Contra Costa Wine

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The Contra Costa County AVA is located within the San Francisco Bay region of California’s Central Coast. They say Contra Costa was “Napa before there was Napa,” referring to the region’s illustrious past into the early 20th century. But like much of California’s regions, the Prohibition and then the Great Depression forced many wineries to turn to other crops, walnuts being the most popular. Once the country was in economic recovery mode, this area near the Oakland Hills, so close to San Francisco, became known as a suburban Mecca. 

Though recently, due to very favorable climate conditions and soil types, vineyard planting has been on the rise. One major asset to the region is the sandy soil that many of the old vines were planted in was largely resistant to Phylloxera, so a fair amount of very old Zinfandel vines are still in use. Rhone grapes such as Syrah and Mourvedre (a.k.a. Mataro) are also popular, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. ~Amanda Schuster
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Popular wines made in Contra Costa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Contra Costa View all

  • 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...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Mourvèdre

    History of the grape: Monastrell is a native of Spain, first grown in Murviedro near Valencia, and was eventually bro...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Petite Sirah

    History of the grape: Petite Syrah is often confused with its parent grape, Syrah, but it has been identified as a se...

Popular Wineries in Contra Costa View all

  • viano vineyards

    Our century-old vineyard is nestled on hillsides surrounding a fertile little valley where cool...

  • Sterling Albert Winery

    Sterling Albert Winery is a dream that has come to life. From the day I planted my first grapevin...

  • Cline Cellars

      Cline Cellars was founded in 1982 by Fred Cline, grandson of Valeriano Jacuzzi, founder of...

  • Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery

    We never intended to be in the wine business. In 1999, we purchased ten acres of land in the hear...

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Contra Costa on Snooth

  • Once & Future Oakley Road Vineyard Mataro 2017


    Medium-bodied wine with upfront red fruit--strawberry, red raspberry--and, maybe, some stone fruit--apricot comes to mind; Pretty good acid. Some herbalness, mid-palate. An easy-to-drink wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Kreck del Barba Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2017


    Full-boidied wine that opens with candied red fruit--almost too much. The fruitieness does calm down after a brief period. Some pretty serious tannin, here. A touch alcoholic. I like it, but I want to let my other bottle rest for a few years before I give a final verdict. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Cline Mourvedre Rose Cline Mourvedre Rose 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by marymarchell

  • Wow, you found a Zin in your neighborhood.  That is so cool.  Also, I ... surprise in California--NOT.Contra Costa County is quickly becoming totally urbanized.  I would not be surprised if all remaining vineyards there are pulled out and paved over within the next generation, or so.Coincidentally, I also had a Contra Costa Zin, last night, fro... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • I have also been drinking a Californian zinfadel. This is not something one ... ... Vineyards Private Stock Contra Costa County Zinfadel. I started it with my supper of chicken stew. I have to say that I liked it. It was full bodied,with plenty of red fruit,more than a hint of spice or pepper and soft tannins. I wrote up a review on here and ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Viano Vineyards Private Stock Contra Costa County Zinfadel 2014


    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in east London [] for £15. It is from the American state of California and made of the zinfadel grape. This grape is beleived to have originated in Croatia where it is called crljenak,was then taken to the heel of Italy in the 18th century where it is called primitivo before being expor... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906

  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016


    Light, smooth, low acid. A real winner Read More

    Wine review by icbang

  • No sooner than the Fedex driver dropped off our fall Bedrock allocation their ... ... Evangelho Heritage Red Contra Costa County  (x2)2017 Judge Sauvignon Blanc Bennett Valley  (x2)2017 Old Vine Zinfandel California  (x5)2017 Wirz Vineyard Old Vine Riesling Cienega Valley (x2) &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Murrieta's Well the Spur Red Blend Livermore Valley 2015


    Floral aromas of fresh licorice, black cherry and blackberry, a touch of green pepper and spice adding some complexity and a creamy vanilla note. This is lively and fun on the palate with juicy and jammy black cherry and purple fruit, fun cinnamon, vanilla bean and black pepper spice, gentle tannins and good acidity throughout. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Murrieta's Well Dry Rose Livermore Valley 2017


    Nicely expressive rose petal and watermelon fruit aromas. Impressive depth of fruit on the palate with notes of cherry and strawberry, watermelon and cranberry, a touch of smoky earth towards the finish keeps the palate grounded but throughout theres a crisp acidity that plays well against the fruit. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

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