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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

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

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

  • 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...

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

  • Rex Goliath

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

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California on Snooth

  • Renteria Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

    Snoothrank:

    May 22 dinner with craig and Donna at Sugo Read More

    Wine review by rjemantra


  • Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rough and tarry on the nose with waves of vanilla and black cherry, hints of rose petal and a bit of currant. Thin in the mouth, somehow lacking depth and still being quite easy drinking, there's a bit of spice on the finish accompanying dried fig, black cherry and cinnamon. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of apple and melon aromatics. Similar flavors hit the tongue on introduction. The wine does evolve as it passes back. Some hints of mineral mid-palate. Good citric acid mid- to back-palate. Controlled use of oakyou can detect the complexity that it adds, but this is no butter-bomb. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rodney Strong Chardonnay Sonoma County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Full and rich on the nose with green apple, Meyer lemon and vanilla wrapped in rolled oats. In the mouth it's smooth and creamy, full of green apple, kiwi and lemon flavors with puckering acidity on the sides of the palate and a touch of cream on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • We did stay at a few B&B inns in Santa Barbara back in the 1980's. ... ... ... the coast are decent in California.  However, I would not want to walk here. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Cenyth Red 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Another from Lunch at Marcello's and another great one.Soft Tannins, with licorice, spice, moss and damp earth, then blackberry and roasted blueberry. Long long finish. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Emmolo Napa Valley Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Another one from lunch at Marcello's. The Winemaker's notes on Wine.com seem spot on to me. 'This well-balanced and darkly colored wine evokes the scents of saddle leather, coffee and plum, with traces of smokiness amidst its rich fruit. A smooth entry on the palate leads into ripe flavors of plums, prunes and cocoa, balanced by acidity and a gr... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Having been warned by OT in the past, I wasn't going to give answers for my ... other two one eachthen One California vineyard,then one mystery site, nation and continent not clarifie Read More

    Forum post in the topic In the Vineyard


  • Here are three locations in Italy. Not all my photos, but all places I've ... one from California for extra credit (although it shouldn't be that hard, especially because I've posted it and those above on this site before):  Finally, if you want to see rocks in the vineyard, I've got one for you. Serious extra credit if you get this one.. Read More

    Forum post in the topic In the Vineyard


  • Murphy-Goode Poker Knight Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Full and ripe blackberry, blueberry and black cherry aromas on the nose with a touch of powdered sugar and moist earth. Blackberry, toast and vanilla flavors lead the way with molasses, forest floor, dark chocolate and leather. The tannins are strong but well integrated with the fruit. An age worthy wine but very easy to drink now and quite smooth. 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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