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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Tisdale Vineyards

    Since its inception, the hallmark of E. & J. Gallo Winery’s founders has been their unwavering co...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

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California on Snooth

  • Hey Snooth community. I've visited this site a few times over the years and ... pinot grigio, pinot noir, California Rhone-style (GSM) blends, spanish rose's and blends, Mosel region whites, and big-bodied cabs. Looking forward to chatting with you all! -DNa Read More

    Forum post in the topic Greetings from DTLA


  • Channel 7 is a little late to this party. We've been discussing this on WB ... our customers. There is a California State law 1720.4, which says, "volunteers are illegal in the state of California." Almost all wineries use volunteers for one thing or another and many are not aware of this law. We are not the first winery to be hit. It appears ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Another attack on wine...


  • Lesaffre Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009

    Snoothrank:

    This wine boldly approaches the nose with pert cranberries, blueberries, and fresh, uncooked strawberries. The palate relates gobs of blackcurrant sprinkled with gentle spices. They perigrinate about the palate for quite a long time. Absolutely stellar. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Lesaffre Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Dark black fruit on the nose - blackberry, cherry, plum and cinnamon. Palate is smooth and juicy, with deep ripe black cherry, a hint of licorice, blueberry and blackberry jam. Finish is long and has some nice vanilla to it. It's smooth and silky in texture - a very nice wine. Read More

    Wine review by mark


  • B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    An exemplary expression of the Pinot Noir grape with bright, smiling, red cherry fruits and blood orange slices on the nose and palate. Black cherry licorice with powerful puffs of spice. A perfect 10! Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and fruit cherry and cherry cola aromas. Spice, cream and blackberries slide across the palate which is smooth and warm while still having a good dollop of acidity to keep it refreshing. Finish is long and filled of bramble, a bit of oak and earth. Nicely integrated and balanced wine - great with a vegetable sautee for dinner. Read More

    Wine review by mark


  • Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    A deep, dark wine that's great for a chilly night. A heaping helping of dark fruits, purple lollipops, and a sweet, vaguely vanilla finish. Great with a meal. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Darkhorse Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Very strong aromas of blueberry and black olive - interesting but kind of odd combination. Cocoa powder, vanilla, and a short finish of pine nettles. Read More

    Wine review by mark


  • Parducci Pinot Noir Small Lot Blend 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Creamy strawberries on the nose; a classic pink Starburst aroma. Bouquets of berries twirl around the palate, coming to a quick, taut and quietly tannic finish. This is a great easy-drinking wine that will satisfy any Pinot craving, for certain! Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Ive heard of wines being in their dumb stage early in their bottled life, and Im wondering if thats what I have here. It doesnt seem to have much verve or integration. This is a wine that does not blow me away with fruit. There are some hints of cherry, but mainly I get a mineral or stone flavors. Gripping tannin and some acid tartness. Act... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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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