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.

View Profile » View Top Lists »

Other Mentors

See all Mentors »

View More

Popular wines made in California under $20

Find local availability for these wines:Submit

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Middle Sister

    Because we remember swim lessons and day camp and beach houses. Because we forget bad boyfriends,...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

    The Charles Shaw label is best known for producing wines of “extreme value.” These became popul...

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

  • Rex Goliath

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

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • J Vineyards Brut Rose Russian River Valley NV

    Snoothrank:

    Warm cherry and strawberry aromas, smooth and balanced with floral notes. Zesty and tart citrus notes on the palate with tangerine, lemon and grapefruit notes with fresh strawberries and cream, very warm with baking spices and bold acidity with a bit of earthiness coming through towards the finish, framed with cherry and a faint tannin layering ... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV

    Snoothrank:

    Classic aromas of golden pear, Granny Smith apple and hearty country toast with a hint of banana on the nose. Elegant and refined on the palate with tart tangerine pith and pink grapefruit notes, a puckering citrusy bright mid palate and a finish of oak and toasted hazelnut. 92 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Moniker Chardonnay Mendocino County 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Vanishing oak and spiced green apple aromas, a touch floral with a note of oat straw. Cool, breezy notes of peach and green apple on the palate, a pleasant acidity and creamy texture finishing with mixed spice, a bit of tart melon and potpourri. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Myriad Syrah Sangiacomo Vineyard Petaluma Gap 2014

    Snoothrank:

    This wine opens with a terrific hit of tart stone fruitplum. Certainly, a full-bodied wine. However, moderate, at the maximum, on the tannin which is balanced by moderate, at the maximum, acid. I find this a fun-to-drink wine that doesnt require a ton of oenological esoterica to enjoy. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Justin Isosceles Paso Robles 2014

    Snoothrank:

    It was a special sentimental occasion so we enjoyed this wine early. A welcoming bouquet enhances the flavorful full bodied treasure the your palate will crave many more sips. Perfectly balanced and a finish into thin air. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    ABV 13.8% Rather light on the nose but with hints of cherry. Ruby red in color. Body is medium light. First impression is sour cherry that becomes quite tart and finishes with a hint of dark cherry and some notable dry tannins. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Buoncristiani Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Good opening of dark fruit-cassis, blueberry--on entry. Then, whoa, what a tannic monster. Then leathery, tobacco bitterness. I actually think this wine has tremendous potential. There is sufficient acid to suggest that aging will tame the tannin. However, this process will take years of patience. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Fetzer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ApelsecS


  • Welcome, Zavime.  We hope you enjoy your stay, here.I'm not going to ... is an important figure in California wine history.  He is one of the namesake owners of Grgich Hills winery in Napa Valle Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Ledson Winery & Vineyards Dry Creek Zinfandel Reserve 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mariacurcio


  • 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


1 2 3 4 5  ...  1000 next




View larger map



Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Californian Wine Top Lists


Recent Forum PostsView all


Californian wine ratings and reviews





Snooth Media Network