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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

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

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Rex Goliath

    At age 70, I have had at least 50 yrs. of a glass of wine after my evening meals. Just recently,...

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

Page 4 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    The Bottle, the Cork, the richness of the view, and the bouquet on the Nose. (Bakers Chocolate, Smoke, Espresso Roast, Leather)Thank you Caymus Vineyards. your 2011 Caymus - 1st Class Bottle was enjoyed during a 3 hour dinner/ decanted. The host exclaimed Great Wine Period after his guest exclaimed Great Food Period. Thanks for sharing. William Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Paul Hobbs Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jamlani


  • Matthew Fox Cabernet Sauvignon California 2009

    Snoothrank:

    I like this a whole lot. It is extremely affordable and delicious. I prefer it to $10 and $15 bottles and it's only about $3.75 where I buy it.....unbelievable!!!!!!great wine. I also like the merlot and zinfandel from this brand Read More

    Wine review by scrappy777


  • Adelaida Ice Wine NV

    Snoothrank:

    Very much enjoyed this dessert wine from Adelaida in Paso. Rich, ripe apricot, honey and orange cream are balanced with just the right amount of acidity. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Hahaha..Greg.  This guy isn't a putz either.  he drinks $40 BC ... At least WineBid.com is in California and shipping would be safe for anything expensive.Oh, this guy did say the Bordeaux was a 2009.  A decent year for most Bordeau Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Happy Camper Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by lakenvelder


  • Boy, OT, you're right.  Once again I neglected to read all the ... ... amount of wine directly from California-based wineries.  Doing that is not particularly inexpensive, but allows me to procure wines that may be harder to find in retail stores  Yes, these are hang-ups, but they are hang-ups.  ; Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Buttonwood Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    A dark maroon color. Big bold cabernet flavor so it's great for steak or lamb, preferably grilled. Blackberry, cinnamon, tobacco and clove/star anise. Read More

    Wine review by zmapman


  • The Messenger Telegram Red Wine Number Two California NV

    Snoothrank:

    A bit honied on the nose with some assertive raw wood notes and jammy, black licorice and dried fruit aromas all topped with a hint of white pepper and something vaguely green and gummy. Soft on entry,this is rather simple with toasty spice flavors and fruit that tastes a bit cooked and dull. It freshens up a bit with air but the wood tannins he... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Forest Glen 'Forest Fire' White Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by lakenvelder


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