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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • 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...

  • Lake County

    Lake County is an emerging wine region within California’s North Coast, north of Napa. Clear La...

  • 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...

  • Calaveras

    is a picturesque and remote area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Popular with o...

  • Contra Costa

    The Contra Costa County AVA is located within the San Francisco Bay region of California’s Cent...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • 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...

Page 5 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Lincourt Chardonnay Courtneys 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Since Leslie Renaud became the winemaker at Lincourt their wines have diminished in quality. I will never buy Lincourt wines until they hire a different winemaker. Read More

    Wine review by Chazz1


  • Roth Estate Chardonnay 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Since Leslie Renaud became the wine maker at Roth, their wines have gone downhill. I will never purchase Roth wines until they get a different wine maker. Read More

    Wine review by Chazz1


  • Roth Estate Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Since Leslie Renaud became the wine maker at Roth, their wines have gone downhill. I will never purchase Roth wines until they get a different wine maker. Read More

    Wine review by Chazz1


  • Roth Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Since Leslie Renaud became the wine maker at Roth, their wines have gone downhill. I will never purchase Roth wines until they get a different wine maker. Read More

    Wine review by Chazz1


  • Roth Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Since Leslie Renaud became the wine maker at Roth, their wines have gone downhill. I will never purchase Roth wines until they get a different wine maker. Read More

    Wine review by Chazz1


  • Daniel Cohn Wine Bellacosa Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by eaglebass


  • Macmurray Estate Vineyards Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Soft green apple and pear aromas with notes of honey and light floral hints. This is delicate to start, and surprisingly so, but starts to warm up in the mouth imparting more honey-butter notes of white peach, green apple and a fruity, floral finish that does show some restrained oak notes. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Edmeades Mendocino County 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Opened Aug 2016.....this has taken on a dark burgundy color with tawny/blueberry tones on the edges. Aromas are boozy initially, but after some air this mellows out, and deep oaked and various wood characteristics along with some strong spicy smells....pepper, vanilla, and char. Super dark raisiny fruits like black cherry and plum...think the ... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • Last week I reported that I tried the 2013 Lyeth Meritage on our Thursday ... ... wine is not made from "California" grapes.  Maybe it is my naivete.There is a fair amount of up-front red fruit in this one, but it is followed by sufficient tannin and enough acid to give it heft.  I agree tht this is not the most sophisticated wine in the world... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Lyeth Meritage 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty purplemore blue than redcolor in the glass. Not the worlds greatest nosemay need a bit of air to blow off sulfur funk--also, some astringency. Lots of red fruit on the tip of the tongue, but, then, I get sturdy tannin and acid that gives wherewithal to this wine. Certainly, the lack of complexity prevents me from describing this a grea... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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