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...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

    For over 150 years, Almaden Vineyards wines have been welcome at America's table. We offer a wide...

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

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California on Snooth

  • Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Solid, with depth and structure. Some red berry fruit with backing blackberry, wood and earthy noted lead to a lively lasting finish. Drink now or hold (4-6) years - Paul 91 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Toby Lane Vineyards Rose Alexander Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Solid wine built along the lines of a weaker red than a rose. Aromas of cherry and raspberry mix with anise, chocolate and spice - though they are heavier, it is still a refreshing wine. Drink now - Paul 86 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Edmeades Shamrock Vineyard Zinfandel Mendocino County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Powerful aromatics of earthy salinity, ripe raspberry and black cherry and a floral violet note on the nose. This is nicely heated on the palate, with a well rounded spice box of cinnamon, clove and anise coming through and more black cherry and bright red fruits washing over towards the finish that turns floral again right before it becomes all... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Josh Cellars Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    It's ok... too sweet for a pinot noir, tastes like blackberry brandy, a bit syrupy even, if you like sweeter I guess it's ok Read More

    Wine review by joebernardinoATyahoo


  • Butter Chardonnay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Bought a bottle, bought a case, going to buy at least 2 more cases. Creamy, buttery, nutty vanilla and....a hint of smoke! Cannot beat it for the price. Read More

    Wine review by acetrace


  • La Petite Tour Classic White 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by LetUsTaste


  • Aspara Syrah Carneros Las Madres Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Some raspberry in the nose, but, then, more earthiness. Slightest hit of raspberry, but, mostly, earthiness, meatiness, maybe, mushroom on entry. A very interesting wine in that none of those flavors dominate. As soon as I detect one, it moves on and the next one steps in. Very modest in both tannin and acid. An outstanding wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Foppiano Vineyards Petite Sirah 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Dark purple in the glass as you would expect from a PS. Very fruity noseof dark berries. Big hit of fruit on introductionsweeter than blackberry, more like blueberry. Not a blockbuster PS. Very light on both tannin and acid. More of an easy drinker. Very easily worth the $15 I spent on it. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Schug Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Coast 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Floral nose of wild flowers with some intriguing herbals coming through like tea leaf and grass with some peach and pineapple fruit. This is more about the mouthfeel than the acidity in the mouth, with some good fullness in the mouth and distant notes of grapefruit and gooseberry especially towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Gejas Big Bold Red Private Reserve 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by LetUsTaste


  • 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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    Page modification by 122460queenie nyc 122460 queenie nyc


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