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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Canyon Road Winery

    Inspired by the scenic roads that wander through California’s stunning wine country, Rafael Jofre...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Rex Goliath

    At age 70, I have had at least 50 yrs. of a glass of wine after my evening meals. Just recently,...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • 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...

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California on Snooth

  • Siduri Pinot Noir Keefer Vyd Russian River 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Burgundy. Cargassachi and Lee 2012. - burgundy. blackberry. Tasted again May 2, 2015. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Maclaren Wines Maclaren Syrah Judge Family Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Not bad but not great Sonoma (Bennett Valley) syrah. Dark ripe berries on the nose with a hint of tobacco. Lots of ripe blackberry, a bit of earthiness, some cola, ripe black cherry and a touch of cedar on the palate. The acidity is fairly bright but the tannins are a bit short and the finish is of medium length. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • The Rogue Wave Pinot Noir Monterey County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection. Pale and thin Ruby color in the glass. Opens with Strawberry, green leaf, and vanilla, then goes to thyme, marjoram, under ripe cherry and kiwi. Medium Tannins and Acidity. with a long finish of cherry and strawberry with oak and pine. Becomes more earthy and mossy as it sits in the glass. Feels old world to m... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Landmark Chardonnay Overlook Sonoma County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very intriguing buttery yet floral aromas of candied hazelnuts, baked green apples, vanilla and caramel. Full mouthfeel, creamy and rich, with melon and lemon notes, light banana and coconut touches, and a smooth long finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Adelaida Zinfandel Michael's Estate Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    After a long weekend tasting Dry Creek Valley zins, came home and decided to try a Paso zin. This is a really nice wine from Adelaida with a bunch of black fruit and a touch of eucalyptus on the nose. There's blueberry pie, vanilla, blackberry, very nice acidity and some nice green plum on the palate. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Breggo Chardonnay Anderson Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mruffert


  • Salmon Creek Pinot Grigio 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by sobachka


  • Compass Point Central Coast 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly selection;the review on that site and Lot18 where it is also available seems fitting to me. 'A wonderfully rich wine with a brisk acidity, a steely minerality and mouthwatering citrus fruit flavors. Feels smooth and creamy, with white flowers, nectarine, hints of vanilla and honey. An interesting combination of richness,... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon Crazy Creek Vineyar 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by sfquixote


  • You're probably healthier though DM :)I had another great Sunday dinner of ... ... Lawrence Herder (from California originally) and Sharron parted company and sold the vineyard last year.  So, this was the last bottle.  The Seven Stones is a very similar blend and was really good, not quite as good as Josephine, but at least I can still buy i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting with GregT: Vega,...


  • 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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