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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Livingston Cellars

    Since 1984 and 17 years, the de facto estate wine of Livingston Moffett winery has been bottled ...

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

Page 3 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Poseidon Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Acquired in Kaua'i, Hawai'i, after a Golden State Warriors 2017 series clenching loss at Cleveland. Only to let our family get home to celebrate their Game 5 victory. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Quivet Cellars Mcgah Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Very light straw color. See straw smell straw--herbal nose. Tropical fruit--pineapple--with citrus pith--lemon or grapefruit. Serious acid creates tingling on the tongue but also provides outstanding refreshment. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Orin Swift "The Prisoner" Napa Valley Red Blend 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Structured and layered, and well beyond it's supposed prime, this was great. Blackberry, dustiness, spice, dark cherry, mocha with tolerable tannins and great acidity. Just shows what cellaring properly can do. 92 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Large blackberry and dark cherry profile here, dark chocolate, earthiness with big tannins, matching acidity. Here's the catch - there is a sweetish grapey-ness that is highly a port profile. Interesting thought isn't it. 92 points - hold - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Robert Mondavi Napa Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A lot of berry fruit on entry brings fear of a wimpy fruit bomb. However, then A LOT of tannin tells you this is a grownups wine. Nothing earth-shaking, here, but a solid experience for less than $20. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Joseph Carr Napa Valley Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    I must admit I was leery at first, but settled in and was wonderful. Plum, blackberry, judicious spice and layered spice with framing tannins/acidity driving a good after taste. Drink or hold - 18-24 mths - 90 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Apothic Rose California 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Floral, sweet spice aromas of strawberry and candied cherry. Delicate and floral on the palate with ripe watermelon and strawberry fruit that is a bit tart on the approach but finishes soft. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Don't blame, I wouldn't use it for marinade. Went to a tasting at a ... four to taste and one was a California wine,when I asked why a California wine they didn't have a good answer. The Texas legislators are trying to get a bill that in order to qualify as a Texas wine it must be grown in Texas, today they import juice from California. I forg... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Value Wines - under $20 USD...


  • Josh Cellars Rose 2016

    Snoothrank:

    for the few rose' that I have tasted this one had a fruity finish, while not overtly sweet, its tart start was pleasant. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Myriad Semillon Tofanelli Vineyard Napa Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    VERY refreshing. Nice entry of unsweetened tropical fruitpineapple, bananaand, maybe, even, green apple. Green apple may come from acidic tartness. I am really getting tingling on the top of my tongue from the acid. Im now getting lemon zest. Great summer sipper. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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