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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

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...

  • Lake County

    Lake County is an emerging wine region within California’s North Coast, north of Napa. Clear La...

  • 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 Barbara County

    The Santa Barbara County AVA lies within the Central Coast territory of California. Like much o...

  • Santa Cruz Mountains

      The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is a vast region within San Francisco Bay in California’s Cen...

  • Calaveras

    is a picturesque and remote area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Popular with o...

  • Contra Costa

    The Contra Costa County AVA is located within the San Francisco Bay region of California’s Cent...

  • El Dorado County

    The spectacular Sierra Nevada range offers a fitting backdrop to the vineyards of El Dorado Count...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Middle Sister

    Because we remember swim lessons and day camp and beach houses. Because we forget bad boyfriends,...

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Cupcake Vineyards

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Turley Wine Cellars Contra Costa County Duarte Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Sweet, smooth - had at Vintage in Sun Valley Read More

    Wine review by gimmecab


  • SNOOTHER 2135490, why don't you use a name? We'd be very happy to have ... occasional offline that the California portion of these boards' members put on?And I still stand by my suggested verification procedure, when I'm able to make it over there (in Tokyo now).  ;-)Chee Read More

    Forum post in the topic The LA Somm Scene


  • Aspara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Oh boy. This one is in a good spot right now. Charming red fruit on entry. Still supportive but definitely not obtrusive tannin provides good structure. Acid provided refreshment. Winner, winner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Grgich Hills Fume Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Nice and crisp. Suggestion of citruslemon, thankfully, not the grapefruit that seems too overdone with SBs. Very cleanno grassiness or herbalness. A very straightforward easy drinker. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Benziger Family Winery Chardonnay Sonoma County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Lean in nature with enough fruit to be interesting. Good pair with spicy olives. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Carlisle Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of blue makes the color more purple than red. Interesting. This one is a mouthful. Very chewy, almost, not quite, jammy on the tongue. Strong tannin. Im pretty sure this not my favorite DCV Zin. Its not bad, but it just seems overripe, to me. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rock Rabbit Central Coast Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This not very zinfandel like IMO. Mostly red fruit, plum with a tad bit of dark cherry. A little spice adds in with medium chewy tannins and goos acidity. It's decent wine, just a very different zin. 87 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Avalon Blend California 2015

    Snoothrank:

    This was a wine looking for a body. The nose was pretty good with Damson plum, dark cherry, spice and modest tannins and balanced acidity. Short aftertaste drink now - 83 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Feeding Frenzy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Feeding frenzy Read More

    Wine review by sisisisisi


  • Jim Olsen White Barbera Sierra Foothills 2016

    Snoothrank:

    A Naked Wines selection. Crystal clear silver pink in the glass. Opens with mango, kiwi, and bubblegum,; then lemon/lime and lilac; then a bit of tomato leaf and slate. Medium full in the mouth; slightly sweet kiwi and lime. Medium acidity. Gets a bit sweeter as the wine sits in the glass. Had this without food, but think this would work very we... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • 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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