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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Rutz Cellars

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

  • Medlock Ames

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

  • Tandem Winery

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

  • Moon Mountain

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

  • A. Rafanelli

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

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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


  • Never back down from a challenge right?  Have you ever tried Easton Amador ... or Dry Creek Heritage Vines Sonoma County?  Modest, usually under or around $20 and good for the grill. Pa Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Duckhorn Decoy 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Another good but nothing to write about wine. the entry Duckhorn brand isn't about substance, that i've experienced, it's more about selling to the novice drinker at an exaggerated price point. this is a very easy going cabbie thst requires NO thought or or taste buds. What saves it is the lingering fruit on a beam of acidity that grows. Paul 84... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Sonoma Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Boy was this good. Dry Creek has mastered zins over the years and Heritage Vineyards has some of the best zin stock ever. Dense, black and brooding this exudes varietal excitement. Blackberry, damson plum, oak, pepper, spice and briary notes lead to a palate that follows the nose well. This leads to a medium to full bodied tannic structure that ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Sonoma Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • Sledgehammer Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


  • Lawer Estates Late Harvest Chardonnay Knights Valley Sonoma County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Amazing Read More

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • Lawer Estates Late Harvest Chardonnay Knights Valley Sonoma County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Deep notes of dried apricot, candied apple, and marshmallow sweet potato casserole on the nose. Palate of pert clementines and juicy navel oranges with a tinny lemon zest finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • DV, my father cut himself pretty well with a utility knife when I was a ... up ... up there), a bit longer to Sonoma County wine country (although not always much longer).  Lodi, the Contra Costa side of the Delta (home of some of the greatest old vine sites in California, with pre-phylloxera own rooted plants in sandy soil!) are also day trip... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Time for an offline?


  • Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Another fair but nothing to write about wine. The entry Duckhorn brand isn't about substance, that i've experienced, it's more about selling to the novice drinker at an exaggerated price point. This is a very easy going cabbie thst requires NO thought or or taste buds. What saves it is the lingering fruit on a beam of acidity that grows. Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Skrimshaw Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Tasting Room selection. Very pale and translucent brown red in the glass - almost a Tawny Port color. Little to no legs. Opens with cherry and ripe raspberries; then cola and mint; a faint smell of bright ocean. Most of these carry over to the palate with more notes of cola and toffee. For how thin it looked, surprisingly full and smoot... 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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