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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • 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

  • Rex Goliath

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Franciscan Magnificat Cabernet Savignon 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Supple and inviting with aromas of dark cherry and ripe Italian plums, the 2007 Magnificat is a rich and elegant interpretation of the traditional Bordeaux blend. Accentuated with notes of clove and tobacco, the Magnificat delivers Franciscans signature concentration in deep layers of integrated boysenberry, dark cherry, and cocoa flavors. The m... Read More

    Wine review by michiganoenophile


  • Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Pinot 1991

    Snoothrank:

    We found this wine at an estate sale. Clearly storage was questionable, but ... I do get that characteristic California Pinot Noir cherry flavor. So, this might have been a pretty good wine once upon a ti Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon

    Snoothrank:

    Had it Italian House in Westfield Read More

    Wine review by gmb468


  • Rhys Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Alpine Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very big oaky nose of vanilla. Yes, on the tongue I get the vanilla, and, maybe caramel. Make no mistake, this is no butter bomb. Citrus fruit flavors come with concomitant hit of refreshing acid. Quite spritely on the back of the palatemy guess is that is coming from the acid. Winner, winner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Warm pear and apple notes on the nose. Very fresh in the mouth with fresh grapefruit and melon notes, zesty lime and a fresh finish that's a touch creamy. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Robert Hall Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Flavors of homogenized colored berries. A little unbalanced to the acid side. Some surprising heat on the edges of the tongue. For $12 an OK wine, but, certainly, not an aspirational wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Light Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Three County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Dinner with Vincent, Ben and Su. Read More

    Wine review by tiffanyh124


  • Charles Krug Zinfandel Port NV

    Snoothrank:

    I'm European and I prefer the real deal from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. This is not for me Read More

    Wine review by italiang


  • NYX Red Wine Santa Barbara County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another Tasting Room quarterly selection. Very similar to the Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Very dark opaque purple plum in the glass. Opens with Fig and Red Plum; a bit of Vanilla and Black Tea; then Red Cherry, Tobacco and Smoke.These carry over to the palate with a bit of a kick in the mouth with medium Tannins and Acidity. Ope... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Peju Province Winery Zinfandel Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    this is Very nice and i one time use this Read More

    Wine review by flatdwarka


  • 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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