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

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

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...

  • Kenwood Vineyards

    Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards is dedicated to producing premium wi...

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

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

  • Goldschmidt Vineyards

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

  • Thumbprint Cellars

    Hand-crafted, small lot, micro-wines are created using the highest quality grapes from Sonoma Cou...

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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


  • Ceritas Pinot Noir Porter-Bass Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Translucent red plum color in the glass. Unusually spicy nose. Very light bodied on the tonguenot rose light, but darned close. Delicate suggestion of strawberry or cherry. Stiff acid makes me want to guzzle this, but I wont. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Finally.  The Apsara e-mail hit today: Hello Mark,Like a rising ... ... Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County - $26 ~ 750ml bottle.75c/s produced. “A smashing wine that I regularly drink after long days north of the wall.” - Jon Snow, 95 points.  These wines are made in extremely limited quantities and are usually only available for a shor... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Brazin Zinfandel Lodi Old Vine 2008

    Snoothrank:

    16OCT11 Read More

    Wine review by ardalporto


  • Rodney Strong Chardonnay Estate Chalk Hill 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and fruity aromas of green apple and peach with honeysuckle and vanilla on the nose. Wonderfully thick and full in the mouth, this has tart fresh citrus notes coming through powerfully in the center, round and firm yet quite zesty and lively throughout and turning to more lemon and light butter towards the finish With a hint of white pepper. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Davis Bynum Jane's Vineyard Dijon Clone 777 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Violet petal and cinnamon notes on the nose with aromas of ripe cherry blossom and hints of red licorice. Turns a little more herbal in the mouth, showing earthy streaks of tar, cedar and more ripe cherry and cranberry notes demonstrating a good fruit core and a fresh acidity throughout that ends on a stony, earthy note. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Copain Tous Ensemble Chardonnay 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Liandra160


  • Limerick Lane Syrah Grenache 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Flowery nosegeranium, violet. Combination of fruit and pepper on entryblueberry, plum with spiciness. The wine washes very nicely over the tongue. To my way of thinking, amazingly balanced fruit/tannin/acidI get all three, but none dominate. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Kendall Jackson 'Vintners' Reserve Summation Red 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Never follow a good bottle of wine with a so-so bottle. Once again California disappoints me. No value here. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Cortina 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Slightly sweet, smooth finish, fruit forward but not quite "jammy". $20 on the street. Read More

    Wine review by ptharvey


  • Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Blackberry and rich baking spice on the nose with some soft earth and notes of candied plum. This shows a good herbal note in the mouth and powerful fruit notes of dark blackberry preserves, black currant and black cherry, chewy tannins and nice balance. Very creamy on the finish with lovely vanilla notes and a hint of black pepper and cedar. 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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