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

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

    Every year the Great Central Valley of California provides harvests of uniquely delicious grapes....

  • Estancia Estates

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

Page 6 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Granite Coast Vineyards Red Blend 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Well balanced, medium body. A bit of minerality, which was pleasantly expected.I might have liked a bit less because it represented more acidity. More black fruit on the palate. Good price point. Read More

    Wine review by connie7899


  • Joel Gott Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Really very good. Mouthwatering juice primarily red berry fruits, raspberry and cherry with chewy medium fine tannins, earthy notes and bright acidity. Good aftertaste with medium length. Drink now. 89 points Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Black Kite Gap's Crown Vineyard Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Notes of lychee and elderflower with some phenolics and green apple on the nose. This is immediately fruity on entry and showing peach and apricot notes with a warm spice of ginger and vanilla, a quick green note of lemongrass and a tart lemon finish that's nicely creamy. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Peachy Canyon Zinfandel Paso Robles Incredible Red 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Good Read More

    Wine review by calywa


  • Silver Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Good Read More

    Wine review by calywa


  • Orin Swift Cellars Abstract Rhone Style California 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Deep and brooding at this time in it's life - there is mostly red berry fruits, some blackberry, deep cedar, spice and chocolate. It is mouth coating and chewy with good acidity with a looooong aftertaste. 90 points - drink or hold, Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Hahn Estates Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Wine of the night and at $20 this oozes QPR from start to finish. Why a 92 you ask - stunning depth of fruit, dark cherry, raspberry, full & lush, spice, earthiness, mocha, moderate tannins and well balanced acidity give this a mouth watering, long lasting aftertaste. Excellent wine! Drink or hold - Paul 92 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Brutocao Quadriga Hopeland Ranches 2011

    Snoothrank:

    wonderful blend, quiet, peaceful yet strong and resilient just like a good wine should be. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Wild Ridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Elegant and delicate aromas of tea leaf, ripe cherry pie filling and clove spice with notes of blueberry and red licorice. This comes on in the mouth with puckering acidity and tart cranberry and black cherry notes, baking spice and tight tannins towards the front of the palate and raspberry notes with a fair bit of heat towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Belle Ambiance Pinot Grigio 2016

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


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