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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

Popular Wineries in Contra Costa View all

  • 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...

  • Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery

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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • Three Wine Company Carignane 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by anstett

  • Cline Cellars Cashmere 2013


    The additional mourvedre (53%) shows through in this vintage with a good tannic bite. My preference would be for something more in the 20% range. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • Cline Cellars Zinfandel Ancient Vines 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Concannon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Concannon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley 2011


    Luscious and elegant aromas are earthy and slightly herbaceous, full of deep dark black fruit, green bell pepper and black cherry. Explosive flavors are ripe, juicy and powerful with black cherry, black licorice, black olive, blackberry preserves, and leather. Clove and cinnamon grace the long finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Wente Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley 2010


    Cabernets are among our very favorite, so disappointed is mild compared to the bitter after taste of this 2011 vintage. The bouquet resembled acetone; we ended up discarding the rest of the bottle. Read More

    Wine review by chesterbrewmeister

  • Channel 7 is a little late to this party. We've been discussing this on WB ... BuchananAlamo, Livermore, Contra Costa...District OfficeSecond Monday of every month, 1pm - 4pmLivermore City Hall1052 S. Livermore Ave.Livermore, CATel: (925) 328-1515Fax: (925) 328-1514 Senator Mark DeSaulnier - Livermore, Contra Costa...District Offices1350 Treat... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Another attack on wine...

  • Some years ago I was a very big fan of Rosenblum Zinfandels.  Something ... to the San Francisco Bay in Contra Costa County, California.  The sparse production per vine and the cool evening breezes produce perfectly ripe Zinfandel fruit."The vineyards are named after long-time grower Tony Cutino's daughter, Carla Meadows, who has been a superl... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

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