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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

    Arriving in the Napa Valley in 1972, Jim and JoAnna Sullivan purchased property in Rutherford, wh...

  • Purple Moon Winery

    About  Purple Moon Shiraz: The first bottle we tried, we could not believe how good the wine...

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California on Snooth

  • Black Saint Peter, Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 2013


    Jessica brought this bottle to Thanksgiving 2015 Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Dancing Coyote Petite Syrah 2010


    Wine Sellers of Saugatuck, 10/15 Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Michel-Schlumberger le Sage Merlot Dry Creek Valley 2009


    Wine Sellers of Saugatuck, 10/15 Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2013


    Thanksgiving 2015. Thom's go to wine, he brought it. I had a 1/2 glass. It came in fifth of five wines I tasted. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2014


    Slightly less jammy than past vintages. Good acidity leads into soft tannins and a medium length finish. Was the wine of the day on Thanksgiving. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • Rodney Strong Rockaway Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2012


    This takes a while to open up in the glass, but as it does it blossoms with crushed violet, black currant and black cherry notes, austere earth and smoke, and baking spice. In the mouth it's rich and velvety, with touches of dried fig and fresh plum, blackberry and black cherry and loads of spice. This is a big wine which is well balanced and su... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Kendall Jackson 'Vintners' Reserve Summation Red 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by ss799

  • Orin Swift Cellars Papillon Napa Valley 2013


    Full bodied and rich with smooth tannins; decanted for one hour. Excellent wine. Read More

    Wine review by markscheidler

  • And, Malbec (like just about every other grape) is also grown in California.  It is mostly used as a blending grape--i.e., mixed with other grape varieties to produce a wine similar to the comment that Jon Derry made about Cahors being a blend of Malbec and Merlot.  In these blends, it might  be difficult to ascertain exacly which grape varietie... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Wrath Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Boekenoogen Vineyard 2012


    GREAT WINE FOR THANKSGIVINGCan't wait to enjoy with the family Read More

    Wine review by Dickie wines

  • Thank you very much for this information. I love the wine!.

    Comment by 1160807capitanoensy 1160807 capitanoensy

  • Beyond the Vine ( 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 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 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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