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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Purple Moon Winery

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

    We got our start as a "garage wine" back in the Sixties but really stepped up what Barefoot wa...

  • Glass Mountain

    It has been more than hundred years since California wine pioneer Jean Laurent quarried stone fro...

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • 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

  • Franzia Merlot 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Franzia Merlot is another very decent everyday red. Medium dry and a little acidic, but very drinkable. Read More

    Wine review by rcj1


  • Gentleman's Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    I guess this wine eluded me. I didn't find any compelling fruit - instead I thought it was rather transparent. Red fruits, thinly veiled tannins and unbalanced acidity - bad bottle? Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Tried this wine - I've had for a few months now.  Was looking through ... ... bottling of the 2014 California wine. This wasn't rich and chewy at all - rather transparent and red fruit dominated (at least to the 3 of us that tried it. A little sweet at the end also and not well balanced in my opinion. Was trying to see if I crazy and the weir... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Marlowes


  • Cline Family Cellars Cashmere Red Blend California 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Dusty cocoa and vanilla aromas with light red berry fruit. Surprisingly soft on the palate with touches of crushed flower and perfume amidst tart red fruit and big bunches of berries, finishing with a bit of spice and an earthy chocolate note. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Apsara Cabernet Sauvignon Kenefick Ranch 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant, fruity nose. Currant and prune on the tongue. Then some coffee and dustiness. Still some quite stiff tannins. Some raspiness on the rear palate. While this is an enjoyable wine, today, it can do with a few more years of sideways. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bridlewood Pinot Noir Monterey County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant, unassuming cherry and raspberry aromas. Cherry flavors and good acidity on the palate with a touch of earth and a finish that's a bit spiky with more than a little tar, almost overwhelming the fruit but finishing with some dark chocolate. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Cannery Row Chapter One California Chardonnay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Alert, Alert, ALERT!!!!! Randy is going to say something nice about California wine and Chardonnay. This was very good, I personally did not buy it, but with that admission, I wish I had. So the next time I see it, I will linger, depending on the price. Formerly a charter member of the ABC Club. Nothing ever stays the same. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Last night we enjoyed a nice wine dinner with our neighbors (Rick and Debbie), ... started us off with a 2015 California Chardonnay, which we followed with our 2014 Washington Duckhorn Canvasback red blend.  Then we opened our 2010 Barolo, which everyone agreed was the best wine of the evening.  That was followed by a 2014 California Cabernet ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Limerick Lane Bedrock Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    First impression is that this is a medium-bodied Zinfandel. Initial flavor profile is light red fruitplum, cherry. Very moderate tannin. Leaning slightly towards acidic tartness. Definitely not as long an ager as I thought the 2014 was. Still a good drink, today, though. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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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