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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

    Our winery is located in Monterey County, California where warm days give way to cool nights a...

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Purple Moon Winery

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

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California on Snooth

  • Green Fin Red Table Wine 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fruit forward well balanced. This is so fruit forward that it almost appears fake. Medium to full mouthfeel. Raspberry fruit predominant. Price is under $5, making it lovable. Read More

    Wine review by connie7899


  • Overlake Red Blend 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Full mouthfeel, well blended red. A hint on the dry side. I would purchase again, but prefer a bit more fruit forward wine. Great acidic balance. Awesome for price. Read More

    Wine review by connie7899


  • Beringer Red Crush

    Snoothrank:

    Having been impressived with the signature strawberry finish of Beringer's White Zinfindel, this name "Red Crush" sounded like it'd be a sweet, pleasant surprise. I was surprised, it tasted like an average everyday wine on a restaurant menu that offered only one red. Well okay, I'm sure there are discerning palates out there who could lecture ... Read More

    Wine review by Aegelis


  • Michael David Winery Petite Petit 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Liandra160


  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fruit forward with good acidity. This is a relatively sweet wine with a long after taste of cherry syrup. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Cloud Break Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by tpcello7


  • Halcon Esquisto Yorkville Highlands 2013

    Snoothrank:

    PnPed. Fairly dark red color. Subdued nosemay open up with more airbut there is noticeable dried fruit hits. On the tongue and under the palate, there is a delightful but light initial hit of dark fruitIm sticking with the dried fruit idea and saying prunewithout a lot of fruity sweetness. Not unexpectantly, this isn't the biggest red wine i... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jsphgllt


  • Adelaida Version Red Reserve Anna's Estate Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This is an excellent blend of Mourvedre, syrah and grenache noir. Fairly dark in the glass, silky smooth, loads of dark red and black fruit, blackberry, black cherry, ripe plum, ripe blueberry, supple fine grained tannins and a fairly long finish. Not as earthy or funky as I would expect for a GSM. This baby seems to be hitting its stride. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Mirassou Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


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