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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Moon Mountain

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

  • A. Rafanelli

    The Rafanelli family is now in its fourth generation of growing grapes and making wine in the Dry...

  • Meeker Vineyard

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

  • Tandem Winery

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

  • Rutz Cellars

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

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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 Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Toasted hazelnut and marzipan on the nose with light nectarine and peach aromas. Full and rich palate with flavors of lemon, peach, a fair bit of vanilla and toast. The silky smooth finish is fairly lengthy with touches of hazelnut and cream. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Zichichi Family Vineyard Estate Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly dark purplemore blue than redcolor. Brambly, blackberry on the nose. Fairly fruity on entryblackberry again, cherry, dried fruit, raisin. Very nice tannin backbone, but could use more acid (or less up-front fruit) which makes this wine is bit flabby to me. ATTENTION SNOOTH this is not the "Old Vines" Zichichi Zinfandel. When I review ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Syrah 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly big RRV syrah from Balletto. The nose is loaded with ripe dark cherries and a good hit of smoke, some earthiness and a bit of tanned leather. There's ripe black berries on the tongue but the fruit is just starting to fade, some more of the smokiness/leather, fine grained tannins, medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Sandlands Trousseau 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Bright red color. A lot of light passes through, and, because of that, some murkiness is apparent. After about a half-hour of air, chemical funk blew off. Red fruit on the nosesomething of a jammy cherry. Very light on entry, but the cherry flavor is apparent. Acid provides refreshing quality. A likable wine, but not a particularly memorab... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Apsara Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Nice enough Sonoma County blend of sauv blanc and sauv musque. The nose is all about ripe grapefruit and a bit of something floral. Ripe white grapefruit on the palate, decent acidity but with a bit of a metallic twinge on the back end. Liked this but enjoyed the Rivers Reach more. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma Rockpile 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Big, juicy Rockpile zin by Seghesio. Black cherry and black licorice on the nose. Loads of ripe black cherry, blackberry, black plum, more licorice/anise, some earthiness, nice acidity, fine grained tannins and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Cellar No. 8 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Fruit forward nearing jamminess. Light acid, light tannins and lightly wooded. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Clos du Bois Knights Valley Petite Sirah Sonoma Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This is not the best for the price point. It's full of blackberry and mellow tannins but that's about it. Perhaps it needs more time in the bottle to round out. Basically I expected more complexity but no............it's an average nice tasting wine with no special depth Read More

    Wine review by jamessulis


  • Tonight I opened a 2012 Michael Pozzan Cabernet Sauvignon that I expected to ... from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Are you staying at the SMI? Lucky dog! Since you are staying in Sonoma proper ... You could always browse my Sonoma County Winery info page and see what else the area has to offer by town and activity. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to as Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma 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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