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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Matchbook

    Our Vision. "Produce wines we love to drink at prices we don't mind paying

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

    Inspired by the scenic roads that wander through California’s stunning wine country, Rafael Jofre...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

    Since its inception, the hallmark of E. & J. Gallo Winery’s founders has been their unwavering co...

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

Page 5 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Alinore.  It looks like you have found the ... over the world (I live in California), but I think you will find the French versions are not as vegetative or as acidic as the NZ versions.  I seem to always get a big taste of grapefruit with the NZ versions that I don't get with the French versions.I can't help you m... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Francis Coppola Chardonnay Diamond Collection Black Label Pavilion 2011


    Pears and tropical fruit on the nose. In the mouth it is heavy with fruit with light acid and no detectable oak. If you crave pears, you'll love this. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • `Wines should be nimble and refreshing, energizing rather than fatiguing and ... ... it can all be blamed on California, because they produce that horrid stuff and in so doing have ruined wine worldwide. They do it because Robert Parker rates those wines highly, but Asimov won't attack him in print, partly because Asimov's knowledge of wine i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth! Suggestions...

  • Buoncristiani Chardonnay 2012


    Big buttery, caramelly nose with some melon. Palate sensation verifies most of the nose predictions. This one seems to be pretty heavily oaked, although, some acid (hints of lemon) pops up mid-palate to make this one a little more enjoyable for me. Not my favorite Chardonnay, but Ill bet that many would love it. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Trenton View Vineyard 2010


    Just a fantastic Russian River pinot. Loads of bright bing cherry, red cherry, some really nice mid-palate spiceness - all wrapped around mouth tingling acidity and fine grained tannins. Love it! Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Neptune's Trident Central Coast 2013


    A Wine made especially for Lot 18; Beginning Nose and Tastes seem promising a bit of complexity of fruit and earth, but shortly after that, there is aftertaste of almost a jelly/candied fruit. More light than medium body and definitely similar to a French Rhone Blend, but starts with more earth notes. Here is the Lot 18 description that I do no... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • If you've not personally tried them, where are you getting your information ... ... grown in some regions of California where it's too warm to grow it properly and where people just want to make cheap wine. Otherwise it can be a tannic and bitter grape. Sangiovese is grown for the most part in Tuscany, worldwide there's not a lot of it planted,... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking for Wine Feedback

  • Robert Sinskey Abraxas Vin de Terroir 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Ren127

  • Mauritson Wines Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2011


    Big berry-filled nosealso, some earthiness. Quite pleasant on entry to the mouthsome blackberry flavor but not as big as aroma suggested. A little resinous wood. Some dusty earth. Not the most full-bodied Zin Ive ever had, but an easy drinker. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • "I am more of a bold, big body red wine fan, but I want to get something ... lighter footwork than some California fruitbomb. I'll once again suggest four different wines, three bottles each (to make sure everyone can at least have a glass of each and more as desired), two different whites and two different reds. Think more European than North... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth! Suggestions...

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