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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

    The Charles Shaw label is best known for producing wines of “extreme value.” These became popul...

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

Page 5 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel 2012


    Surprisingly big for a Sonoma wine. Lots of dark fruit with good acidity and lots of tannin on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • Dancing Bull Merlot 2004


    This wines cool its like mildly bitter at first once its in your mouth i can't taste anything just the coldness and wetness then its really dry and sorta taste like plum with a tiny leather resemblance and maybe some black berry its Called merlot the t is silent Read More

    Wine review by Red hot Dog

  • Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1996


    Murky dark prune plum color. Woody (cedar) and earthy nose. Terrific introduction to the tongue/palate. Some black fruit flavorcherry, curranton the tip of the tongue. More rustic flavors mid- to back palateagain, hint of cedar, also leather. Any unresolved tannins are balanced by pleasant acid which makes this a very smooth easy drinker. ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • B.R. Cohn Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel Sonoma County 2011


    Another really nice zin from Valdez. Not as concentrated or complex as some of their other offerings but there is plenty of red fruit, blackberry, medium body, medium to light tannins and a medium finish. This went well with BBQ pork chops on a Friday night. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • A Myriad Hacon? Wherever did you hear that? It was a done deal after the Syrah ...  (Actually, Northern Californians are really not crazy about those of us south of Monterey getting any.  I'm pretty sure that's why Jon Derry has given up and is now on his quest to decipher Burgundy.)  It is not clear how that Bedrock and Turley slipped through... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • There's a happy rumor (OK, it is more than a rumor.) that Myriad is going ... very coolest vineyards in California. The cluster and berry sizes at Oppenlander are the smallest I have ever seen! The fruit for the Halcón Oppenlander Pinot Noir was picked October 1st. Given the early start to the growing season, this late harvest date is testamen... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Halcon Alturas Yorkville Highlands 2013


    Dark blueish purple in color. Fairly sprightly tart nose. Lots of berry on the tip of the tongue--red raspberry with, maybe, a touch of less-than-fully-ripe strawberry. Good acid tartness (suggested by my strawberry characterization) makes for a refreshing glass. Fairly full-bodied. Tanniphobes have no reason to fear this one. It is quite ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Adelaida Zinfandel Michael's Estate Vineyard 2012


    Really nice Paso zin from Adelaida. Black cherry, a bit of spice, pepper, rhubarb, medium acidity, nice tannins and a medium finish. This is nicely balanced, not overly jammy but fairly big and juicy. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013


    I am new to wines. I did not think this tasted good at first but then I saw a review that said to let it sit for a while. I so I did some more reading before I took another sip. I tell you that 10-15 minutes in the glass makes all the difference. Take it slow there is no hurry. Read More

    Wine review by pandacordova

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Californian wine ratings and reviews

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