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...

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

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

  • Frei Brothers Reserve

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

  • Hafner Vineyard

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

  • Medlock Ames

    Medlock Ames is located on 335 acres of rolling oak and madrone woodland in the South-Western por...

  • Murphy-Goode Winery

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

  • Clos du Bois

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

  • La Crema Winery

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

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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


  • VINTJS Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A fairly simple and straightforward wine. Heavily fruited on entry, but not enough to make me think sweet. Very modest on the tannin and acid components. Probably, a reasonably good cheap picnic wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Failla Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A bit too acidic. Read More

    Wine review by runningbear


  • Hook & Ladder Winery Russian River Valley Third Alarm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Everett Ridge Petite Sirah Dry Creek Valley Estate 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Rancho San Miguel Winery Zinfandel Old Vine Starr Road Vineyard Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Cline Cellars Zinfandel California 2004

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Geyser Peak Devil's Inkstand Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Deep inky red color. Aromas are quite pronounced, with black currant, black cherry and blackberry fruit and an herbal note of eucalyptus. Very full mouthfeel, deep and rioe with blackberry fruit, cinnamon and clove, supple tannins, black olive and more than a hint of toast. Some coffee notes, dark cacao nibs and overall an elegant presentation d... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Geyser Peak Pinot Noir Pluto's Fury 2012

    Snoothrank:

    There's a fair bit of complexity in the herbal cherry aromas of this Pinot. There's a bit of sage, cranberry and raspberry as well. Elegant and rosy in the mouth, with more cherry flavors, cinnamon and crushed violets. Really a lovely, delicate and well balanced wine with excellent structure and minerality. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Geyser Peak Devil's Inkstand 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Dark black fruit aromas of black currant, blackberry, and cinnamon with some wooded aromas of cedar and forest floor. A strong blend of Cabernet and Petit Verdot, this wine has a fair bit of structure and good fruit flavors, with some savory notes of teriyaki and black olive, clove, cinnamon, black currant and a long finish with chocolate coffee... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Murphy-Goode Island Block Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Slightly hot aromas of dried apricot, honeysuckle and peach. More peach and citrus aromas, a hint of bay leaf and cut lemongrass, green apple, vanilla and a long finish of butter and tea leaf. 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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