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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Sandlands, the new Tegan Passalacqua project, released today with an ... ... offline 2010 Carignane Contra Costa County1 barrel produced The vineyard was planted in the 1920’s in what is classified as Dehli blow sand (decomposed granite that has been deposited by wind and water).Dark red fruits, white pepper, Asian spices, and round silky tann... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Three Wine Carignane Lucchesi Vineyard Contra County 2010


    Zinn like very full body Read More

    Wine review by tdskier

  • Darcie Kent Vineyards Merlot Livermore Valley 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Mcgrail Vineyards and Winery Chardonnay 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Wente Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley Charles Wetmore Reserve 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Evangelho Vineyard Heritage 2012


    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


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Cline Cellars Carignane Ancient Vines 2010


    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


    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?

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