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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Chateau Souverain

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

  • Thumbprint Cellars

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

  • La Crema Winery

    La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored C...

  • Frei Brothers Reserve

      Frei Brothers Reserve is a winery based in Sonoma, California. The grapes are sourced from...

  • Robert Hunter Winery

    Visit and tour the special garden and grounds overlooking the Hunter Farms vineyard in Sonoma Val...

  • 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


  • Limerick Lane 1910 Block Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    An eminently likeable wine. Red berry and stone fruit on entry. Then some serious tannin jumps in. However, the fruit still lingers a bit. Very good acid content really helps this one become a winner. I think this might be a wine that will grow in complexity with several more years of aging. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Frank Dusak Viognier 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Naked Wines selection and a good one at that. Pale and clear silver gold in the glass. Opens with a yeasty peach blossom; then lime and kumquat, then a bit of bruised grass blade and lime zest. Medium body and medium acidity. Finishes nicely with most of the opening aromas carrying over to the palate becoming more and more smooth as it ... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Enkidu Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Very much and herbal/grassy nose. Interesting combination of herbalness and stone fruit is my initial tongue sensation. Then, there is a lemon pith sensation. The lemon sensation seems to linger a bit giving good refreshment. After a few minutes of air, stone fruit sensations seem more emergent. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Looking merely at wine, was wondering how the current hodge-podge of Trump policy initiatives may affect the beverage we like so much. A couple of early guesses:USDA budget cuts will mean California's Wine Institute budget will likely be cut by 1/3 (Wine Industry Insight's figure). Will quite possibly see fewer facts about harvests, and other us... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Current thoughts on our...


  • Dashe Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    $19.99 tons of fruit flavor and spice. Full of Blackberry and cherry flavor. I love this wine. Pairs well with a peppery steak Read More

    Wine review by BobbyC10


  • It was the 7th Annual Historic Vineyard Society Tour and Dinner. In past years ... another typical Saturday in Sonoma County ; Read More

    Forum post in the topic Friday night pizza was just a... by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Enkidu 'E' Old Vine Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Nose of berries and some dustiness. Red fruit and dustiness on the tip of the tongue. Nice acid tartness. Sturdy tannins. Somewhat unusual finish: a suggestion of caramel and, interestingly, a lingering tingling sensation on the tongue. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Large blackberry and dark cherry profile here, dark chocolate, earthiness with big tannins, matching acidity. Here's the catch - there is a sweetish grapey-ness that is highly a port profile. Interesting thought isn't it. 92 points - hold - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • J Vineyard & Winery Sparkling Brut Rose NV

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasantly rustic, smoky strawberry and sour cherry aromas with a creamy vanilla note and light toast. The palate is full bodied, zesty and decadent with cherry, strawberry and ripe watermelon notes, a buoyant acidity and lively texture with a bit of grapefruit zest and vanilla frosting on the finish adding some depth. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Joseph Swan Vineyards Zinfandel Russian River Valley Mancini Ranch 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Quite tart. Red fruit. Maybe, OK, I know its not red, blueberry. There is sweetness to the berry flavor, but it is not too serious. There also seems to be some spicinessnot pepper or anything like that, but, more, a suggestion of cinnamon or cuminOK, maybe its a texture thing more than a tastelike these powdered spices have been dissolved in ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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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