Napa/Sonoma Counties Wine

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Napa and Sonoma counties in the North Coast of California are two of the most famous centers of wine in the United States. Wine production in both regions began in the 1800s when European settlers transplanted vines from the homeland. Their stories are similar, with various periods of boom and bust since then, most notably during the Prohibition. From the 1960s on, these regions have seen enormous growth, with diverse winemaking styles from traditional to modern, large scale commercial and small scale boutique, popular jug wines and bank-breaking cult wines, and the rise in significance of organic/sustainable practices. 
 
Though there is a large range in microclimates and topography spread between these regions, one can categorically state that Napa is typically warmer than Sonoma. Napa has hot and dry summers with cool winters. The Pacific Ocean has more of a cooling effect on Sonoma, with foggy valleys toward the coast, getting hotter and drier moving further inland. 

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Popular wines made in Napa/Sonoma Counties under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa/Sonoma Counties View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • 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...

Subregions of Napa/Sonoma Counties

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Napa/Sonoma Counties on Snooth

  • Bedrock Hudson Vineyard South T'N'S-blocks Syrah 2012

    Snoothrank:

    OK wine, but not my favorite Bedrock. Kind of a "unsweeted prune" entry. Then some pretty serious tannin. If you like a "rustic" wine, this might do it for you. Lots of dustiness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Quivet Cellars las Madres Vineyard Hulda Block Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Dark purple color. Sulphur funk takes a few minutes to dissipate. Spritz on the tip of the tongue. Lots of red fruit--strawberry, plum. Some black pepper and some earthiness mid-palate. Stiff tannin balanced, though, by acid. Pleasant finish. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Acacia Pinot Noir Carneros 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Ugly chemical noseprobably sulphur. Light cherry flavor on the tip of the tongue. Then, not much of anything else. Pretty much, a pedestrian wine. On the other hand, once you get past the nose, it really doesnt suck. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Buena Vista Carneros Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    In the glass the wine is translucent and with a brownish tinge to it. On the tongue Im getting some cherry cough syrup that has been the rage with California PNs, these days. On the other hand, Ive had worsemuch worse. In all honesty, the sensation fades fairly quickly. Sturdier tannin that I see in most CA PNs. To me that makes it taste mo... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • La Tapatia Pinot Noir Carneros 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Naked Wines Selection.Pale Semi-Transparent Brown Red in the Glass. Opens with bright just ripe Cherry and Raspberry, then bits of earth and dampness, then off to dried fruits. Medium mouth-full, with bits of oak, butter, and herbs. Medium tannins, medium long finish. Nice little one, though a bit too fruit forward, young, and light for... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Cline Syrah Los Carneros Estate Grown 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Muted, musky nose. Pretty big hit of fruit is initial taste sensationred plum, maybe, even peach, a slight citrus suggestion. Very big suggestion of sweetness. A very serious pucker factor from tannin. Tannin really helps because it gives the wine a more rustic characteristic that pushes aside the industrial, made to appeal to sweet wine dri... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Daniel Cohn Wine Bellacosa Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by eaglebass


  • Aspara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Some raspberry in the nose, but, then, more earthiness. Slightest hit of raspberry, but, mostly, earthiness, meatiness, maybe, mushroom on entry. A very interesting wine in that none of those flavors dominate. As soon as I detect one, it moves on and the next one steps in. Very modest in both tannin and acid. An outstanding wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Del Frisco's Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Smooth, bold and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. Goes beautifully with any steak. Check it out in the restaurant. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio California 2010

    Snoothrank:

    The Pinot Grigio is an excellent wine. My only recommendation is that do not use the artificial cork. It is very difficult to open. Use instead Screw Cap. (Matanza Winery is using it!) Easier to open and less expensive for you. You should consider also to 1.5 liter bottles. Andre, San Rafael, CA Read More

    Wine review by mark


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