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

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • 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...

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

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California on Snooth

  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Sonoma Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Boy was this good. Dry Creek has mastered zins over the years and Heritage Vineyards has some of the best zin stock ever. Dense, black and brooding this exudes varietal excitement. Blackberry, damson plum, oak, pepper, spice and briary notes lead to a palate that follows the nose well. This leads to a medium to full bodied tannic structure that ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Easton Zinfandel Amador County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Blackberry, dark cherry and herbal aromas combine on palate with anise and chewy tannins. Foothill minerality and good acidity make this a QPR wine worth waiting for - drink now - Paul 88 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Lodi Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    As a new wine drinker who never drinks red wines, I thought this was fantastic!! No bitter after taste, very smooth and exceptionally priced! My favorite lasting flavor was the oak. I've been searching for this wine everywhere!! So delicious! Read More

    Wine review by KatAlexander


  • Wayside Wine White Wine Central Coast 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Tasting Room quarterly Wine selection. Pale Gold in the glass; opens with Green Apple, Lime, & Kiwi; off to a bit of Melon and more Lime; Honey, Oak, and Cedar. Most of these carry over to the palate with more notes of Honey and Fig. Medium body, nicely balanced, fruit forward, with medium acidity. Long finish with a bit of Oak, White P... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Vinum Cellars the Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Darkly rich red currant and raspberry fruit aromas with good baking spice and black pepper and a slight note of varietally correct green herb. Nicely rich and full in the mouth, this is fruity and full bodied, showing a lot of spicy acidity, good earthiness from the chew of the tannins, and bright raspberry and black cherry fruit. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Old Soul Zinfandel Old Vine 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A real surprise. I bought several of these a few years ago just for nights of bbq, several friends over and what not. This remained buried in the cellar until last night. Good idea - glad I didn't plan it that way. Large blackberry and briary along with red plum and dirt really explode out of the glass. A leggy, smooth flowing juice flows a leav... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Markham Merlot Napa Valley 2010

    Snoothrank:

    I stored this bottle just to see how it would hang. Nothing special, it's just that I like Markham and this bottling received less positive hype than most. A brooding dark juice with excellent viscosity, blackberry and dark cherry, chocolate and spice. Married completely now this finishes balanced and seamless. Paul 90 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ericvardon


  • Being a fan of Jolie-Laide and being that we have been drinking a lot of whites ... Familiar Blanc, White Wine, California 2014 - $35 39% Chenin Blanc, 28% Semillon, 21% Chardonnay, 8% Melon, 4% Pinot Blanc // 10 bottles remain         Keep, Lost Slough Vineyard, White Blend, Clarksburg 2015 - $18 35% Cortese, 34% Falanghina & 31% Loureiro. I s... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Barefoot Pinot Grigio 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Crystal clear, and coloring that is grassy/yellow in tone. Aromas of apple, pear and clean citrus waft about and flavors follow suit.....crisp, clean fruit, refreshing soft acidity and a light, slightly carbonated mouthfeel makes this a simply excellent value Pinot Gris that is fully deserving of the consistent awards bestowed upon it! Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


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