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

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

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

  • La Crema Winery

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

  • 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 ...

  • Sonoma Creek Winery & Vineyards

    The Sonoma region has a rich heritage filled with historic California character that dates back t...

  • Chateau Souverain

    At Souverain, our goal is to make authentic wines that are the best expression of each varietal a...

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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


  • Trentadue la Storia Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Not an earth shattering merlot but solid with good quality wine making behind it. A core of dark berry fruit, spice, woody notes, anise and chocolate leads to a sweetish flush of dark cherry tannins that are chewy and framing. Balanced acidity leads to a nice finish that's short but full. Drink now - Paul 88 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Ridge Geyserville 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very interesting wine. For those who recall the days when a Zinfandel was characterized as brambly, this aint it. The front label indicates that this wine is 73% Zin, 17% Carignan, 9% PS and 1% Mourvedre. This is a pretty gentle wine. A fair amount of red berry fruit on introduction, but nowhere near the tannin that I would expect. Not real... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Toby Lane Vineyards Rose Alexander Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Solid wine built along the lines of a weaker red than a rose. Aromas of cherry and raspberry mix with anise, chocolate and spice - though they are heavier, it is still a refreshing wine. Drink now - Paul 86 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Foppiano Vineyards Petite Sirah 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Dark purple in the glass as you would expect from a PS. Very fruity noseof dark berries. Big hit of fruit on introductionsweeter than blackberry, more like blueberry. Not a blockbuster PS. Very light on both tannin and acid. More of an easy drinker. Very easily worth the $15 I spent on it. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Schug Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Coast 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Floral nose of wild flowers with some intriguing herbals coming through like tea leaf and grass with some peach and pineapple fruit. This is more about the mouthfeel than the acidity in the mouth, with some good fullness in the mouth and distant notes of grapefruit and gooseberry especially towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Soft red fruit aromas of raspberry and sweet cherry with a bit of chalky earth and some floral notes on the nose. Dusty and dry in the mouth, this delivers a rich red fruit palate with a dose of medicine and dark chocolate towards the finish. Good acidity and fresh earthiness towards the finish add some complexity here. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Sp Drummer Red Blend Sonoma County Sonoma Red 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Excellent additional bottle by Naked Wines Read More

    Wine review by anstett


  • Bedrock Wine Company Dolinsek Ranch Heritage Red Wine 2013

    Snoothrank:

    More blue than red purple color. Lots of black fruit on entryblackberry, black plum that may be a tad overripe, and there may be a suggestion of blueberry. Surprisingly, this wine is not as full-bodied as I might have guessed. It is, in fact, far from full-boded. Very sedate tannins. A touch of bitterness on the rear palate, but that is gon... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Esa Pekka Salonen is one of the great musicians of our day.   Have fun.Was ... ... tip.  Stick to Sonoma County--Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian RIver Valley, Sonoma Valle Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Merriam Vineyards Merlot Russian River Valley Windacre 2004

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Jacobson52


  • 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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