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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Clos du Bois

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

  • Tandem Winery

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

  • Thumbprint Cellars

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

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

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

  • Medlock Ames

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

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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


  • Siduri Pinot Noir Keefer Vyd Russian River 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Burgundy. Cargassachi and Lee 2012. - burgundy. blackberry. Tasted again May 2, 2015. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Maclaren Wines Maclaren Syrah Judge Family Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Not bad but not great Sonoma (Bennett Valley) syrah. Dark ripe berries on the nose with a hint of tobacco. Lots of ripe blackberry, a bit of earthiness, some cola, ripe black cherry and a touch of cedar on the palate. The acidity is fairly bright but the tannins are a bit short and the finish is of medium length. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Landmark Chardonnay Overlook Sonoma County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very intriguing buttery yet floral aromas of candied hazelnuts, baked green apples, vanilla and caramel. Full mouthfeel, creamy and rich, with melon and lemon notes, light banana and coconut touches, and a smooth long finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Ravenswood Zinfandel Barricia 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This is about a 30-35 dollar Zin and it's well worth it. Very odiferous of ripe berries, cassis, floral and spice. It's taste is of dark fruits, earth, dust, lively acids to maintain it's freshness and tannins that hit the mark. A lovely cranberry spice coats the mouth with a slight lingering of bing cherry. Read More

    Wine review by jamessulis


  • Mauritson Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive dark purple color. Fruit aromastart cherry, red raspberry. Some oak vanilla bouquet. Fairly lean on the palate. Fruit still seems tart, but there is also a dried fruit aspect. Some mineral or volcanic hints in the back. Fairly stout tannin. An OK wine, but not one that I would seek out. While there is sufficient tannin a... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Vinno. We look forward to hearing about your wine ... am probably going to have a Sonoma County Cab, this evening.There are some running conversations, here on the Forum, that will give you an idea of the wines that people here have been drinking lately.  You might want to take a look at them to see the kinds of th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth! i'm Vinno!


  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley California 2010

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is an inky black color at the center, leading to some bright ruby along the edges with nice clarity. The nose is just lovely, with notes of black licorice, tarragon, blueberry and some Asian spice. The taste is quite refined, with a some subdued flavors of cassis, blueberry and notes of espresso up front which transition to some elega... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • 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


  • Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by hransom


  • 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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