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

  • Livingston Cellars

    Since 1984 and 17 years, the de facto estate wine of Livingston Moffett winery has been bottled ...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

    Our winery is located in Monterey County, California where warm days give way to cool nights a...

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • Purple Moon Winery

    About  Purple Moon Shiraz: The first bottle we tried, we could not believe how good the wine...

  • Joseph Carr

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

Page 6 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Technically these were last night but I finished the last tastes of the reds ... Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (8/5/2016)12hr slo-ox followed by a double decant and 2hr rest. Nose of ripe blackberry, cedar and spice. Big dense purple fruit, a good dose of spice, toasty oak. Fruit envelopes the mouth and stays throughout the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • OT, was that raspberry for me?  Related to my comments about not drinking ... ... wine?  There is California grown Gruner--Zoecker down in SLO, which I would have visited this week if I hadn't gotten a flat tire on 101 right at Templeton. I didn't have any wine with dinner last night--we had beer with our Ethiopian food--but earlier in the da... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Is there a winemaker/grower that OT doesn't know?  Now they want his ... carrying some wines made in California under his label, but I stayed away from those.  Bought one Vinho Verde, and two reds, both blends from regions I haven't had or wineries I didn't already know.  Wanted to pick up a straight Touriga Nacional but the only one they had ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Black Kite Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Elegant peach and green apple nose with hints of butter and lemon spice. Full and rich in the mouth with cool fruit flavors of green apple and pear with lemon zest freshness running throughout and a bit of a tropical note of pineapple towards the finish that's quite zesty and carries a touch of oak. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Benovia Martaella Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very, very good - though it would be better fresher this still has plenty to offer. Grapefruit, melon, wet stone and popping acidity give this a wonderful mouth watering finish. Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Chardonnay, tonight I'm thinking that Adam Tolmach's support ot ... ... this is not an overblown California butter bomb.  It is light and refreshing and will go very nice with the chicken salad that we have planned for tonigh Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • The Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Almost a floral nose. That surprises me a bit. Various fruits on ... Not an over-the-top California Chardonnay. This one is pretty restrained Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Buena Vista Chardonnay Sonoma 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


  • Prytania Russian River Valley Sonoma County Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Tasting Room selection; Pale Gold in the glass; opens with Caramel, Cotton Candy, Mint, fresh Bread; Dry, with a full and silky mouth-feel. Very bright, with medium to light oak and smooth minimum Tannins, and high Acidity. Tasting of Moss and Earth, Orange blossoms and Vanilla. Great balance of light Oak and minimal Fruit with an Acid... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


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