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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate

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

  • Dark Horse Wine

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

  • A. Rafanelli

    The Rafanelli family is now in its fourth generation of growing grapes and making wine in the Dry...

  • Robert Hunter Winery

    Visit and tour the special garden and grounds overlooking the Hunter Farms vineyard in Sonoma Val...

  • 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


  • Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    This wine and I were both #81 in 2017. The wine, #81 of the Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017, and myself, #81 of 264 in the Spartan Race Sacramento 2017. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rich, savory aromas of ripe raspberry, cherry and earthy plum on the nose, lightly floral and complex. Explodes on the palate with juicy cranberry and red currant flavors, a bit of herb, cherry fruit and dry, dusty earth and leather. This is mellow and smooth but very expressive, with herb, fruit and tannic earth in equal parts, good structure a... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Jordan Chardonnay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Rich buttery aromas of green apple, peach, dried apricot, melon and vanilla. Smooth and full bodied on the palate, refreshing with an excellent heft of vanilla bean, toasted oak and fruit flavors of green apple, pear and melon, a touch of lemon as well with a finish of smoky oak. Creamy, zesty, generous and full flavored. 91 pts. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Trader Joe's Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Reserve 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Big bright zin with some candied almond that makes it different - awesome!Can't believe I've got it so cheap Read More

    Wine review by ApelsecS


  • Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery Merlot 2005

    Snoothrank:

    Brocodes.ru , , - . - , . -. https://brocodes.ru/ Read More

    Wine review by BrocodesRu


  • Bedrock Sonoma Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    #12 of the 2017 Wine Spectator Top 100.My Son turns 10 Months. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Vintjs Russian River Valley Sonoma County Arneis 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Bold round citrus - pomello, red orange, grapefruit, becomes brighter and greener at the end, like kiwi and fingered citron. Medium ending. Read More

    Wine review by ApelsecS


  • Limerick Lane Syrah Grenache 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Similar to my notes a year and a half ago. Very bright fruit--plum, blueberry, red cherry--on the tip of the tongue. Enough tannin to convince me this is wine--not fruit juice--balanced by good acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Foppiano Vineyards Estate Bottled Petite Sirah Russian River Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Better than Silver Oak. For 85%less. Cant beat it!!!!!! Read More

    Wine review by PapaJoe09


  • Sbragia Zinfandel Gino's Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Dark purple in the glass with just the slightest amount of light passing through. Quite funky noseprobably Sulphur that hasnt blown off, yet. Lots of tart cherry on the tip of the tongue. Then some stoniness. Certainly not the biggest Zin Ive ever had, but enjoyable. Light-ish on tannin, but strong on acid. A very pleasant prickly sensatio... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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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