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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

    Since its inception, the hallmark of E. & J. Gallo Winery’s founders has been their unwavering co...

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

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California on Snooth

  • Tablas Creek Vineyard Dianthus 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Really good Paso Rose. A bit of a darker red, there's plenty of fresh strawberry, rhubarb, bright red cherry and a touch of citrus. There's nice crisp acidity and a fairly long finish for a Rose. Overall, an excellent summer time quaff. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Peju Province Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Warm and spicy dark blackberry and black pepper aromas. Dark chocolate, blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and black currant flavors mingle with some tobacco leaf and leather. The spice is very well represented here, between the cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. A well made cab with good structure, finesse and a simple elegance Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Tess Blend Napa Valley NV

    Snoothrank:

    Vanilla, black pepper, raspberry and black cherry aromas. Bright red fruit and spice on the palate - cinnamon and brown sugar, ripe black cherries, teriyaki sauce, chocolate liqueur, and dried figs. Easy drinking and flavorful with a broad range of flavors blended together. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Peju Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Lemon, honeydew melon and sunflower aromas with a touch of cut grass. Classic Napa Sauvignon Blanc character in the mouth - warm and clean, and driven by citrus fruits - lemon and lime, with a good dose of peach and apricot with gruyere cheese. The finish is creamy and long with hints of lemon ice or lemon creme. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Contra Costa County 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by lwf


  • Renteria Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

    Snoothrank:

    May 22 dinner with craig and Donna at Sugo Read More

    Wine review by rjemantra


  • Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rough and tarry on the nose with waves of vanilla and black cherry, hints of rose petal and a bit of currant. Thin in the mouth, somehow lacking depth and still being quite easy drinking, there's a bit of spice on the finish accompanying dried fig, black cherry and cinnamon. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of apple and melon aromatics. Similar flavors hit the tongue on introduction. The wine does evolve as it passes back. Some hints of mineral mid-palate. Good citric acid mid- to back-palate. Controlled use of oakyou can detect the complexity that it adds, but this is no butter-bomb. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rodney Strong Chardonnay Sonoma County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Full and rich on the nose with green apple, Meyer lemon and vanilla wrapped in rolled oats. In the mouth it's smooth and creamy, full of green apple, kiwi and lemon flavors with puckering acidity on the sides of the palate and a touch of cream on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • We did stay at a few B&B inns in Santa Barbara back in the 1980's. ... ... ... the coast are decent in California.  However, I would not want to walk here. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • 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


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