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...

  • 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...

  • Syrah

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

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

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company:

  • 3 Blind Moose

    Truth be told, the moose aren’t blind. They just think it’s cool to share good wine with friends,...

  • Joseph Carr

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

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California on Snooth

  • Sebastiani Pinot Noir Sonoma 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by Laranicole

  • Breggo Cellars Pinot Gris Anderson Valley 2010


    The nose was fresh with slight grassy notes followed by sweet pear, green melon, crushed raw almond, and a hint of moist undergrowth. On the palate it was full-bodied with a moderate amount of sweetness yet beautifully balanced and fresh. White fruits, sweet apple, a spritz of lime, and minerals filled the senses with a note of honey that lasted... Read More

    Wine review by Eric Guido

  • Lost Angel Mischief 2006


    Awesome wine! Read More

    Wine review by CheloSpahn

  • Seghesio Zin Rockpile 2008



    Wine review by CheloSpahn

  • Mark West Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2009


    A very nice Pinot! Although, after 3-4 glasses, the finish tends to sour. Read More

    Wine review by makeminered

  • Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley 2010


    Bright, green-gold hue with green pear and citrus; racy flavor notes of pear, green apple and lime carried to a clean & moderate finish. Read More

    Wine review by InWineTruth

  • So you say California hasn't got seasons, but you're wrong.  While we are blessed here in the Bay Area with pretty fine weather year round, fall is my favorite season.  October might even be my favorite month.  It's the month my first child was born and the month I met my wife.  It's also great for wine.  The last of the grapes get harvested in ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Man, I love the fall!

  • Iron Horse Vineyards Chardonnay Green Valley Native Yeast 2008


    Caramel nose with apple and a hint of strawberry. The hard for me to describe. I can taste the strawberry, just a hint of mineral. There is a nice crispness to the body of the wine and a slight hint of citrus too. This has got to be one of my favorite whites. Read More

    Wine review by pcguy74

  • Edge Cabernet Sauvignon 2008


    best wine for me. Read More

    Wine review by t3eguchi

  • Gallo Cabernet Sauv 1986


    This is my daily drinking wine. It sells for $2.99 where I live and thats pretty hard to pass up. It's nothing fancy but for the price it is really quite nice. Read More

    Wine review by Mosca

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