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.

View Profile » View Top Lists »

Other Mentors

See all Mentors »

View More

Popular wines made in California under $20

Find local availability for these wines:Submit

Varietals Produced in California View all

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • 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...

  • Barefoot Cellars

    We got our start as a "garage wine" back in the Sixties but really stepped up what Barefoot wa...

  • Purple Moon Winery

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Copain Syrah Chalone Brosseau Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    I have found the Copain Syrah Brousseau Chalone to be a fabulous wine.I rate a 95. I loved the flavors,the aromas and the smooth relaxing drinkability.I will buy again for sure. Read More

    Wine review by teund5


  • Pinot Noir Floodgate Vineyard Origins 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Full bodied, rich savory flavors, satisfying finish. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Imagery Estate Winery Aleatico Rose 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful color, and a flavorful rose. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Bridlewood Estate Winery Pinot Noir California 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Light cherry aromas are somewhat dusty and quite fruity and a touch floral. Very fruit forward with a medicinal creamy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Von Strasser Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Earthy, somewhat weedy nose. Standard Cabernet Sauvignon hit of black currant on the tip of the tongue. Then I notice the tanninit seems to swarm over my tongue. Good tartness under the back palate. Very lengthy and satisfying aftertaste. Ive had, maybe, three or four Von Strasser Cabs of various vintages and this may be the best one Ive tried. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Red Rock Winery Merlot 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bought at GE on 5/3/16 for 8.99. This was Reserve 2014. Read More

    Wine review by hedediah


  • Crane Lake Sweet Red 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Love this wine, I have a sensitive stomach and so far I am able to have a couple wine glasses of this red sweet table wine just fine. Love it. Read More

    Wine review by Red09


  • I know you'll enjoy that LL Syrah/Grenache Al.On Sunday I placed my order ... ...  I love living in California. Then, this morning, I received a "Save the Date" e-mail from Quivet--Cabernet Sauvignon release on May 17.  That probably means the Myriad CS release will be in June.  Oh well.  Buck up credit cards.Then I see that Outthere has case... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Vinum Cellars White Elephant 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Delicious vanilla cream pie notes of white peach, ripe red apple and hazelnut on the nose. In the mouth this is full and emollient, with toasty apple and pear fruit playing against peach and apricot, wrapped in a cream cheese envelope and finishing with a nutty memory. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Brazin Zinfandel Lodi Old Vine 2008

    Snoothrank:

    16OCT11 Read More

    Wine review by ardalporto


  • Thank you very much for this information. I love the wine!. http://usaphen375.com

    Comment by 1160807capitanoensy 1160807 capitanoensy


  • Beyond the Vine (www.4beyondthevine.com) has completed it’s first in a series of blind tasting to find the best Syrah producer in Santa Clara County. The first flight was a good representation of 12 Syrah from south Santa Clara County and one inexpensive mystery bottle. Entries were as follows; ’07 Clos La Chance, ’07 Creek View, ’07 Fernwood, ...

    Comment by 921334greg112558 921334 greg112558


  • zinfandel

    Comment by 579496Didu 579496 Didu


  • Zinfandel

    Comment by 579496Didu 579496 Didu


  • Is there a winery in or near Pleasanton, CA that has a good merlot? My daughter is there working and I wanted her to pick me up some local wine.

    Comment by 541781Pam Burns 541781 Pam Burns


  • Does anyone have any comments about Peay Wines?

    Comment by 512854hawks8999 512854 hawks8999


  • Has anyone ever heard of "Kitchen Sink" vineyards? I was given a bottle of KITCHEN SINK red........it was a mixture of cabernet, petite Sirah, merlot, zinfandel. It was actually a nice surprise in taste. I just don't know where to get it......is it expensive or inexpensive? Would like an opinion from someone.

    Comment by 156349shari duff 156349 shari duff


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 33093Chris Carpita 33093 Chris Carpita


  • This a most amazing,wine growing state.We have such an array of decent to great wines to please the novice all the way to the greatest wine snob.-to be continued....

    Comment by 308614THEDOGE 308614 THEDOGE


1 2 3 4 5  ...  1000 next




View larger map



Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Californian Wine Top Lists


Recent Forum PostsView all


Californian wine ratings and reviews





Snooth Media Network