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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

  • 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...

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

    Inspired by the scenic roads that wander through California’s stunning wine country, Rafael Jofre...

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California on Snooth

  • Ryme Ribolla Gialla Napa Valley Vare Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Fascinating orange wine made from Ribolla Gialla by Ryme Cellars. Golden orange color, the nose is floral and honeysuckle. Creamy texture, nice acidity with an interesting mix of stone fruit (ripe white peach, nectarine) and baking spices. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • La Terre Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Had it at a friends. Delicious, smooth. Read More

    Wine review by bhberry


  • Ceritas Hellenthal Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Dull red color with a fair amount of light coming through. Nose of red fruit but also some dusty earthiness. Initial flavors are of candied red fruitcherry or strawberry. That fades to a hint of minerality. Reasonable acid perks things up. Medium bodied. Fairly short finish. Actually, this is the kind of red wine that could easily be a s... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Thornhill Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection; Opens with Grapefruit and Lemon Butter, more butter and minerality, and then vanilla and baking spice. Nice full and rounded mouthful with balanced acidity and slightly heavy body. Opens up further in the glass with a meaty and oaky finish. Had alone, but think it would be superb with food. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • High Valley Vineyard Barbera High Valley Lake County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruit and a bit of alcohol on the nose. Rich red fruit upon entry with juicy acidity and almost non existent tannins. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate Bottled 1999

    Snoothrank:

    WS 87 Read More

    Wine review by Misterbv


  • Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Had in Hong Kong with A Samedi - May 2015 Read More

    Wine review by Misterbv


  • Shafer Cab.Sau 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Smooth. Had in Hong Kong Read More

    Wine review by Misterbv


  • Hook and Ladder Zinfandel Russian River Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    First impression is blueberry pie. Some very nice acidity and red and black cherry coming through on the back end. Not overly complex but definitely a nice mid-week drinker. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Mauritson Wines Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Good berry aromas. Not surprisingly, those blackberry flavors are easily detected on the tongue. Also some acidic black plum flavor. Then there is some earthiness or even close to a metallic hint mid-palate. Fortunately, that fades quickly. Seriously tannic. A big mouth-filling Zin. 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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