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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Robert Hunter Winery

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

  • Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate

    The estate was founded in 1979 and named Domaine Michel by Jean-Jacques Michel. A native of Switz...

  • Casa de la Cruz

    Casa de la Cruz wines are a companion label of Keller Estate Winery. These lovely entry level Cha...

  • Murphy-Goode Winery

    At Murphy-Goode, winemaking isn’t just a family busness; it’s a family tradition – one that’s end...

  • Hafner Vineyard

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

  • Tandem Winery

    Our Background shows a long history of working passionately with high-end labels; the team of gro...

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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


  • Rodney Strong Symmetry Red Meritage Alexander Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Black cherry and cherry cola aromas with floral violets and fresh baking spice. Dark, brooding and richly spiced on the palate, smoky and earthy on entry with faint heat and blackberry, black currant and black cherry fruit, concentrated fruit and a finish of earth and leather. A bold wine with plenty of potential to develop. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Spicy cinnamon and vanilla bean aromas with chocolate cherry and mineral earth. Loads of dark berry flavors with cherry, fizzy cola and fresh spice - berry approachable and pleasant with a creamy texture to the finish and assertive but gentle tannins. Very nice. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Hook and Ladder Tillerman Red Blend 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Marlowes


  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel Sonoma County 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Fruit forward when first opened with some noticable tannin on the finish. The second day the fruit tammed down and a spiciness came forward. Really enjoyed it. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    A touch of chalky soil and a savory brown rice note open for classic blackberry and black currant fruit with rich chocolate and creamy vanilla aromas. A few years have mellowed this well balanced selection - ripe fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry form the core but are joined by a pleasant spice, a creamy vanilla and chocolate note and... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasantly aromatic tea leaf and clay aromas with cherry and mixed berry aromas, black pepper and a hint of violets. Rich, full bodied red fruit palate of red currant, raspberry and cherry, dark chocolate on the mid palate and a creamy texture coming through on the finish supported by a lattice of chewy tannins and medium-bold acidity. Good comp... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Collier Falls Hillside Estate Petite Sirah Dry Creek Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Decadent butter cream and vanilla aromas with oak spice and a light savory note coming through amidst black currant and blackberry fruit. Chewy tannins and herbed fruit on the palate with dried basil and sage leaf framing raspberry, cherry and cranberry fruit. The fruit is delicate and candied but retreats on the finish leaving behind floral not... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Fig Tree Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Herbal lemon drop and butter cookie aromas with a tart citrus note and some tropical fruits. Focused and citrusy on the palate with bright flavors of sour straw candy, light melon and a hint of mango. Pleasant and crisp with good fruit expression and a zesty spice throughout. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Mill Creek Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant minerality, dark oak and concentrated blackberry aromas. On the palate this explodes with flavors of rich vanilla, dark chocolate and zesty mixed berry. This is pleasant and deceptively smooth despite being such a big wine - it's full bodied, richly fruited and generous with a creamy texture and a finish that lasts for days. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Amista Winery Gene's Block Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Hot, savory bouillon, black pepper and cinnamon aromas with dark black cherry and blackberry fruit. The palate is expansive, expressive and bold with rich blackberry and black currant fruit, full chocolate and espresso and a finish of rich earth. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • 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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