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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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...

  • Lake County

    Lake County is an emerging wine region within California’s North Coast, north of Napa. Clear La...

  • 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 Barbara County

    The Santa Barbara County AVA lies within the Central Coast territory of California. Like much o...

  • Santa Cruz Mountains

      The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is a vast region within San Francisco Bay in California’s Cen...

  • Calaveras

    is a picturesque and remote area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Popular with o...

  • Contra Costa

    The Contra Costa County AVA is located within the San Francisco Bay region of California’s Cent...

  • El Dorado County

    The spectacular Sierra Nevada range offers a fitting backdrop to the vineyards of El Dorado Count...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Livingston Cellars

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

    "Ca’ Momi” wines are named for our family home in Northern Italy. The name also pays tribute to M...

  • 3 Blind Moose

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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

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California on Snooth

  • Adobe White 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This is the 2014 Clayhouse Adobe White, which is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc from Paso Robles. This wine is a nice, enjoyable crisp, aromatic dry fruity white wine which tastes like a cross between a white Loire, and a white Rhone, which makes perfect sense, given the varietals in the blend. It's currently being cl... Read More

    Wine review by Dougman


  • Adobe White 2015

    Snoothrank:

    This is the 2014 Clayhouse Adobe White, not the 2015. It's currently being cleared out in several places for $1.99 a bottle, at which price it's a screaming bargain, as it's a nice interesting bottle of floral dry white that tastes like a cross between a Loire and a Rhone, without any noticeable flaws normally found in $2 wines Read More

    Wine review by Dougman


  • Limerick Lane 1023 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bright, tart red fruitcherryon entry. Interestingly, enough, the tartness almost suggests citrus, and, going really crazy, orange as much as anything. Some woodiness mid-palate. Medium-bodied. Not much tannin to speak of. A fun, easy-to-drink wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rodney Strong Sonoma County Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Light on it's feet with some vanilla, green apples and a buttery finish. Not much length but satisfying. 85 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Melville Estate Verna's Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rich and filling with blueberry, meaty tones, pepper, sage and medium tannins and bright acidity leads to medium length finish. Well melded now this is readt to drink. 92 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Bottle NV

    Snoothrank:

    For a birthday party (such as today), the Imperial Brut is perfect. This Champagne is full of citrus and buttered toast - less Brioche and vanilla and more acidic refreshment here. Excellent effervescence and mousse. A great Epernay house producing a bubbly for quotidian use. 90. Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • El Portal Barrel Select Red Table Wine 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Good wine, smooth and flavorful. Good with food, nice basic red wine. Read More

    Wine review by Tony Colozza


  • Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay Clarksburg 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Toast and pear jam! Lovely.91 points Read More

    Wine review by egon klimt


  • Yardstick Cabernet Sauvignon Ruth's Reach Napa Valley Goldschmidt 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of life left in this wine. Great color. Mixed berries and cherry on the nose,but very subtle or fading. On the palate nothing explosive, just steady flavors of cherry and a hint of vanilla. The finish is medium. Tannins were evident but on the soft side. Enjoyable wine. Read More

    Wine review by zinfandel1


  • Yardstick Cabernet Sauvignon Ruth's Reach Napa Valley Goldschmidt 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of life left in this wine. Great color. Mixed berries and cherry on the nose,but very subtle or fading. On the palate nothing explosive, just steady flavors of cherry and a hint of vanilla. The finish is medium. Tannins were evident but on the soft side. Enjoyable wine. Read More

    Wine review by zinfandel1


  • 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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