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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Middle Sister

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

Page 2 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Benessere Estate Sangiovese 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Quail Oak Chardonnay

    Snoothrank:

    Love this wine! Read More

    Wine review by Kathy Salazar


  • Joyce Submarine Canyon Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Hendry Napa Valley Cabernet 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Outstanding wine. Very much a surprise when I first tasted. Normally, I expect any fruit I get from a CS to be black--cassis, blackberry. On entry this one presents bright fruitthankfully, not candied. This is followed by a woody and stony rustic sensation. Still some very stiff tanninwhich I would attribute to the Mt. Veeder portion of th... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Carnivor Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    I really liked it! Loads of complex flavor. Read More

    Wine review by BellaProblema


  • EMark,It really depends on the wine. For most wines, a sampling of the opened ... ... As you have discovered, California wines run the gamut  of austere to bountiful richness, expressed over time.  Well made wines will give you all of the above. I am no wine expert but with so many appellations in California, you will find they each impart a ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic I'll Probably Get Kicked Off...


  • J Lohr Cabernet Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by FFLADY


  • St. Francis Chardonnay Sonoma County 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by FFLADY


  • Ravenswood Merlot North Coast Vintners Blend 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by FFLADY


  • Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by FFLADY


  • Have any of you tried the 2007 Seghesio Family Winery Sonoma County Zinfandel This amazing wine rated a 93 with Wine Spectator and was # 10 of their top 100. I tasted it at a wine show just the other day and it is everything they say it is! I can get my hands on some bottles for cheap. Write me back at chris.shipps@gmail.com is you have any in...

    Comment by 152601tug 152601 tug


  • Interesting, I don't see the Temecula AVA listed. Is anyone following it? I live in San Diego and over the last 8 years have seen some good, consistent producers emerge as well as some interesting up-and -comers.

    Comment by 79184tmpape 79184 tmpape


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