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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Rex Goliath

    At age 70, I have had at least 50 yrs. of a glass of wine after my evening meals. Just recently,...

  • Charles Shaw Winery

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • The Virginia wine industry has made great strides towards better wines in the ... those for tastings.  In California and Oregon, there are so many excellent wines that you need a calculator to count them al Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Grayson Cellars Merlot 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Great balance of fruit and oak. Not too dry, but not sweet at all92pts Read More

    Wine review by egon klimt


  • Mcmanis Family Vineyards Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Nice job keeping the fruit flavors from getting too syrupy. Needs a bit of air, but then is quite lovely.90pts Read More

    Wine review by egon klimt


  • Mcmanis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Tons of dark cherry fruit that bounces off of the spice note all the way to the finish.92pts Read More

    Wine review by egon klimt


  • Opus One Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    purple hues. nose of tea, chocolate and orange peel. very rich and deep with chocolate and liquorice. very long finish. unique on its own Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon Branding Iron Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    deep purplish hue. sweet nose with cherries and plums. very sweet on palate with strong notes of prunes - slightly cloying... Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Keenan Cabernet Franc Spring Mountain District 35th Anniversary 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful dark purple color. Rustic woody nose, but, also, a hint of alcohol. On entry lots of dried fruit flavorraisins and prunes, but without the sweetness. Some of that road tar sensation. This, to me, brings in complexity after the fruity entry. Pretty serious unresolved tannins. I dont discount a wine just because of tannin. Tannin ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Nose is almost acridseems really acidic. Some tart grapefruit on entry, then, some tropical fruitbananaor melon. Some grassiness. Yes, there is quite tart acid. That, of course, makes for a refreshing wine. Certainly, easy to drink, but, equally certain, not a particularly sophisticated wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Edmeades Petite Sirah Mendocino County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Blackberry and black currant with jammy character and floral notes on the nose, a bit of black pepper and some licorice. Full bodied and smoky, this brings more black fruit notes of blackberry, black currant and black olive on the palate with enveloping, sharp tannins and a chewy, chocolate finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Trader Joe's Reserve Barbera 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very fruit forward with strong acidity and a tanninless finish. Ripest barbera I have ever drank. Over the top. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • 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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