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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • 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...

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company:

Page 5 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Searidge Chard 1984


    No written review

    Wine review by SeaRidge

  • Chariot Gypsy Red NV


    Unbelievably smooth, dry but not drying, peppery finish.. Awesome. Buy it at Trader Joes Read More

    Wine review by reneeannbutler

  • JD, have to say that the '04 Medici pinot was pretty stellar, next up would ... ... but the label say "California", so the grapes could be from just about anywhere in CA. The next best thing we tasted there was the durif, aka petite sira Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wineries to visit in Newberg, OR

  • HMR Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 1982


    Disappointing bricking coloring forecasts oxidation. Somewhat off-putting nose--musty, fungal. The proof though is in the mouth. Actually a pretty good wine. Light blackberry fruit on the tip of the tongue. Still firm tannin. Reasonable acid. However, after about 30 minutes of air, this one fell apart. A watery mess. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Several 2012 Pinot Noirs from Russian River, SLH, and SRH definitely have Pinot ... Vineyard. (research)Southern California has many PN's bottlings that "wont break your bank$$ 35-50 USD. " I am also a buyer of PN So Cal.  A few Pommard Clone rookies are catching  my eye now. 2013 is alive and well so buy early.! Before the Rating Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot Noir throwdown

  • That's a relatively expensive Chardonnay V V.  I would like to try ... ... knows I also enjoy the California cabs.  I bet at least 25% of our wine collection is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon or a blend where it's the primary varietal.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • v v, I have never tried an Insignia.  I do have one bottle in my ... wine ... wine stores.  Living in California, of course, gives me an advantage.  I've never seen it in any, for lack of a better word, "chain" store.  Also, regarding pricing, different LF bottlings have different pricing.   The ones I've see have ranged from the high $20s to ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007


    Quite dark color. Fairly volatile nose, but also with strong oak and currant. Very rich on introduction to the tongue and palatelots of black (currant and blackberry) fruit with a strong suggestion of chocolate. Definitely a big, mouth-filling wine. Sweetness may be from the fruit or it may be from the alcohol. Very tame tannin suggests to ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Liandra160

  • My wife doesn't drink wine at all, so it was five people, five bottles (at ... ... been an extension of California this summer.  We had our first rain in about two months yesterday (about 1/25th of an inch).  It's been far warmer than usual also.  Our normal temperatures are about 74-78 for July/August with some days hitting 90 (away from the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot Noir throwdown

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