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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • 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...

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

  • Purple Moon Winery

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

    The Charles Shaw label is best known for producing wines of “extreme value.” These became popul...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

  • 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 ...

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Kramer is understandably unhappy, as Matthews uses a quote from him that goes ... saying that everyone knows California wines can't age, then getting their heads handed to them again when the Paris frolic was repeated with the same wines years later.  (Matthews agrees that the Paris tasting probably wasn't actually statistically significant, b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Was wondering if anyone's...


  • Gnarly Head "Limited Release" Authentic Dark 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. This may have the largest chocolate profile in a wine that is not an actual "Chocolate" wine that I've ever tasted. Oh, yeah there is also blackberry, moderate tannins and enough acidity to give a lingering aftertaste. Decent, decant for 30 minutes. Drink now - Paul 86 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Saved "Tattoo" Red Blend 2012

    Snoothrank:

    The winemaker's notes call this a big powerful wine. Not so much. It does open to add depth and some strength, but it takes a good 45-60 mns. to open fully and the end result was a red berry driven wine with medium tannins, smallish pepper notes and a decent ending acidity. Honestly don't think this worth the nearly $25 it takes to buy locally. ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Merriam Vineyards Merlot Russian River Valley Windacre 2004

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Jacobson52


  • Workman Ayer Ipso Facto Central Coast California 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Rich and fruity aromas of dried apricot and white peach on the nose with floral elderflower and sweet spice aromas. This is thick and emollient in the mouth with more floral notes of rose petal and white blossom, soft lychee and melon fruit notes and good minerality towards the mid palate and a soft lemon cream towards the finish. Very nice. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Ridge & Furrow Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Another Tasting Room Selection; Opens with Butterscotch, Cherries, & Cranberries; then Baking Yeast and Plum; finishes up with Toffee and Raisin and a bit of Leather and Mint; Medium and smooth mouthful. A bit too Fruit forward and a bit too young for my taste Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Myriad Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Dark plum color. Dark berry fruit on the nose, but, also, slight hint of alcohol. Terrific on the tongue. Typical CS hit of cassis on the tongue. Also, a suggestion of oaky vanilla. Then, almost, some anise. Very subdued tannin makes this on a very easy drinker. Clearly, a New World styled wine, but, also, a big winner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Agate & Elm Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Tasting Room selection; Bright pale silver gold in the glass. Opens with Caramel, Lemon, and a bit of Bullion/Umami; then more Caramel, Honey, & Raisin; then Must/Musk and Honey with a bit of Neoprene - all very pleasant, though. Big and full in the mouth. Long finish of silky Toffee, Lemon, and Ripe Peach with Oak and Cola. Medium Acid... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Miraflores Estate Zinfandel El Dorado 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Full bodied and delicious. Read More

    Wine review by gvamd


  • Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Derek25


  • 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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