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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

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

  • Moon Mountain

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

  • Mazzocco Vineyards

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

  • La Crema Winery

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

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

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

  • Murphy-Goode Winery

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

  • 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


  • Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Warm and heady aromas of blackberry and black currant. Smooth and juicy on the palate with notes of dark black currant and black cherry, this does a good job of showcasing the fruit, presenting a fresh palate through to a creamy finish with medium firm tannins. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • J Vineyards Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Cool fruit aromas of banana and apricot, creamy vanilla, green apple and light floral perfume. Green apple and cream on the palate on entry with a soft mid palate of melon, light lemon and pear, oak spice, baked apple and crumb cake, finishing a bit bitter with toasted coconut and more oak. 89 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Gaps Crown Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A nice sturdy wine, If you're looking for the IPOB-type of PN that has been the fad the last few years, this ain't it. Black cherry, and, maybe, plum, on the tip of the tongue. Some spiciness--cinnamon? Surprisingly (for PN) noticeable tannin, Good acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rockpile Winery Mauritson Zinfandel Rockpile Westphall Ridge Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Berries and stone fruit. Interestingly, the wine seems full-bodied but it isnt a mouthful. A little salinity. Nice tart acids. Very sedate tannin. There will be no Day 2 report on this wine. It will be gone before the evening is over. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rodney Strong Malbec Reserve Sonoma County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very spicy on the nose with black pepper and licorice notes. Full palate of blackberry and black currant fruit, creamy textured and broad with a smoky veneer of earthy spice, vanilla bean and toasted coffee. Thus is held up by its good structure and bold acidity. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Gary Farrell Wines Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Light floral cherry and raspberry notes with hints of fruit candy and dark oak spice, plum skin and fresh herb. Bold mixed berry, cherry and red currant palate with thick streaks of earthy tar and oak spice and warm mellow heat underlying the fruit, this sings on the palate with a good blend of refreshing fruit, fresh acidity and earthen charact... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • J Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Elegant and layered floral aromas of red currant and ripe black cherry with soft perfume and strong baking spice notes. Juicy and firm on the palate with a lively palate of fresh acidity, good earthiness, a tingling of herb and bold smoky notes alongside hints of tar and black pepper. The mid palate starts with a burst of cherry fruit that conti... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Lemon curd and peach blossom aromas with aromas of fresh grapefruit and apple. Gorgeous, tart fruit notes of grapefruit and fresh lemon, puckering acidity and wooded oak notes, floral honeysuckle, light citrus zest and herb and a finish of apple, pear and melon. Fantastic complexity and depth but with a lightness that keeps the palate clean.93 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Peter Paul Russian River Bacigalupi Chardonnay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly oaky wine is introduced by caramel flavor, but then there is bright tropical fruit--kiwi, pineapple. The pineapple tells you that it is supported by refreshing acid, but, then the the acid seems more lemon pithy. A pretty good wine. Not light-bodied, but a refreshing summer wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Dusty earth and candied aromas of plum, grape and cherry, a touch floral as well. Cherry and cranberry fruit on the palate, tart and tannic with smoky tree roots and thick earth towards the finish. 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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