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...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

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 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...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Cupcake Vineyards

    Our winery is located in Monterey County, California where warm days give way to cool nights a...

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • 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

  • MacMurray Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh ripe cherries, star anise, clove and blueberries on the nose. Clean and fresh on the palate, round and full with bright cherry fruit, a bit of heat and a finish of licorice and soft earth. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Martinelli Syrah Terra Felice 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty garnet color in the glass. A medium-bodied red wine. It enters without much shouting, but then I detect a lot of red fruitcherry, raspberry. As the wine passes back the fruitiness diminishes to a neutral earthiness and, then I notice tannin and spiciness. A fairly short finish, but not unsatisfying. I paid $17 for this wine, and, so,... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • SketchBook Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Darkly smoked notes of strawberry and raspberry with burnt earth and tar notes. This is more fruity in the mouth, but a bit tart with cranberry and strawberry fruit and a whole lot of acidity. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • William Hill Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Soft red fruit notes of raspberry, strawberry and cranberry on the nose with floral spice. More red fruit notes of cranberry and cherry on the palate with a core of leathery smoke coming through and streaking to the finish which has good length and a touch of oak. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • The Dreaming Tree Crush 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Aromas of various berry (blueberry, cherry, hint 'o raspberry), Earthy oak spice,and vanilla smoothness. Flavors follow suit.....ripe plum jam sweetness, boysenberry, cherry, blueberry, and a hint 'o raspberry tartness...alcohol is smooth and refined and vanilla roundness. This makes a very nice evening wine and is highly drinkable! Dave Mathe... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • Gnarly Head 1924 Limited Edition Double Black 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Better than expected with intense blackberry, butterscotch and vanilla giving way to a following palate. This rich and harmonious - the I've had by them - well done - drink now - 89 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Z Alexander Brown "Uncaged" Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is a very mild mannered cabby. MOstly red berry fruits, mild tannins and acidity on the finish. Better with food. 87 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Sobon Estate Rocky Top Zinfandel Amador County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Sharp, spicy and zesty on the nose with creamy vanilla spice and fruit notes of raspberry and cherry. Much darker on the palate with black cherry and blackberry fruit and milk chocolate and cinnamon coming in towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Chateau Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon California 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruit notes of red currant, raspberry and dark cherry on the nose. Milk chocolate cherry, bright acidity and gripping tannins on the palate give way to a light red fruit finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Apothic Dark 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Absolutely love this wine, I believe it is the best glass of wine I have ever had! Read More

    Wine review by Gardenartist


  • 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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