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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Glass Mountain

    It has been more than hundred years since California wine pioneer Jean Laurent quarried stone fro...

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

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California on Snooth

  • Yardstick Cabernet Sauvignon Ruth's Reach Napa Valley Goldschmidt 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of life left in this wine. Great color. Mixed berries and cherry on the nose,but very subtle or fading. On the palate nothing explosive, just steady flavors of cherry and a hint of vanilla. The finish is medium. Tannins were evident but on the soft side. Enjoyable wine. Read More

    Wine review by zinfandel1


  • Yardstick Cabernet Sauvignon Ruth's Reach Napa Valley Goldschmidt 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of life left in this wine. Great color. Mixed berries and cherry on the nose,but very subtle or fading. On the palate nothing explosive, just steady flavors of cherry and a hint of vanilla. The finish is medium. Tannins were evident but on the soft side. Enjoyable wine. Read More

    Wine review by zinfandel1


  • Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant watermelon and cherry aromas are quite juicy and inviting. This has a fresh tingling acidity and a zesty spice on the palate, playful and clean with excellent fruit notes of cranberry, cherry and strawberry leading up to a bit of an earthy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Matthew Fox Merlot California

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by tdbangor


  • Interesting lineup--nice group of California quality-but-not-cult makers.  I agree about spreading one's bets when it comes to grapes and makers.  I think I've got 33 or more varieties/blends represented in my holdings which are a modest 350 bottles or so.  (Wait, that dropped when I drank my last Lagrein this week, and I'm probably out of dolce... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Tasting - 2017 'GEMS on...


  • Three forces moving together here to create an insane value. To think that most California Pinot drinkers pay $60 for such uninspired juice, something I've been guilty of plenty of times I have to admit.1. Cote de Beaune (Reds): Cote de Beaune reds are underrated, or seen as less than, due to their reputation for a more feminine expression. Ther... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Burgundy on a Budget


  • Thanks RC.  We're still recovering from all that wine.  The food ... really love Pinot Noir from California.  We did like them but I would not buy that much of any varietal. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Tasting - 2017 'GEMS on...


  • Sandra and I were invited to attend a special wine tasting event in Washington ... wine selections from twelve California wineries, with an emphasis on Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.  It wasn't cheap mind you as you could select as much as you wished to consume.  There were horderves and water available too, in case you drank too... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Tasting - 2017 'GEMS on...


  • The Crusher Viognier Wilson Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Loaded with black berry essence and smoothly balanced. Medium finish. Deep satisfying spices. The price is under 14 and well worth it Read More

    Wine review by jamessulis


  • Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder Napa Mountain 1984

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty wine in the glass with no bricking appearance. Some funk on the nose, but otherwise suggestive of black fruit. On the tip of the tongue, Im getting a bit of tart dark fruit. As the wine passes back I am enjoying the elegance that comes from years (decades, in this case) of bottle age. However, there is a slight suggestion of oxid... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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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