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.

View Profile » View Top Lists »

Other Mentors

See all Mentors »

View More

Popular wines made in California under $20

Find local availability for these wines:Submit

Varietals Produced in California View all

  • Merlot

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

    Every year the Great Central Valley of California provides harvests of uniquely delicious grapes....

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Old World Winery Fog Line Two Vineyards 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Deep purple opaque in color. Moderate nose suggesting blueberry. Fairly fruity on entry. Blueberry is there, but also a jammy suggestion. Some spiciness at the back of the palatesomething like cinnamon or clove. Then, again, it almost like chocolate. Moderately tannicwhich was a bit of a surprise to meand good acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Newton Chardonnay Unfiltered Napa 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice Napa chard. There's plenty of creamy lemon custard, some caramel, subtle spiceness, decent acidity, some green apple and a medium finish. Fairly well balanced, with nice mouthfeel. Have had the '06 and '09 in the past and seem to remember those vintages having a bit more acidity. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Robert Keenan Winery Syrah Napa Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a viney nose, a bit of black fruit aroma. On the tongue this initially seems to be a very austere winesome blackberry and black plum flavor, fairly tart, and not mouth-filling. Little or no tannin puckeriness. Quite surprising for a Spring Mountain red wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Field Recordings Wonderwall Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruit abounds on the nose. Black cherries, figs, cola and almond bark are spot on flavors for this wine. Clean with good spice. There's a softness here that nods to the neutral oak in which the wine fermented. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Field Recordings Wonderwall Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This is a lovely wine, period. It has got green apple and a bit of herb on the nose. Herbal tea, lemon and pear grace the palate. Clean, fresh, killer. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Caliza Paso Robles Cohort 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Thick and rich ripe blackberry and black cherry aromas with some earth and leather on the nose and a dash of black pepper with a touch of heat. Very smooth on the entry followed by a bite of tannin filling the mouth with some cranberry and black cherry. Some licorice sneaks in behind blueberry as the tannins linger well into the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Wow, 17.4%.  And it's not hot?  That is great.I have posted here ... ... have had the Rombauer California Zin (not sure what vintage) that you mentioned and your impression is spot on with my recollection.  I'm surprised, though, that you can't seem to find other similar wines.  I seem to get a lot of that from Lodi Zins.  Also, recent vintag... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Fruit Bomb Fan


  • Caliza Sidekick Paso Robles 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A fair bit of vanilla and hazelnuts on the nose with some honey and gooseberry. Smooth and full mouthfeel with a rich, nutty profile showing the clean fruit underneath and a touch of honey and butter. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Caliza Kissin' Cousins Paso Robles 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Light nectarine with floral aromas with a touch of stone fruit and flinty acidity. Nice and smooth flavors, full and ripe and rich and emollient with peach and nectarine and a layer of minerality - enough acidity to really buoy the palate and integrate nicely with some toast and some dried apricot. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Caliza Sympatico 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Ripe cherry fruit on the nose with a fair bit of spice, cinnamon, and touches of black pepper. Quite spicy and rich with a really fresh and ripe acidity. The leather and tobacco notes are just beginning to develop; an indication of just how age-worthy this wine is. But, it's drinking great right now. The ripe red berry fruits continue to deliv... 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


1 2 3 4 5  ...  1000 next




View larger map



Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Californian Wine Top Lists


Recent Forum PostsView all


Californian wine ratings and reviews





Snooth Media Network