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...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Mourvèdre

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

Popular Wineries in Contra Costa View all

  • Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery

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

  • viano vineyards

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

  • 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...

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Contra Costa on Snooth

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Evangelho Vineyard Heritage 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Whoa, very fruity on introduction to the tongue--lots of raspberry, some acidic tropical hints like, maybe, papaya, maybe even some citrus. Noticeable sweetness around the edge of the tongue. Not a particularly "jammy" Zin. Medium bodied, easy to drink by itself, but it might be a challenge for some food pairings. US$30.00 from the winery. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Cline Cellars Carignane Ancient Vines 2010

    Snoothrank:

    My 2/8, the groups 2/8 A bit jammy on the nose with lots of sour cherry fruit and creamy oak but this also shows some complexity with notes of leather, milk chocolate, vanilla and juniper. Rather large scaled in the mouth, this is smooth, rich with soft tannins, and hints of woody spice herbs, and sweet vanilla all wrapping up a core of clack c... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Cline Cellars Zinfandel Big Break 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Another pretty colored wine--darker purply-red. Interesting complex nose--volatile, some berry fruit, some earthiness. Very pleasant introduction to the palate. Another one that gets past the tip of the tongue before any blackberry fruit is detected. Seems to have a silky smooth mouth feel. Very mild tannin. Sharp acid tang on the back pal... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • So, it's a "old vines" throwdown you want, eh, OT?  (I must ... ... (1910s according to HVS) Contra Costa County Zinfandel. And, by the way, I enjoyed the Bedrock Old Vines, last night, very much.  A bit "jammier" than I normally like, but it did not cross the line.  I'm sure that I crossed the one of the 7-deadly-sins lines because that bottl... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Rock Wall Zinfandel Jesse's Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by MrRiesling


  • Three Wishes Merlot Livermore Valley NV

    Snoothrank:

    I was pretty impressed with the smoothness of this wine for the price. Brought a bottle of Cab Sauvignon home from Three Wishes. Looking forward to trying it. Read More

    Wine review by Scooby


  • Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Planchon Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Oh, that's why it looks like OT is the only one posting:  Wrote this ... ... the last of my 3Wines Contra Costa Old Vines last night.  I've got one more Live Oak which is even better.  I'd say last night's was a little on the jammy side for me.  Still good, but not perfect. "Today my back is sore from spending the day crawling around in the b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Cline Cellars Zinfandel Ancient Vines Contra Costa County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Agree with the previous reviewer about the ripeness. Fairly big fruity nose,and similar berry hit on the tongue. Disagree on the tannin. To me this one has fairly tame tannin. No problem with sediment--glass is crystal clear. Very pleasant, lingering finish. US$12.99 at Trader Joe's. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Cline Cellars Zinfandel Ancient Vines Contra Costa County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by cmmidlo


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