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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Frei Brothers Reserve

      Frei Brothers Reserve is a winery based in Sonoma, California. The grapes are sourced from...

  • Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards

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

  • Hafner Vineyard

    We're a small family winery tucked away in Alexander Valley, 15 minutes from Healdsburg. You w...

  • Medlock Ames

    Medlock Ames is located on 335 acres of rolling oak and madrone woodland in the South-Western por...

  • Tandem Winery

    Our Background shows a long history of working passionately with high-end labels; the team of gro...

  • Moon Mountain

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

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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:

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews

  • If you didn't see this Snooth posting and planning a trip to Sonoma, check this out:

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews

  • Arnot-Roberts Handal-Denier Vineyard Falanghina 2019


    Vibrant gold color. Nose of stewed stone fruit. Tropical fruit on the tongue--papaya, pineapple. Some caramel-like richness. Not as light-bodied as I would have guessed but the abundant fruit certainly gives it a mouth-filling character. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Scherrer Russian River Valley Syrah 2015


    Muted blackberry on the tip of the tongue. Suggestion of citric acid on the back and edges of the tongue. Some slight salinity. Viscous mouthfeel notwithstandin, it seems to me something of a "rustic" wine. Retro-nasal hint of baking spices. Good wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Winemaker's Folly Chapter 1 Vino Tinto 2018


    Sour nose. Upfront stewed fruits, Then, cinnamon. Very slight acidity. Very slight tannin. I want to hate this wine--it just doesn't have any complexity or sophistication--but it seems to be growing on me. It is so easy to drink. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Winemaker's Folly Chapter 1 Vino Blanco 2019


    Very petty clear yellow color. Floral nose. Lots of fruit on entry--red apple, pineapple, banana, melon. Very noticeable sweetness. Oaky caramel. Some mid-palate slate, Very interesting, fun wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Sonoma-Loeb Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016


    Red cherry, maybe red raspberry. Slightly "sweeter' than I prefer, but not terrible. Some mid-palate stemminess. Some baking spices. Surprising spritz around the edges of the tongue. Normally, I would attribute that to acidity, but I am not getting acid tartness. Just seems unusual to me. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Bedrock Wine Company Dolinsek Ranch Heritage 2017


    Tart red berries--raspberry, cranberry--on the tip of the tongue. Interestingly, it seems to be a fairly refined wine early under the palate, but appears to be more rustic or gruff under the rear palate. That could be acid which showed up as tartness on entry. Fairly modest tannin. All in all an enjoyable wine, but one that I think many seek... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Carlisle Winery Two Acres Russian River Valley 2017


    The first of this bottling I've ever tried. Lovely dark fruit--blackberry, blueberry, prune--that is not "sweet" at all. Fairly viscous mouthfeel. Some spice--cinnamon, nutmeg. Stiff tannin and good acid forecast a few years of aging would be beneficial. Note to self: buy more, next time. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Petite Sirah 2014


    Introductory fruit of blackberry, Some nice dustiness or minerality, "Thick" viscous mouthfeel. As the wine warms from cellar temperature, I notice slight tartness, Nicely full-bodied, Quite lengthy aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2018


    This wine opens with red fruit and, interestingly, some salinity, A suggestion of orange zest. A good amount of Zinfandel "bramble" that I don't see very often in modern renditions. Medium-bodied. Noticeable, but not intrusive, at all, tannin. Slightly hot, but, again, not really annoying. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Myriad Whole Cluster Syrah Sangiacomo Vineyard Petaluma Gap 2018


    Bright fruit--red berries. plums--introduce this wine. Brightness comes from just the right level of acidity. A nice, full-bodied wine. I had the stemmed and crushed version of this wine the other day, and this one is a much more approachable wine. I know I am committing infanticide, but curiosity won out. Remaining bottles will stay sidewa... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • If you didn't see this Snooth posting and planning a trip to Sonoma, check this out:

    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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