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

  • Mazzocco Vineyards

    Although Mazzocco is a small family-owned winery, our vineyard sources are among the best in the ...

  • Sonoma Creek Winery & Vineyards

    The Sonoma region has a rich heritage filled with historic California character that dates back t...

  • Thumbprint Cellars

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

  • Meeker Vineyard

    Charles and Molly Meeker bought their first vineyard in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley in 1977,...

  • Hafner Vineyard

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

  • Moon Mountain

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

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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


  • I have the videos on Youtube, and I'm trying to put the links on here.  I can't.  I click on the link button and paste the url, which works okay, but then I can't click okay, or even cancel for that matter. When they are viewable, bear in mind that I didn't have anyone's permission to video them and felt a bit awkward pointing it at people, so I... Read More

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


  • I think I got a shot of every bottle. Will post the rest in the coming days. I think overll it was fun but a lot of the wines suffered due to the broad sekection and jusypt the masive number of bottles. As it got time for food prepI found myself pouring winpe, tending the grill and coming back for the reveal. It wan't until later that I realized... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma... by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • We'll have to drink that Big Table next time OT, or the time after. I remember seeing that was listed at 15.1%, not a shy one. Read More

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


  • Thanks Greg.  I have some of the '07 flights listed above from another score sheet. Then...The first Arnot Roberts was a '10 Clary Ranch. When I looked back at it Monday it was speny charcoal on the nose and the palate was flat. Still showed acid and tannin. The other was the '09 North Coast. It was still showing black olive and smoky black frui... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline 7/19/14 Sonoma... by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Glad you liked the Gramercy Greg... also glad you didn't think the Big Table Farm didn't completely suck either.NG, you almost got it, except there's no Lucha in that picture, the guy on the left is the one and only "Fox" Read More

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


  • Damn OT - did you take a pic of each bottle? Thanks for clarifying which A-R we had. I was surprised by that Clary Ranch because the first time I had it I was kind of wowed and it really didn't do much for me this time. Maybe it's the vintage? Don't know but I'm giving it another chance.Interesting to see the alc levels on these wines. I didn't ... Read More

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


  • Oh, ok... you mean YOUR photo posted a few msgs back....Guessing here.... from left to right:  Lucha, JD, GregT, and DV Read More

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


  • OT-You did take on quite a challenge.  You should have delegated!  I could have poured while you manned the BGE.  I would have "slipped" in my Syrahs to create some raised eyebrows (good or bad).But when people were feeling beat up from the waves of wine and wanting dinner, I couldn't let those go to waste.  Greg, JD, Lucha, and the wine guy (no... Read More

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


  • OT, I try not to throw names around, but it was James Suckling.  I'm not worried about him, but rather who said it and out of respect to him, am reluctant to put it on the web, especially Snooth!  Suckling might track him down!NapaGirl, most of it went into the pail.  Only later did I have a couple glasses.  Only two people were a bit gooned  :)... Read More

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


  • I am so loving this!  Nice to see the happy faces behind the names, and looks like a very successful party.  Someone would've had to put me to bed with all that wine.. holy hell!  What fun, and OT your pizza with the egg in the middle looks fantastic!! 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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