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...

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

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

  • Hafner Vineyard

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

  • Mazzocco Vineyards

    Although Mazzocco is a small family-owned winery, our vineyard sources are among the best in the ...

  • Clos du Bois

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

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

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

  • Moon Mountain

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

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

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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


  • Rockpile Winery Mauritson Zinfandel Rockpile Westphall Ridge Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Quite dark purple with red edge color. Not the most pleasant nose on first check, but that seems to blow off after a few minutes and I get flowery berry hints. Tame blackberry tastes on the tip of the tongue, but then quickly evolve into a smooth mint sensation without the sweetness. Firm tannin and acid are enjoyable. Im not sure this one is... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Wow, there's a lot for me to get caught up on.Czarina, do you have ... ... local store -- Seghesio 2012 Sonoma County Zinfandel (WS rated 90 according to the shelf talker)--$19.99.DV, I really enjoy hearing about others' wine adventures.  I, in fact, am as interested in the discoveries of "Newbies" as I am in the comments of very experienced t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner


  • Samuele Sebastiani Green Hungarian 1984

    Snoothrank:

    its been off the market as u say for quite sometime..this was one of the BEST from SEBASTIANIi wish they would reintro it in current day Read More

    Wine review by cowgirltx


  • Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2004

    Snoothrank:

    very nice Read More

    Wine review by grosiramazonplus


  • Seghesio Zinfandel Rockpile Zinfandel 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly dark purply color. Somewhat woody nose with a slight astringency that suggests alcohol. Fairly fruity on introduction to the palateblackberry and, maybe some citrus. Acid hit gives the citrus impression but it might also be compared to stone fruitplum or peach. Some suggestion of spiceclove. Very warm finish, but, to the detriment of... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Kenwood Vineyards Pinot Gris 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This is certainly pungent, and fruity though with aromas of tropical fruit leaning towards guava along with cooked apricot and melon it is somewhat atypical. Gentle on the palate, a little swet and with fruity flavors that recall the nose but show nice restraint this is a very appealing wine to a broad spectrum of consumer looking for something ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • J Pinot Gris 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Tight, fresh, lemony and slightly muscatty with floral notes on the nose. In the mouth this is lighter that you might expect front he nose with simple yet fresh flavors of sweet apple and pears buttressed by gently supporting acids. It's a Iight and fresh wine that turns more citrusy with air and gains a subtle chalky note on the fairly long fi... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Czarina -- I like all the Seghesios because they taste like wine--not something ... ...  The "Sonoma County" bottling comes in right at your price point (which is one reason why I buy it just about every year), and it is widely available.  Actually, most of the other Seghesio bottlings, which will have single vineyard or AVA designations, are ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner


  • 1 X '96 -- Sonoma County 1 X '98 -- Napa ValleyBoth from "reliable" wineries, but not the names that geeks get all hot 'n' bothered about.I did, also, identify another Napa '97--technicallly, a blend.  So, I'm saying that there are 5 X '97s down there.Rest assured, I'll keep you up to date.  This is too much fun. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • I see that there are some Total Wine stores in N NJ.  It is easy to blow ... bottle of the 2012 Seghesio Sonoma County in my basket.  He said, "That is the best wine in this section."  I mentioned that year-in and year-out I have enjoyed this particular bottling and he continued that a great review from Wine Spectator for the 2011 vintage has ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner


  • 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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