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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

    "Ca’ Momi” wines are named for our family home in Northern Italy. The name also pays tribute to M...

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

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California on Snooth

  • Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon California 2013


    Inky Deep Purple....not the band! This is probably the darkest Cab I've seen to date...awesome! Dark fresh fruits, almost raisin in aromas and flavors....blackberry, licorice....just great flavors all around! Full bodied and well hidden alcohol.....when is the next Steak night?! 4.5/5+ in grading....wish I could go into quarter points!! Read More

    Wine review by chriscage

  • Wolff Vineyards Teroldego Edna Valley 2013


    Quite dark purple color. Fresh, nose of red fruit. Not a full frontal attack on the tongue, but detectable cherry, plum flavors with some spicehint of clove. As the wine passes back, something of white fruit flavors emergepeach, melon. Quite light on the tannin, but this wine does not lack for firmness. It its not quite full bodied, but it... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Christopher Creek Syrah Russian River Valley 2010


    Nice but nothing special with this Russian River syrah. On the nose there's some decent ripe black cherry and a bit of leather. On the palate is more black cherry and a bit of green plum. Somewhat one dimensional with not much depth or complexity, medium acidity and a short finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Rombauer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    Deep dark black fruit aromas with a hint of black pepper. Light and fresh fruits with good acidity balance the rich vanilla and oak flavors. Black currants and Kalamata olives evolve over the palate. Toast and leather shore up for the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Rombauer Merlot Napa Valley 2010


    Explosive cherry and blackberry aromas. Ripe black cherry and cinnamon spice on the palate. You'll find blackberry jam, cinnamon, cranberry juice, basil and tomato leaf on the slow-evolving palate. An excellent expression of the Merlot grape. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Orleans Hill Viognier 2012


    I always enjoy a viognier. glad to see older varieties coming back and in an organic way. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor

  • Beringer California Cabernet Sauvignon 2014


    Clear ruby red color with purple tones around the rim. While this is young, the flavors are of yummy jammed fruits and berries, and aromas are very close behind. Light in mouthfeel, a very nice summer refresher with a smooth finish....a very strong 4/5! Great value! Read More

    Wine review by chriscage

  • Annabella Special Selection Merlot 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by veriwine

  • Enigma California Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


    Deep berry colors with a ring of purpleish tones around the glass. Aromas of fresh fruits....blackberry, plum, cherry define this. Tastes that are very fruit forward and fresh....again, cherry, blackberry, and hints of vanilla oak that is slightly charred. Alcohol content is generally well hidden and this smooths out nicely and is slightly dr... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage

  • Renwood Zinfandel Premier Old Vine Amador 2011


    High quality red and blue fruited zin. Nice acidity and light tannic bite. Great value. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

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