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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 Barbara County

    The Santa Barbara County AVA lies within the Central Coast territory of California. Like much o...

  • 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...

  • El Dorado County

    The spectacular Sierra Nevada range offers a fitting backdrop to the vineyards of El Dorado Count...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Middle Sister

    Because we remember swim lessons and day camp and beach houses. Because we forget bad boyfriends,...

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • 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

  • Seghesio Pagani Sonoma Valley Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Good wine. Nose of tart red fruits. Interesting introduction to the tongue--again red fruit, but muted, not in-your-face. Then you notice the tartness. My guess is that many will disagree with my appreciation of this wine because of the tartness. Very sedate tannins. Not a particularly big, full-bodied wine. Im glad that I have more of th... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Easton Amador County Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Unfortunately I thought this was a 2013 and waited to long. It is just over the hump, but it still shows fine character with briary blackberry, red plum, Anador dirt, oak and still big but slightly flabby body. Drink now - 88 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Sebastiani Merlot Sonoma County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty pedestrian wine effort. This does have merlot blend structure and there is the dark berry fruit, earth and tannins, acidity all on par with a $13 merlot. 83 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Siduri Pisoni Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Steves Wines


  • The Dreaming Tree Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Steves Wines


  • Big Ass Chardonnay 2009

    Snoothrank:

    perfect for cooking Read More

    Wine review by jazzmom


  • Redwood Creek Chardonnay 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by marymarchell


  • Zig Zag Zin 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Had this with lunch the other day. Nice darkness in the glass but other than the opaque color, not much to recommend this one. Surprisingly light, tart, acidic, and dry. Very little fruit. My experience was far from the tasting notes on the winery page - Zinfandel is our first love, and Zig Zag Zin is noexception. This is a HEADY multifaceted wi... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Sycamore Lane Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Clear cranberry rusty color and good clarity overall....reminds me of a grape punch look....Aromas of cream, cherry (chocolate maraschino cherry), sweet Virginia tobacco says my Uncle (I agree), muted leather, vanilla softness, and as the flavor goes, it is berry forward, smooth and creamy, vanilla oak, white chocolate/milky character and easy d... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • Foward Kidd Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    My Son's 200th day. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


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