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 4 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Joseph Swan Vineyards Zinfandel Russian River Valley Mancini Ranch 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Quite tart. Red fruit. Maybe, OK, I know its not red, blueberry. There is sweetness to the berry flavor, but it is not too serious. There also seems to be some spicinessnot pepper or anything like that, but, more, a suggestion of cinnamon or cuminOK, maybe its a texture thing more than a tastelike these powdered spices have been dissolved in ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Dreaming Tree Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Lemon, grapefruit and even some pineapple on the nose. Simple and refreshing, with some herbed green notes moving through amidst peach and melon fruit and a finish of chunky melon and citrus. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Graziano Zinfandel 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Murky, almost prune color. Red berries on the nose, but also volatility. Nice hit of plum and red berry on the tongue. As the wine move back, you realize that tannins are fully resolved. Regardless, this is a big, mouth-filling wine. Definitely, some heat on the rear palate is distracting. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Red Rock Merlot 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Not bad but not great Read More

    Wine review by te4sports


  • Chateau Ste. Michelle 50th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Such a value. This Anniversary release is 2015 Ste. Michelle Vineyards Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Paterson, Washington rates honorable mention in this review. Lush black and red berries permeate the taste buds. Soft well balanced depth with mellow tannins and a mouth feel of rich lasting whole notes. Like a musical sonata. A nice de... Read More

    Wine review by jamessulis


  • Turley Wine Cellars Contra Costa County Duarte Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Sweet, smooth - had at Vintage in Sun Valley Read More

    Wine review by gimmecab


  • SNOOTHER 2135490, why don't you use a name? We'd be very happy to have ... occasional offline that the California portion of these boards' members put on?And I still stand by my suggested verification procedure, when I'm able to make it over there (in Tokyo now).  ;-)Chee Read More

    Forum post in the topic The LA Somm Scene


  • Aspara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Oh boy. This one is in a good spot right now. Charming red fruit on entry. Still supportive but definitely not obtrusive tannin provides good structure. Acid provided refreshment. Winner, winner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Night Train 2006

    Snoothrank:

    The perfect wine for a night by the fire with my favorite Thai ladyboyz. Slight tanins with a touch of blackberry and toffee, delicious! Read More

    Wine review by Lemont


  • Night Train 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Ripe aromas of fig, blackberry and cassis are softened and sweetened by a slathering of oaky chocolate and vanilla. This is full, layered, intense and cushioned on the palate, with rich flavors of chocolaty black fruits and baking spices. A toasty, everlasting finish is heady but ideally balanced. I did end end passed out for 17 hours in a field... Read More

    Wine review by Lemont


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