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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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

  • Goldschmidt Vineyards

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

  • Moon Mountain

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

  • La Crema Winery

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

  • Clos du Bois

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

  • Robert Hunter Winery

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

  • Hafner Vineyard

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

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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


  • OK, if you live in the City there is no reason why the temps should stay that ... I'm up in Forestville in Sonoma County and we don't have A/C either but we have Mother Nature. Evening temps drop into the 50s this time of year so leaving windows open at night allows the cool evening air to flow through the house making it very pleasant in the ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine cooler unplugged by... by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • OK, since several people made some kind comments, I'll add this to my ... ... it comes to Zinfandel, my Sonoma County, and, especially, Dry Creek Valley, prejudice is pretty well known.They have two Merlot bottlings:  Carneros and Napa Valley.  Both are blendds from, again, the estate vineyard and a Carneros vineyard.   Year in and year out, I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Ghost Pines Winemakers' Blend Zinfandel California 2011

    Snoothrank:

    I love Zin! This blend is full of red ripe fruit and packs punch. It delivers value with every vintage. Good buy too! Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • Well, it's Sunday.  That sounds like a good reason to have a Sonoma County Zinfandel. Limerick Lane keeps moving higher on my list of favorite Zinfandels.  This one has just the right level of red fruit on entry.  Then, mid-palate i get a rustic earthiness that reminds me of Zins of the 80s.  A lot of tannin in this one.  That, along with good a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Canyon Road Cabernet Usa Red 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by GoldenRudy


  • La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Round and firm fruit notes of white peach, ripe melon and green apple on the nose with tangerine and citrus rounding out the aromas. Juicy pear and apple notes in the mouth with chunky melon and just a touch of grapefruit with an orange blossom and cream finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Premier NV

    Snoothrank:

    Lemon, pear and green apple fruit aromas with soft biscuit notes and a touch of cream. Pleasant mousse in the mouth with honeyed apple and tart pear notes with more lemon and grapefruit notes blossoming towards the finish that lingers for quite a while with notes of pineapple and vanilla cream. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Jemrose Foggy Knoll Vineyard Grenache 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly dark purple in the glass. Fruit/berry heavy on the nose. Really not over-the-top fruit on entrysome blackberry, some suggestion of lemon in the background. Certainly not fruity sweet. Sufficient acid to give it a good backbone. Im not normally a Grenache guy, but I like this one. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Limerick Lane Zinfandel Rocky Knoll 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Reddish purple color. Bright nose of stone fruit. Sure enough, serious ripe red plum flavor on the tip of the tongue. Some hint of bitter spiceclove-like. However, that may be the tannin. This is, pretty much, a tannic beast. However, it also has nice tart acid. I am seriously liking this wine, right now. However, the tannin and acid com... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Welcome Seahawk.Boy, Liberty School is a name from the past.  My ... red ... red wine:  Lyeth 2013 Sonoma County Meritage--$10 at Trader Joe's.  I'd be interested in your opinion or your friends opinion, if you can find i Read More

    Forum post in the topic JUST AN INTRODUCTION


  • 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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