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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

  • Estancia Estates

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

Page 5 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • La Terre Chardonnay 2008

    Snoothrank:

    great inexpensive chardonnay Read More

    Wine review by colmark


  • Bogle Phantom 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Fair. For the price want something with a better finish and with more distinct flavors. Read More

    Wine review by tjjm


  • Lafond Winery and Vineyards Pinot Noir Srh Sta. Rita Hills 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Tart and herbal notes of fresh cranberry on the nose. Loads of freshness in the mouth with good acidity and notes of plum and black cherry. Clean and full but quite tart without being overly puckering, this does show nice blueberry fruit on the finish which is long and nicely spiced. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • I used to hate California bubbles (if I could have afforded Schramsberg back then it might have been different) but I wholeheartedly agree about Roederer Estate.  They also own Scharffenberger but run it mostly independently, and it's also good and even cheaper.I have a couple of friends who think that some CA sparkling wines are some of the bes... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wines for under $20


  • Three Thieves the Show Cabernet 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by greige matter


  • Limerick Lane 1023 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Remarkably smooth entry for such a young wine. Black fruit, but it seems watered down. So, it doesnt smack you in the face. There is also an herbal aspect that is, as much as anything, minty. Smoothness fades mid-palate where a combination of tannin, acid and alcohol seem to give it a roughness. I like this wine and am of the opinion that ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • I used to hate California bubbles (if I could have afforded Schramsberg back then it might have been different) but I wholeheartedly agree about Roederer Estate.  They also own Scharffenberger but run it mostly independently, and it's also good and even cheaper. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wines for under $20


  • If you can include French, you can get your distributor's rep to bring some ... ... which is a challenge in California.  Joel Gott also makes a number of state-appellated wines that are of varying quality, but he is a really masterful blender and has great sources, so his wines can be really good under $20 bottles.  I like his Sauv Blanc, and ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wines for under $20


  • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Not a fruit-forward wine by any means. LOTS of tannin. Not necessarily a bad thing, but let that be a warning to tannophobes. The flavor profile points me to tobacco, dark chocolate, mocha. Not the kind of wine you want to sipmore the kind of wine that you want to accompany food. It is very full-bodied. So, it will with a robust meala beef... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Malbec to me tastes like soap, I would start with Riesling from Germany, Finger ... or Washington State, maybe a California Zinfandel from Lodi, the Josh reds are great for around $15 too especially the Merl Read More

    Forum post in the topic what to drink


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