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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Purple Moon Winery

    About  Purple Moon Shiraz: The first bottle we tried, we could not believe how good the wine...

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Tisdale Vineyards

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

  • Estancia Estates

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

  • Ca' Momi Wines

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

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California on Snooth

  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Nice unsweetened dark fruit on entry. Lots of earthiness. Lots of oaky factors. Stiff tannins suggested that patient aging will be beneficial. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Enkidu 'E' Old Vine Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruitraspberry, strawberry, plumwith slate on entry. Mid palate shows earthiness as initially suggested by the slate. Nice tannin and acid. An easy drinker. This is the kind of Zin that you want a lot of in your cellar. It is an easy go to with any kind of casual dinner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Broke my own rule of staying away from 2013 California wines..... And paid for it.... We followed this 2013 Sojourn Pinot Noir-Rogers Creek for 4 DAYS and all I can say is that the tannins are singing...... And for a PN they are screaming..... I will hold our other botttle a few years...... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Cabot Klamath Cuvee Red Table Wine 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Nose of red fruit. On the tongue Im getting a little bit of cherry, but more earthiness. Not as big or robust as I might have expected for a Zin/Syrah blend. Great tannin. Its funny, Ive never described tannin as great, before, but in this wine the tannin provides substance. So, at the rear of the palate, I am getting the robustness that I ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Myriad Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Nose of dark fruit and, maybe, prune. Typical CS currant on the tip of the tongue. Some dustiness. Sturdy tannins. I was eager to open this one up. I may have been over eager. My remaining bottles will remain sideways for quite some time. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Just slightly short on the finish....but really spicy and beautifully aromatic....will drink it again! Read More

    Wine review by amour


  • Decoy Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Doctor Scooter


  • Niner Twisted Spur 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Full of currant and earth. Full, round tannins, smooth. Read More

    Wine review by tjjm


  • Dashe Cellars Dry Riesling 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Totally dry. Ripe and fruity with a tart finish. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Estancia Gsm Reserve 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A bit shy on the fruit. Bitter mid palate with a shortish finish. I'm not sure what the winemaker was trying to do with this wine. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • 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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