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...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Murrieta's Well Los Tesoros Cabernet Franc 2012


    Tight on the nose with more oak than fruit though late arriving notes of candied wild blackcherry does rise from the glass with time. Polished and restrained up front, with lots of rich but not weighty fruit, blueberries and candied cherry flavors are nicely done but lacks much of the earth and herb that distinguishes Cab Franc. Theres great de... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Murrieta's Well Zinfandel Livermore Valley 2011


    75 Zinfandel, 19 Primitivo, 6 Petite SirahHuge zin berry fruit on the nose, rich with aromas of briar, bramble, spice, and loads of red berry and blackberry fruit. On entry one finds a dose of nicely integrated wood spice followed by candied wild cherry fruit in a style that is super clear and polished. Decidedly delicate on the palate with go... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Murrieta's Well Meritage White Livermore Valley 2011


    60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% SemillonWaxy, with a big semillon nose showing of aromas of raw almond green hazelnut, green pear skin, and earthy base notes. With lots of acid up front, followed by good depth of flavors, this comes across as complex with orchard fruits, earthy accents, and hints of older wood. With a little air it develops a slightly ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Wente the Nth Degree Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore 2011


    Cocoa, briar, cigar box, and dark fruit which is both a bit plummy and reminiscent of black currant preserves greet the nose. Theres a noticeable hit of oak, spicy and with the smell of burnt sugar that builds in the glass. Fairly rich, with good power, and really fine acids that help keep everything bright on the palate. The base of tannins are... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rose 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by mrscamden

  • Darcie Kent Petite Sirah Madden Ranch 2008


    Spicy with a touch of grass accenting the subtle wood spice and soft cooked plum , blackberry and licorice aromas of the nose. Broad and bright and rich with tart plum and candied blackberry fruit on entry. there are well managed, soft tannins here adding nice support though this never becomes thick or chewy. A touch of leather and earth adds so... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Concannon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley 2009


    Rather oaky on the nose with a deep base of earth and black spice. In the mouth this shows off juicy acids and soft tannins that help to support fruit that is perhaps a touch simple but very precise and clear all mineral tinged and slightly orange toned black currant and wild blackberry fruit. This has a fabulous texture, fresh and old school wi... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Trinitas Old Vine Mataro 2010


    Spicy black plum with dark, roasty qualities. Woody, but nice. Definitely needs food.88 pts.9/15/13 at Trinitas Read More

    Wine review by VegasOenophile

  • Trinitas Petite Sirah Old Vine Contra Costa County 2010


    Nicely balanced and structured. Not overly heavy like many petite sirahs are to me. Good tannin/acid balance. Meat jus and bacon fat intermingle with plum and dark berry fruit. 90 pts.9/15/13 at Trinitas Read More

    Wine review by VegasOenophile

  • Wente Vineyards Chardonnay Livermore Valley 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by katzpheno

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