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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Cupcake Vineyards

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

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

    For over 150 years, Almaden Vineyards wines have been welcome at America's table. We offer a wide...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

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California on Snooth

  • Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2015


    Grassy notes of golden berries, lemon zest and peach on the nose. Delicate on entry, this develops a tart acidity through the mid-palate and shows more lemon zest, white peach and blossom notes with a green note of beeswax and cut lawn towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Chloe Red Blend 2013


    Inky purple/black hues and clear in the coloration. This wine has amazingly ... finish. A very delectable California red and unique blend, I like this and would enjoy agai Read More

    Wine review by chriscage

  • Orin Swift Cellars "The Prisoner" Napa Valley Red Blend 2008


    91 points. Well done with black fruit, dark cherry, spice (pepper), herbal and earthy tone underly anise, solid tannins (not big) and acidity that frame well. Great effort here. Drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Buehler Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012


    Fairly light for a Buehler but then the '12 wasn't the best for several Zin producers. Some dark and red berry fruits, spice, plum and herbal notes. Better than before - 88 pts - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Moshin Pinot Noir Molinari 2010


    Just a great Russian River Pinot from Moshin. This is not your sister's pinot, big and ripe but really well balanced. Ripe black cherries, strawberries and blackberries on the nose. On the tongue, more black cherry, leather, a touch of smoke, high but not over the top acidity, fine grain tannin, finish is medium long. Serious QPR here. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2013


    As usual this was excellent. Brambly blackberry, anise, currant, some chocolate with chewy tannins and refreshing acidity lead to a long, healthy aftertaste. Drink or hold (18-24 mths) Paul 91 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Zen of Zin Old Vine Zinfandel 2013


    Drinks ;like it's priced. Heavy butterscotch (Oak aging?), some blackberry and earth. Tannin profile is light but acidity is good. Paul 82 poitts Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • A trio from France:and a trio from California:  Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Estancia Pinot Noir 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by ripp4

  • Cline Syrah Los Carneros Estate Grown 2013


    Muted, musky nose. Pretty big hit of fruit is initial taste sensationred plum, maybe, even peach, a slight citrus suggestion. Very big suggestion of sweetness. A very serious pucker factor from tannin. Tannin really helps because it gives the wine a more rustic characteristic that pushes aside the industrial, made to appeal to sweet wine dri... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Thank you very much for this information. I love the wine!.

    Comment by 1160807capitanoensy 1160807 capitanoensy

  • Beyond the Vine ( 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 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 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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