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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Its some sort of documenting where I went while I was in California and all the places I visited. I was just amaze of its flavor and taste of the wine. BTW, I'm from Phils. I'll do Blogging wherever I go, not only because I want the wine. Its everything under the sunrise.. this is where I was started for... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wines Collection/Varietal Guide


  • Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch/Rued Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Classic Russian River Chard, tasting of soft lemon/key lime pie. Not overly tart but not buttery and definitely some oak but not too much. Nice acidity and a fairly long finish that coats the tongue. This touches all the bases but doesn't go overboard with any, so extremely well balanced. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Hi Greg,Thanks for all the information, sorry I didn't mention I have 10 ... EU.  I haven't been California yet but would love to some day to see what you are talking about in the Napa Valley.I understand I need Label approval, go through the TTB because it's alcohol and here in CT the alcohol are all price controlled.  I know it's a lot to re... Read More

    Forum post in the topic importing Spanish Wine


  • Rare Red 4 Grape Blend

    Snoothrank:

    Great blend Read More

    Wine review by pcopernik


  • Saintsbury Pinot Noir Carneros 2010

    Snoothrank:

    1/2 bottle18.96 --> 13.98 Read More

    Wine review by mariel1112


  • Bliss Zinfandel 2010

    Snoothrank:

    16.96 --> 12.96 Read More

    Wine review by mariel1112


  • Ojai Rose 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Salmon coloredthat is the way to describe it. A very floral/fruity nose. Fruitiness (One might be inclined to say it is sweet, but it is not.) is also the first impression in the mouthstrawberry as much as anythingbut then there is a great refreshing tartness. Then, an effervescence sensation. Easy drinking summer wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Adelaida Zinfandel Michael's Estate Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    A most excellent big and bold Paso zin. Loads of dark fruit (ripe dark cherry, ripe plum), nice acidity and fine grained tannins. There's a bit of weight on the tongue that blends well with the big fruit. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Poizin Zinfandel

    Snoothrank:

    If you are in the market for the worst Zin ever, may I suggest "poizin"?It has zero palate and nose, no body, pale as strawberry Boone's Farm, and no legs to speak of.Scale of 1 to 100.....I give it a -50. And that's simply because the skull and crossbones on the label are cool. Read More

    Wine review by jczech


  • It's getting quite warm here in SoCal Much fruitier--not sweet--than ... County, but they have "California" on the label.I was at Costco, today, and, so, we're having Salmon tonight.  They had Copper River Sockeye for $9.99 a pound and King for $10.99.  To me, the King looked better.  So, that's what I bought. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • 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