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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

  • Kenwood Vineyards

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • 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...

  • Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate

    The estate was founded in 1979 and named Domaine Michel by Jean-Jacques Michel. A native of Switz...

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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


  • Benziger Family Winery Chardonnay Sonoma County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Lean in nature with enough fruit to be interesting. Good pair with spicy olives. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Carlisle Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of blue makes the color more purple than red. Interesting. This one is a mouthful. Very chewy, almost, not quite, jammy on the tongue. Strong tannin. Im pretty sure this not my favorite DCV Zin. Its not bad, but it just seems overripe, to me. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Griffin's Lair Vineyard Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Gentle introduction of purple fruit on entry. Solid tannin and good acid. Terrific, lengthy finish. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ah, the Campesino wines.  I am on the mailing list but I have not purchased from them yet.So, I did a little research.  Of course you guys are generally right, but my generalized thinking isn't far off the mark either due to the abundance of cheaper Zinfandel wines.  Here is an forum posting that you can read further if you go to this link.Aging... Read More

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


  • Battaglini Estate Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley Twin Pines Vineyards 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity nose, but with noticeable alcohol. A LOT of red fruitraspberry, cherry, stone fruit--on entry. Then you are smacked by alcoholhot and bitter. I bought this bottle at an Italian deli a couple weeks ago. It has probably been laying on the shelf there for 5 or 6 years. So, it is entirely possible that the compromised storage has forced t... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful nose of wild berries, licorice, and crushed rose petals. Wonderfully rich & ripe with flavors that dont overwhelm. Full-bodied, but balanced and delicious. With layered flavors of blackberries, ripe black cherries and blueberries, some plum and with the slightest touch of smoky pepper and creamy oak, creating balance with notes of acid... Read More

    Wine review by sipsamplestroll


  • Dark Hundred 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Today is my Son's 100th day. On the contrary, he had a very bright hundredth day. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Geyser Peak Winery Bin 10 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2006

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is a deep, inky purple at the center, with bright ruby along the edges. The nose presents aromas of blackberry, plum and cassis overlaid with some earthy notes of leather and tar. The taste is packed with jammy fruit up front, with blueberry, plum and blackberry, that transition nicely to some notes of black pepper and spice along wit... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Teldeschi Petite Sirah Dry Creek Valley 1999

    Snoothrank:

    I opened the bottle carefully (cork and age can be fickle friends) and then decanted it for about an hour. The wine is a rich, inky black at the center with bright ruby along the edges. The nose presents aromas of blackberry, plum and kisch, that just reminds me of many of the wonderful local Italian places in New York. The wine is an explosi... Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Gauthier Select Vineyards Pinot Noir Rockin H Ranch Vyd 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Like many of the 2012 Pinot Noirs Ive had, this one is rather tannic in structure, and its an open question as to whether the fruit will last long enough for the tannins to resolve themselves. In terms of nose and mouthfeel, this wine is more reminiscent of a Zinfandel than a Pinot Noir in fact, in many ways it recalls the Los Chamizal Zinfande... Read More

    Wine review by Dougman


  • 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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