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.

View Profile » View Top Lists »

Other Mentors

See all Mentors »

View More

Popular wines made in California under $20

Find local availability for these wines:Submit

Varietals Produced in California View all

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

    For over 150 years, Almaden Vineyards wines have been welcome at America's table. We offer a wide...

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

Page 5 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Kendall Jackson Red Blend Avant 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A little oak, cedary and gingery, some herbaceous character, and a little bit of jammy black fruit come together on the nose. Noticeably sweet on entry and very supple, this relies on the sugar to cover some rather bitter tannins and while there is enough acid here to keep this from collapsing on the palate it is not fresh. The flavors are modes... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Le Lapin Speed Bump Wine NV

    Snoothrank:

    No lot # Spicy and fruity on the nose with lots of peachy overtones to the core of brambly zinberry fruit which has a little cafe au lait edge to it. Sweet, round and simple with enough acidity to keep this fairly lively in the mouth and some tannins helping to add detail to the rather stewy, if fruity palate. The tannins build on the palate, he... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Bogle Essential Red 2011

    Snoothrank:

    An unspecified blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah Noticeably oaky on the nose with some notes of smoky bacon and lots of cedary spice over lightly pepper berry fruit. Noticeably sweet on entry, though not terribly heavy due to the relatively high acids here. Theres a fairly strong mocha note early on the palate that ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Hoyt Family Dylema California NV

    Snoothrank:

    No Lot # Dark brambly fruit framed with subtle suggestions of mint and delicate oak greet the nose followed by a sweetening herbal profile and some peppery top notes. Bright and juicy in the mouth, and dry, this is a lively wine with lovely if simple raspberry and blackberry flavors that lead to a short, clean finish. texturally this is a bit so... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Trentadue Winery Old Patch Red Sonoma County 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Dark and earthy on the nose with toasty oak spice and hints of licorice and dried herbs framing a core of dark, plummy fruit. Soft yet bright in the mouth with a hint of sweetness but mostly bright, herb and earth inflected blackberry fruit framed with hints of vanilla and toasted spices. This sits rather upright in the mouth with a fair amount ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Cultivate the Feast 2010

    Snoothrank:

    78% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 5% Syrah Rather complex and slightly sauvage on the nose with notes of bay leaf, black tea, integrated and subtle wood spice and black fruits all coming together nicely. Not quite dry, the leading edge of sweetness here adds some body and roundness to the palate. the acids and fine grained tannins do... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Marietta Wine Cellars Old Vine Red Lot 59 NV

    Snoothrank:

    A bit subtle on the nose though complex with muddy, plummy fruit,. handfuls of briary herbs and some cough syrupy cherry/berry fruit. Just a touch sweet on entry, and rather large scaled with plenty of ripe tannins, big fruit flavors and lovely suggestions of peppery spices. Its a bit of a rough and tumble style of wine and the palate shows that... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Deadbolt Red Winemaker's Blend 2011

    Snoothrank:

    An unspecified blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and SyrahSweet blackberry fruit and boysenberry aromas greet the nose along with some rather sweet cedary spice and cracked black pepper top notes. Sweet on entry but not terribly so and with less weight and a smidge more acid than many of these wines. this is actually f... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Well, he's also making wine in Brooklyn, which is where I am now. So if the ... to buy grapes somewhere in California, ship them down, and turn them into wine, it's a shorter distance than sending them to the east coast! And there is indeed a tradition of doing that - it's what was done during Prohibition and I still know some Italians in Benso... Read More

    Forum post in the topic LA wines, SD vines, London...


  • Deep Purple Zinfandel 2009

    Snoothrank:

    I enjoyed it... The Owl just wanted to listen to Captain Beefheart... Read More

    Wine review by Mosca


prev 1 ...  3 4 5 6 7  ...  1000 next




View larger map



Best Wine Deals

See More Deals »

Californian Wine Top Lists


Recent Forum PostsView all


Californian wine ratings and reviews






Snooth Media Network