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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

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

  • Thumbprint Cellars

    Hand-crafted, small lot, micro-wines are created using the highest quality grapes from Sonoma Cou...

  • Rutz Cellars

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

  • Topolos

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

  • Clos du Bois

      Clos du Bois didn’t start small and build up like many other wineries - it started with a ...

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Kenwood Vineyards

    Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards is dedicated to producing premium wi...

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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


  • Chloe Wines Sonoma County Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly simple and a bit over oaked. Not much else going on here but the oak, not much fruit or acidity and a touch of smoke on the nose. There's hints of lemon and green apple but it's overwhelmed by the wood. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • La Crema Chardonnay Monterey 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by watkinsanna


  • Well, here's an interesting possibility from down under. Dead ringer for Cote Rotie, you say?  And $50?  Positively a bargain.If anyone wants to try it, I'll pick it up.  Or maybe I'll sneak it in as a ringer. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • Good discussion starting here, though maybe better over in that odds-bin animated corpse thread.Chapoutier I have avoided, too, for years now. Just thought it might be an interesting style for comparison, not like France and not typically Oz (thus a 3rd bottle rather than a first or second). The Oz discussion could go on for hours since perhaps ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • You know, if we want to do Aussie, you should look at JJBuckley.  Chuck Hayward is over there, and he's one of the acknowledged authorities on Aussie wine in the US.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • Ditto on being biased against Chapoutier, and all the more so if he's working with Terlato, which I consider just marginally NOT a full-on corporate holding company.  Still family owned, but I see a huge emphasis on the distribution and marketing over quality--I haven't like what they have done with their Napa wines at all. I haven't had a ton o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • Thanks for the tip however I'm biased against Chapoutier so I'll have to see if I can manage to break that. Just thinking that Gramercy or Betz from WA should also be included. Was thinking Jamet and Torbreck for the others, though still lots of time. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • JD, if you want to get a French-influenced Oz version you need look no further than a recent Wally's offering:  Terlato Chapoutier.  If I were going I'd be tempted to take that as well as another bottle each from the northern Rhone and Oz... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • I'll look to bring a N Rhone from the 90's and an Aussie. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • Okay, I'm not bringing ANY Cali Syrah because it's duplicative of OT for the most part.  And because we need some N. Rhone, of course.  So I'm probably going to bring a bottle of 2007 Alain Voge Cornas Vielles Vignes.  And I'll probably bring it by ahead of time so OT can decant it ahead of time, because my expectation is that it might still be ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma...


  • 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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