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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

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

  • Glass Mountain

    It has been more than hundred years since California wine pioneer Jean Laurent quarried stone fro...

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Rex Goliath

    At age 70, I have had at least 50 yrs. of a glass of wine after my evening meals. Just recently,...

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

  • Ca' Momi Wines

    "Ca’ Momi” wines are named for our family home in Northern Italy. The name also pays tribute to M...

  • Canyon Road Winery

    Inspired by the scenic roads that wander through California’s stunning wine country, Rafael Jofre...

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California on Snooth

  • Sandlands Chenin Blanc Amador County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very pale yellow in the glass. Very fragrant, fruity aromastree fruit. On the tongue, fruit dominatesapricot, red applebut there is also a caramel thing, here. Towards the back of the palate sufficient acid arises that tones down the fruitiness. Very refreshing. I say this is an easy wine to drink now. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Sandlands Chenin Blanc Amador County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very pale yellow in the glass. Very fragrant, fruity aromastree fruit. On the tongue, fruit dominatesapricot, red applebut there is also a caramel thing, here. Towards the back of the palate sufficient acid arises that tones down the fruitiness. Very refreshing. I say this is an easy wine to drink now. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • A couple of things, Al!  ;-)First, SanFran is not considered Central California by anyone. It's Northern California. Don't think anyone on these boards is from Central CA at moment. Either NorCal or SoCal (or someone offshore like me that used to be both).Second, those results? Ya gotta be kiddin'! By 'Sweepstakes Winners' do they mean all entra... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Competition 2015


  • Check this out, you central-California folks.   Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Competition 2015


  • AbbeyVille North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    I'm usually more of a pinot drinker, but this cab caught me by surprise. Full-bodied, great finish, medium tannins. Read More

    Wine review by 1802736alex7ktrc 1802736 alex7ktrc


  • According to the Mer Soleil web site, their Silver Unoaked Chardonnay is ... ... using cement fermenters in California.  Those makers that they did cite produce wines that range in price from "very high" to "ridiculously high and way out of Mark's price range."  It is not clear which of their bottlings are cement fermented, or whether they are... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wines stored in concrete tanks


  • 2011 Letter Press California Red Blend 2011

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection; opens with notes of butterscotch, deep blueberry/plum jam, cherry-vanilla, and cola. Scents of fresh pine sawdust. Medium Body and medium full mouthfeel. A bit of alcohol burn, but long finish of more blueberry, plum, and oak. After a while in the glass notes of chocolate, cocoa, and fudge. Quite nice and dep... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Is there a good rule of thumb for how long to lay down a Pinot Noir from California?  Is it different from a Pinot Noir out of Oregon?You can't really generalize like that Al - CA is absolutely huge and Oregon is big as well and mostly unexplored. So there's a small region in Oregon where they grow most of the PN you'll find, but that's not the ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • J.w. Morris Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    For a $10 mag this is pretty good, doesn't really taste like much but there's no negative qualities either, finish is smooth Read More

    Wine review by joebernardinoATyahoo


  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by orangegroves


  • 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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