfortunate bitterness on the rear palate. I think thats from the tannin. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • OK, so here's my photo. At Oakland march: Not quite Georgia ... ... O'Keefe but definitely California.. Read More

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


  • OMG!!!   I just was ready to pop into bed after having....having...no ... man of Laguna Beach, California for those in that locality........YOU MUST HAVE KNOWN THAT GENEROUS MAN; he, und fortunately,  died at 60...in the prime of his life....suddenly..WAS NOT KNOWN TO BE ILL....fell dead at the back of his shop...heart attack....she, Jenny, his... Read More

    Forum post in the topic HAVING SERIOUS FUN WITH OUR...


  • Gallo Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2011

    Snoothrank:

    filled with sweet vanilla oak flavours Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Firefly Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jd98


  • Brecon Estate Zinfandel Tannat Paso Robles 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Soft strawberry and cherry aromas with a hint of clay, wild flowers and cinnamon spice. This is expansive and explosive on the palate, very fruity with notes of cherry, strawberry and raspberry set against a bracing acidity that carries a wave of spice with it and leaves structural tannins and notes of blueberry and chocolate in its wake. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Terra d'Oro Chenin Blanc Viognier 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Quite aromatic with white grape, soft melon and floral blossom aromas. Has a bit of the creamy emollience of a Viognier with the pleasant fruitiness and easygoing creamy texture of the Chenin Blanc, showing good peach, melon and lemon notes through the midpalate, a zesty acidity and focused tart grapefruit and wild flowers on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Ancient Peaks Renegade Red Blend Santa Margarita Ranch Paso Robles 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Dry and dusty earth notes on the nose mask the fruit but after a few shakes they open, showing ripe strawberry and raspberry notes. The palate is all fruit on the attack, with blueberry, cranberry, strawberry and raspberry rushing in followed by juicy acidity, hot spice and earthy licorice and eucalyptus notes following towards the finish with m... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Onx Wines Mad Crush Paso Robles 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky, red berry and red cherry aromas with a dash of heat and a pop of black pepper spice. Full and robust palate of ripe cherry, strawberry, raspberry and red licorice, this is a touch imbalanced at times but does demonstrate good ripe fruit and a bit of chocolate on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • 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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