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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

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

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • 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 ...

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

    Every year the Great Central Valley of California provides harvests of uniquely delicious grapes....

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California on Snooth

  • NYX Red Wine Santa Barbara County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another Tasting Room quarterly selection. Very similar to the Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Very dark opaque purple plum in the glass. Opens with Fig and Red Plum; a bit of Vanilla and Black Tea; then Red Cherry, Tobacco and Smoke.These carry over to the palate with a bit of a kick in the mouth with medium Tannins and Acidity. Ope... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Peju Province Winery Zinfandel Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    this is Very nice and i one time use this Read More

    Wine review by 1972791flatdwarka 1972791 flatdwarka


  • Peju Province Winery Zinfandel Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Baking spice and heat on the nose with dark and full blackberry flavors. Bursting with dark blackberry fruit and spice, zesty and full, with big bold flavors, black pepper and drying tannins. This is a great wine to bring for barbecue because it has the acidity and the tannin and the serious flavors to stand up to big food. Finishes eternally lo... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Bedrock Wine Company Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Contra Costa County Red Wine 2013

    Snoothrank:

    The purple color is more red than blue. Pleasant enough fruity nose with, maybe, a hint of anise. Fruitier than I normally like on entryblueberry, prunea little too much sweetness for me. This is followed by some drying tannin. This wine needs acid to balance the fruitiness. Aftertaste is pleasant and lengthywhich, to me, shows the folly of... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection. Pale translucent ruby red in the glass. Opens with nearly ripe Strawberry and Cherry; then Red Plum and Fig; then Baking Spices and Slate. Most of these carry over to the palate with more minerality, leather, and herbs as it opens more. Medium mouth feel, with a medium finish. A bit of alcohol, but smooths out... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Dylan's Ghost Hell Hollow 2011

    Snoothrank:

    big wine big finish. Great body Read More

    Wine review by tankracing


  • I assume you know, Al, that Stags' Leap Winery is not the same as ... the ... ... the counterpart winning Californian Chardonnay at the 1976 Judgment of Paris.[5][6]A lawsuit initiated by Winiarski and a counter-suit filed by Carl Doumani, owner of Stags' Leap Winery, was decided in 1986 by the California Supreme Court. The two wineries were ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Robert Keenan Cabernet Franc 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Clear dark plum color in the glass. Bit of a chemical or mineral nose. Very assertive on entry. Not a lot of fruitmaybe, some blackberry, maybe, a suggestion of stone fruit. A lot of puckery dryness from tannin, but that also gives the suggestion of unsweetened cocoa. A mouth-filling, full-bodied wine. Definitely a big boys wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Davis Bynum Virginia's Block Jane's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant lemongrass, melon and grapefruit aromas. Juicy melon notes in the mouth with tart lemon and lime flavors freshening up the palate with tight puckering acidity and a grassy note as well. Classic Sauvignon Blanc -- nicely herbal with good fruit. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Alesia Rhys Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Slightly murky maroon color. Something of a microbial noseyogurtwith, maybe, some herbaceousness. Very light hit of strawberry on the tip of the tongue. Fairly light bodied. Negligible tannin. Very light acid. Interesting sensation at the back of the palatemelon, as much as anything. 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


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