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...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • 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....

  • Sullivan Vineyards

    Arriving in the Napa Valley in 1972, Jim and JoAnna Sullivan purchased property in Rutherford, wh...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

    We got our start as a "garage wine" back in the Sixties but really stepped up what Barefoot wa...

Page 4 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • First, I recommend renting a luxury car, rather than just a standard sedan. ... instance), watch out for the California Highway Patrol and unmarked police cars. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma


  • Ceritas Pinot Noir Hacienda Secoya Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of light comes through the garnet color. Fairly perfumey nosecherry blossoms, violets. Quite light-bodiedI guess this was forecasted by the light coming through in the glass. Abrupt hit of cherry flavor on introduction, but the lightness of the wine keeps it away from the cough syrup taste that I get in a lot of PNs. No tannin at all. ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Antica Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    I thought this was a great wine. Very smooth. Read More

    Wine review by phelps5


  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Trap.  We would actually appreciate it if you ... on the Forum are in a "California rut."  May be true. You can certainly add reviews to the Snooth database, but please, also, feel free to comment here on the Forum.  You can start your own thread, or you can add on to older threads such as "Whatcha drinking tonight?... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • "I buy young highly rated, 92+, Bordeaux at under $40 with the thought of ... will change.And forget about California. Even if they're highly rated, most of the wines usually aren't very good.Welcome!Good to have some fellow traveler Read More

    Forum post in the topic MWW


  • Apsara Sauvignon Blanc Rivers Reach 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Just a fantastic Napa Sauv Blanc from Apsara. This is not about grapefruit but more subtle and balanced citrus and stone fruit. There's plenty of nice ripe white peach, green melon, a hint of lime, a touch of grassiness, medium acidity and a medium finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Bay Leaf Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jd98


  • Kendall-Jackson Syrah California Vintner's Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhere between new and old world in style. Just OK Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Imagery Estate Winery Lagrein Paso Robles 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Like the 2010, dark black plum color. Fairly nondescript nosesome red fruit, some oily scent. Easy fruity entry. Fruit flavors of red plum, strawberry. Very subdued tannin. Light acid as from peach, without any sugar. Very short finish. Not a complex wine. Easy to drink, but not particularly memorable. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Cortina 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Best entry level for a quality Zin. Seghesio's Zins only get better as you move up. All, and I mean all, others go down from here. Read More

    Wine review by StockBoy


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