Sonoma County Wine

 

Wine-making in Sonoma, California began in 1812 when Russian colonists planted grapes at Fort Ross, along the coast. Then Father Jose Altimura led Spanish Franciscans to plant Mission grapes at Mission San Francisco Solano for ceremonial purposes in the 1820s, with these cuttings traveling further into California. For the next thirty years or so, wines using the Mission grape became a burgeoning industry, through the Bear Flag Revolt and annexation of the state of California in 1854. 
 
By this time, General Mariano Vallejo was going great guns (pardon the pun) with his own vineyard producing Mission grapes. Until he met a Hungarian businessman named Agoston Haraszthy, who bought it and replanted it with fine European vitis vinifera, renaming the vineyard Buena Vista. Haraszthy is credited with the first hillside plantings after the European tradition, as well as employing Chinese laborers to dig caves for cool temperature cellaring, and introducing the first Zinfandel cuttings Read more »

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Popular wines made in Sonoma County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Sonoma County View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Merlot

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

Subregions of Sonoma County

  • Alexander Valley

    Alexander Valley, part of Sonoma County in California, is named for pioneer Cyrus Alexander. A ...

  • Dry Creek Valley

    The Carneros AVA straddles between both Napa and Sonoma Valleys, with distinct climates. The Na...

  • Knights Valley

    Knights Valley is a wine region in Northern Sonoma in the North Coast of California. It’s named...

  • Russian River Valley

    The Russian River Valley is the most southerly AVA within Northern Sonoma. It is named for the ...

  • Sonoma Coast

      The Sonoma Coast AVA is an extensive part of Sonoma County, California. It stretches betwe...

  • Bennett Valley

    Just when you’ve finally figured out the criss-cross of Sonoma County’s 12 sub-appellations here ...

  • Chalk Hill

      The Chalk Hill AVA is located within the Russian River Valley district of Northern Sonoma,...

  • Sonoma Mountain

    Sonoma Mountain is a subregion of Sonoma Valley in California. The region has different microcl...

Popular Wineries in Sonoma County View all

  • Chateau Souverain

    At Souverain, our goal is to make authentic wines that are the best expression of each varietal a...

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

    In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine staked their claim in th...

  • Moon Mountain

    Moon Mountain Vineyard is located high on the Sonoma Valley side of Mount Veeder, at nearly the 2...

  • Rutz Cellars

    2004 Rutz Cellars Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($45) Owner Keith Rutz seeks outst...

  • Hafner Vineyard

    We're a small family winery tucked away in Alexander Valley, 15 minutes from Healdsburg. You w...

  • Topolos

    The softly undulating hills of the famed Russian River Valley, caressed by cool blankets of fog a...

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Sonoma County on Snooth

  • This Saturday June 5th 2010 is Single Night in the Russian River Valley at C Donatello Winery. 6:30 - 10:00pm Single Vineyard tastings from the following wineries: Acorn Winery Ancient Oak Cellars Balletto Vineyards Benovia Winery D&L Carinalli Dutton-Goldfield Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery Foppiano Vineyards Foppoli Wines Graton Ridge Cell...

    Comment by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Planning to head to Sonoma Valley over Labor Day Weekend? It is Sonoma Wine Country Weekend! County wide event with lots of activities going on. Get more information here: www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • If you didn't see this Snooth posting and planning a trip to Sonoma, check this out: http://www.snooth.com/wine-tours/sonoma/

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • Scherrer Winery Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very similar to the '09, just going to paste my TNs from that one - This is a big, fresh, juicy, Russian River chardonnay. It is well balanced with apricot, honey, ripe pear, ripe apple, nice acidity and a touch of oak. This has great mouth feel and a wonderfully long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • "Plus, every piece of packaging is recyclable which goes over great in Sonoma County."What's not 'recyclable' or (easily processable/reusable) with a traditional wine bottle?Corkboards and molotov's? Only the foil seems an issue, and that, of course, not always.  ;-) Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • I have had 20+yr old Cali Pinots that have bee fabulous. Depends on ... which ... ... which goes over great in Sonoma Count Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Sodini Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting nose with Zinfande-typical black fruit/berry mixed with a spice (mace?). On the tongue, the first thing I notice is that this is not the most full-bodied Zin. Very little fruit taste on the tip of the tongue. Its not until the wine gets to about mid-palate that some blackberry/blueberry flavor pops up. Fairly tame tannin. Nice, ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Decoy Duckhorn Chardonnay Sonoma County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    I loved the oak in this wine Read More

    Wine review by winelubber


  • Failla Keefer Ranch Russian River Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Excellent Failla chardonnay. Layers of creamy lemon chiffon, subtle butterscotch, honey and just a kiss of vanilla and oak. This is a very well balanced wine, not overly fruity, oaky or acidic but enough of each to make things interesting. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • 2012 Squall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A Lot 18 quarterly selection - Tasting Notes from Lot 18 seem accurate to me:'This is a true-to-form, textbook Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir striking, poised and balanced. A tart rhubarb-cherry nose brings you in, while black cherry and tea notes emerge on the palate. Warm spices, dried violets and earthy blueberry appear with additional time in the ... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • 2012 Raku Sonoma County Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A quarterly selection from Lot 18. I enjoyed it and the Tasting Notes on the site seem accurate to me.'Spicy, lush, black fruit flavors meet briary raspberry and roasted strawberry notes, with subtle hints of Bing cherry, sassafras and allspice. The elegant structure and beautiful balance...' Nice balance, great mouthfeel, and though full of fru... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Imagery Estate Winery Dragonsleaf Syrah Sonoma Mountain 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty purple color in the glass. Fairly fruity noselots of berriesbut, also, some wood hints. Subdued fruit flavors on the tongueblueberry, red plum. Think not quite ripe fruit, but not sour, either. The wine seems to have a silky mouthfeel that is quite pleasant. An easy wine to drink. I like it. However, if youre looking for a sop... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Oh come on, I'm not being tough at all. Just realistic. Sonoma is 1,800 ... ... parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Why drive if you don't have t Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday Wine Discussions by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • If you didn't see this Snooth posting and planning a trip to Sonoma, check this out: http://www.snooth.com/wine-tours/sonoma/

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • The Russian River valley was my wife an my introduction to Sonoma during our 20th anniversary trip to the area. We fell in love with the geography and the vibrant Cabernets (not really a Pinot Noir lover). If one is planning on a wine vacation to either Napa or Sonoma, I would without a doubt pick Sonoma. Watching the fog come in from the Pac...

    Comment by 197388Mitch Maloney 197388 Mitch Maloney


  • First trip to California hoping to get some advice on wineres that are "must see", in the Somoma region. We are going in June and only have about 4 days. I would love any feed back on anything else i.e restaraunts lodging. L

    Comment by 325474mrlasr 325474 mrlasr


  • The 18th Winter Wineland is soon coming to Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley. January 16 & 17, 2010 11:00-4:00 both days 120 Wineries - 50 Lodgings Advance Online Ticket Prices Are: $40 Weekend, $30 Sunday Only, $10 for Designated Drivers At the door prices will be $50 Weekend, $40 Sunday Only, $10 for Designated Drivers Find out...

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • Roessler Visit … As I had mentioned a while back I am making some wine this year and this means for a short period of time I need to be in Sonoma a lot. I need to be there to see what is going on, do punch downs and take readings on the wine. Harvest is a busy time but if you are only doing work on one ton of grapes there isn’t a lot to do. ...

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • Hey HondaJohn - great job curating this page. Keep it up!

    Comment by 6331solomania9 6331 solomania9


  • Mantazas Creek Visit … One of the things that continues to amaze me is the just the sheer number of wineries that there are in Northern California. I’ve been to a lot of them but there are so many more that I have not been to. That’s why, when I had the opportunity to, I dropped in to Mantazas Creek Winery in Bennett Valley. Mantanzas Cre...

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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