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...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

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

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

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Glass Mountain

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

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California on Snooth

  • Justin Obtuse Port 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Evenly aged and smooth. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • The Ojai Vineyard "Clos Pepe Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive ruby color that allows just a bit of light to pass through. Something of a rustic, barnyard nose. Very pleasant on the tonguesome red fruit (cherry, strawberry, plum)but not terribly up-front. A medium-bodied wine. A light touch of acid that is more discernable in the its medium-length aftertaste than in the mouth. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Duckhorn the Discussion 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Young at the time of tasting. Full of rich tannin which will soften and create a layered symphony of an experience. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • St. Supéry Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Had at friendly 's tavern. Read More

    Wine review by gmb468


  • Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Mariano's 8/2015. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • The Ojai Vineyard Rosé California 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pale salmon color. Fairly light on the nose. Quite fruity on the tonguestone fruit, ripe Jonathon apple, melon. Pleasant tartness will not intimidate people who dont care for acid. Easy summer drinker, but not one to crave for. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • All right. You have found friends, here.  I am a California wine bigot and will trade Cabernet, Zinfandel and Syrah stories all night.  Duncan, who first greeted you, does a good job of exploring and reporting on old world wines.  There are a couple threads here on the Forum where you can check out what we have been drinking, lately. At least on... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Miura Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Teppo


  • Wolff Vineyards Syrah Edna Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Most identifiable aroma on the nose is cherry. On the tongue, though, that cherry is not overpowering. It does seem to have a jammy characteristic, but that is a sense more than a sensationI dont get the allusion of sweetness. In fact, this wine is bone dry. Some earthiness. Easy on the tannin. Sufficient acid to make me want to sip again. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Hall Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Grassy nose with some grapefruit. Hit of grapefruit on introduction, but not ... over the top as many current California SB examples. Mid-palate the grapefruit is mediated by an herbal vegetative flavor and some mineral hints. Acid makes it a refreshing summer sippe 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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