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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

    Our winery is located in Monterey County, California where warm days give way to cool nights a...

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • 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

  • Emark - to add to what they said above, sometimes you get rain during harvest but if you have a few warm dry days immediately following, you can still save the harvest as long as you don't get fungal problems. Also, with some grapes, once stems lignify, water transport is reduced, so you don't get the splitting you otherwise might and your juice... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel Russian River Valley 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly fruity nose showing cherry and red raspberry. Not nearly as fruity on the palate, especially, on introduction. Introduction is very benignmaybe some light woody things. As the wine moves to mid-palate I do get the cherry/raspberry thing, but it is a pleasant hint, not a big announcement. Then there is almost some mintinesstannin, but ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Petrichor Rose 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Really nice rose of syrah and grenache with an interesting salmon color. Fairly acidic with notes of bright red cherry, jolly rancher watermelon and just a hint of dried apricot. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Mud in the vineyards, transportation delays elsewhere because of the rain, (in some cases) more mechanically difficult harvests, etc. can cause headaches. But those aren't the main concern for most growers and winemakers.The two major categories of concern are rotting and splitting (contributory factors include both cluster tightness and skin th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • If I may, I would like to ask some questions about rain during the harvest. My purpose here, is to truly understand the issues, and learn.  The following is what I know and what I suspect. Please come in here and confirm or correct me on anything.Somebody once told me that the biggest problem with rain during the harvest is the mud with which wo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • D basically covered it and you picked it out yourself as well. The affect of rain is different with different varieties. Pinot clusters are tight and bunch rot sets in real quick. Cab not so much. We took in 3 tons of To Kalon clone 7 today  at the winery. They normally get 2 tons from the same block but the rain this year plumped up the berries... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • They don't come much more relaxed than me William. Don't fret. Just keeping it all into perspective as the Russian River Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands are about 300 miles apart. Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Again " Peter and Adam dodged a bullet. The beginning of this pos Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Thanks OUTTHERE, thanks for bringing the crop report for RRV and SLC ... the 2014 California Burgundy varietal worthy??,  your version of 2014 is negative.BTW (poss Moderator) -I was only celebrating the challenges and victories we need to celebrate on the Front-line. Relax.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2014 Santa Lucia California...


  • Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Herbal, viney nose but with some hints of berry fruit. Initial hit of currants on the tip of the tongue. Then, there are hits from tannin and acid. A perfectly functional wine, but it does not seem to have much depth and complexity. Additional air seemed to calm down the tannin, but that only seemed to add to the berry fruit. 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


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