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...

  • 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

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Agate & Elm Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Tasting Room selection; Bright pale silver gold in the glass. Opens with Caramel, Lemon, and a bit of Bullion/Umami; then more Caramel, Honey, & Raisin; then Must/Musk and Honey with a bit of Neoprene - all very pleasant, though. Big and full in the mouth. Long finish of silky Toffee, Lemon, and Ripe Peach with Oak and Cola. Medium Acid... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Miraflores Estate Zinfandel El Dorado 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Full bodied and delicious. Read More

    Wine review by gvamd


  • Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Derek25


  • Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Ive heard of people getting a meatiness from some red wines and Ive never understood that until right now. The nose on this wine is meaty, but, also, with, maybe a sensation that I would associate with tart fruits. On the tongue there is only a hint of fruit (blueberry?), but there does seem to be a taste that makes me think of raw beef. The... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 19 Crimes 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mychalannie


  • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Claret 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mychalannie


  • Apothic Red 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mychalannie


  • Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli-Borges Vineyard Rutherford 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Blackberry preserves and molasses on the nose with red licorice and dark berries and spice. This almost has a dessert quality to it with dark chocolate and espresso notes but this is a dry wine. Rich and spicy and full of acidity and brown sugar notes towards the finish, this is a true treat and ends with a load of dark earth elegance. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Artesa Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate Block 91d Carneros 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pure fruited ripe cherry aromas with soft powdered sugar and cool herbal notes blowing through. This is cool, fresh and lively on the palate with gorgeous mixed berry notes and fresh blueberry to start with good complexity filling in towards the finish with soft earth, medicine and cinnamon spice with just a touch of crushed violet petal and fin... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Artesa Estate Reserve Pinot Noir Carneros 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Spiced red currant and raspberry aromas with ripe cherry and and cool floral elegance on the nose. Bright and firm fruit coming through on the palate with zesty acidity and tart focused cherry and cranberry fruit, a hint of medicine and good herbal notes of red licorice and more plum and blossom coming through towards the finish with baking spic... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • 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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