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

  • Merlot

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Cupcake Vineyards

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

  • 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...

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • 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

  • Aspara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice introduction of red fruit--strawberry, cherry, red plum. Reasonable acid, but certainly nothing that would bother most. Some, mid-palate savoriness. Quite light on tannin. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Vampire, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015, California 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Binny's 1/2019. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • T-Vine Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon Red Tail Block 2007

    Snoothrank:

    From a bottle of questionable provenance, but I am liking it Quite mouth-filling. Nicely understated black fruit. Interesting herbalness--almost minty. Completely resolved tannin, but apparent acidity suggest something of a lack of balance, Back of the palate and aftertaste sensations suggest oxidation. I'm still pleased, though. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Definitely, these later wines subscribe nicely to the Monty Python ... But ... ... But with all that Zin in California...But back to Negroamaro… this wine is extremely interesting in its almost medicinal flavours (cough syrup - but in a good way) and deep, vinous overlay.  Very deep, and very Roman. Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Marietta Cellars Angeli Estate Grown Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive dark color. Fruity nose with a touch of alcohol. Lots of berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. I find this to be a nice medium-for-a-red bodied wine. While it is not a blockbuster, it is not shy. Moderate tannins and acid. I found some notes on the '13 vintage of this wine in which I was not particularly impressed. I am mo... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge Paso Robles 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Translucent ruby in color. Dark fruit with a tad of mint on the nose. It gives a dark cherry fruit in the mouth with a little tartness and a earthy bitterness on the finish. Does it have garrique? No but there is that earthiness on the finish that hints at herbs. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Trespass Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Estate Grown 2001

    Snoothrank:

    My brother-in-law found this at an estate sale. Clearly not a great wine, but, certainly, a fun find. When I opened it I could not believe the color--the red plum color that you would expect--no bricking at all. A somewhat fruity nose with a bit of sourness. On the tongue, flavors of dried dark fruit. Very much resolved tannins and acids. ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Agreed, sounds right up my alley re: obscure but tasty grape juice.We went with a California vermentino tonight from Ryme.  Ryme is a husband and wife winemaking team and they put out two vermentinos, one "His" and the other "Hers.  Both the CFO and I agree that "Hers" is better than "His".More on the creamy lemon side with a bit of ripe pear an... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Dark maroon with black currant and oak nose. High tannic, full body wine, high acid with blackberry notes. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Enjoyed Dec 25/18Beginnings of tawny coloration happening with background colors of Earthy rust & black currant, and overall it is somewhat murky. Aromas are a medley of big time alcohol initially, huge peppery spice, old leather strap, Earthy soils and a fruity mineral that helps round things out. On the palate, there is a boozy tinge that st... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • Having a natural product for skin care is the best option for our skin. That's why we're writing this Le Salle Cream review here to help everyone know about this decent. Thanks to these vitamins, this cream helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It is one of those products that can improve the skin of the interior Blog: http://lesallecream.striki...

    Comment by 2234075lesalleserum 2234075 lesalleserum


  • 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


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    Page modification by 33093Chris Carpita 33093 Chris Carpita


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