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

  • Mourvèdre

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

  • Petite Sirah

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

Popular Wineries in Contra Costa View all

  • 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...

  • Sterling Albert Winery

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

  • viano vineyards

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

People getting updates on Contra Costa Wines

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Contra Costa on Snooth

  • Fenestra Winery Zinfandel 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Bedrock Wine Company Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Contra Costa County 2013


    The purple color is more red than blue. Pleasant enough fruity nose with, maybe, a hint of anise. Fruitier than I normally like on entryblueberry, prunea little too much sweetness for me. This is followed by some drying tannin. This wine needs acid to balance the fruitiness. Aftertaste is pleasant and lengthywhich, to me, shows the folly of... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Wente Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley 2008


    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore

  • Concannon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast Selected Vineyards 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Evangelho Vineyard Heritage 2012


    Aromas of fresh dark fruitcurrant, blackberry. Gentle hit of that fruit on introduction to the tongue and palate, but then more rustic earthy sensations emerge as the wine passes backeven maybe a mintiness. Very light on tannin with a nice tartness. I had this wine about a year and a half ago, and it is obvious that it is much more integrated... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Cline Cellars Zinfandel Ancient Vines 2013


    Brother likes but not a fan of the finish Read More

    Wine review by runningbear

  • Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Contra Costa County 2008


    No written review

    Wine review by lwf

  • But most Cali Sangio seems to be grown in the wrong place.  I used to date ... slopes of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa looked to her like Chianti.  Maybe they should try growing it in the foothills where I lived. I'm sure you're right about Sangiovese being planted in the wrong places in California, Fox.  However, planting it somewhere that look... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Washington takes on Ruffino

  • If you want good Sangio from Cali, I recommend the Two Mile Polesky-Lentz ... ... slopes of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa looked to her like Chianti.  Maybe they should try growing it in the foothills where I lived.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Washington takes on Ruffino

  • Today I bought a case of Three Wine Co. Live Oak Zinfandel.  I took ... ... soils on the SF Bay delta in Contra Costa County.  The rest were torn up for condos in the housing boom turned bust.  I don't buy cases often, and I will sell off quite a bit of this (OT, tell me if you want any), but this is a terrifically good Zin.  Rounder and riper... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

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