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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Almaden Vineyards

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

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California on Snooth

  • Pine Ridge Chenin/Viognier 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Ripe pear with floral notes on the nose. Nice acidity and ripe fruit sweetness with a clean soft finish. Paired well with the spice meatballs my daughter brought for Christmas. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Vineyard 29 Cru Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    An outstanding Canernet for the 44-50 dollar price tag! This is another amazing wine from the genus that is Phileppe Melka. The wine is rich, bright, supple, and smooth. This is an outstanding showing to Vineyard 29 portfolio! Don't miss this one! Cheers! Read More

    Wine review by Stallion


  • Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Not a bad Cabernet,,,,I just expected more from everything I read. Lots of cherry and licorice on the nose. The wine lacks a solid backbone, and as a result ends up being a tad bit thin......It was just ok....I wanted more substance. Cheers! Read More

    Wine review by Stallion


  • Orin Swift Trigger Finger Genache 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Rich soft magnificence and well balanced. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Orin Swift Veladora Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Gorgeous nose with coconut on the palate. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Orin Swift NV Mute NV

    Snoothrank:

    Chocolate Cherry flavors. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Orin Swift Abstract 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Jammy fruit, juicy. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Orin Swift Cellars Papillon Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Chalky, big, young, full bodied. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • E & J Gallo David Stone Cabernet Sauvignon

    Snoothrank:

    (Past tasting 20 Apr 2013) Mild fruits and berries. Somehow did not feel as strong as I expected. Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    (Past tasting 25 Mar 2013) Young and fruity. Bit of spice on nose. Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • 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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