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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

  • Zinfandel

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

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

  • Goldschmidt Vineyards

    Each Goldschmidt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon profiles a single vineyard, single varietal wine tha...

  • Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate

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

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

      Chatea St. Jean’s life started in 1920, when it was built as a summer home for Ernest and ...

  • Rutz Cellars

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

  • Clos du Bois

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

  • Casa de la Cruz

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

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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


  • Picked up another wine club delivery this afternoon - from Repris in Sonoma County (Moon Mountain District). Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Limerick Lane Headpruned Block Syrah 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful dark purple color. Rich pruney nose. Blackberry on the tip of the tongue. Some, woodiness to which I would attribute tannin. Nice firm tannins and acid give lots of backbone. I love the fact that this is not an in-your-face-with-fruit wine. The blackberry note hinted dissipates into a truly terrific wine experience. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  •  2014 Myriad Cellars Syrah Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard - USA, ... ... USA, ... USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/19/2017)DOA, crumbly dry cork, methinks it spent a lot of its life upright. No leakage but it has been OTH for quite some time. NR (flawed) 2001 Dehlinger Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - USA, California, Sonoma Count... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Stephen, you should start thinking in terms of sourcing from the US directly. I put together a curated list of reliable online vendors which (almost all) ship overseas. I'll dig it up and post the link later. For now, here's a current offering from one purveyor on the list (Sea Smoke is a cult wine but I view it as one of the weakest in this lis... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine


  • Ridge Geyserville 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Dark plum color. Very much an earthy nose. Light hit of candied fruit on entry. Then some sour hits. Then some bitterness. That makes for a very unusual experience. Surprising to me, but not altogether off-putting. Also interesting that this is, probably, the lightest bodied Ridge Ive ever had. A good wine, but far from my favorite from... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Disappointed. Above the level of Charles Shaw wines but not much. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Benziger Family Winery Merlot Sonoma County 1996

    Snoothrank:

    dark fruits and soy nose; sweet and spicy, yet well mellowed Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Rosenblum Zinfandel Rockpile Road 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Big wine, yet smooth and flavorful, The Rockpile Road has never disappointed. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Simi Winery Sonoma County Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Good - pineapple, vanilla, green apple with juicy acidity - good daily drinker. Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Horse & Plow Winery Zinfandel Grist Vineyard Dry Creek Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Can't remember where or when I picked this bottle up, but it is swell. Dark, opaque Red Purple in the glass. Opens with grass and herbal plum cherry preserves; then a bit of dark chocolate cherries; hint of peach; then more roasted cherries. A big smooth mouthful, with it seems, enough tannins to last a few more years.Nice balance of fruit and o... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • 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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