Russian River Valley Wine

The Russian River Valley is the most southerly AVA within Northern Sonoma. It is named for the influx of Russian immigrants who, between 1812 and 1841, settled along the Sonoma coast, establishing agricultural businesses including the planting of wine grapes. Beginning at Fort Ross they moved up to Sebastopol, Graton and Freestone, eventually settling in what would become Russian River Valley.

Most of the Russian settlers abandoned the area by 1841, but other settlers had already migrated there and continued to support viticultural plantings. By the 1870s, the wine industry began to take hold and companies such as the Santa Rosa Wine Company, Martini and Prati, Korbel Cellars and Foppiano established longstanding wineries. 
 
The Prohibition was a devastating blow to the region, but there were some survival techniques employed by certain wineries to get around the problem. The Alicante-Bouchet grape from Europe, know for its unique teinturier (naturally dark, heavily pigmented juice without Read more »

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Popular wines made in Russian River Valley under $20

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Varietals Produced in Russian River Valley View all

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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 Russian River Valley

  • Green Valley

      The Green Valley AVA is in the west corner of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, in Calif...

Popular Wineries in Russian River Valley View all

  • Topolos

    The softly undulating hills of the famed Russian River Valley, caressed by cool blankets of fog a...

  • Hartman Lane

    Can you tell me the story behind this red?

  • Rutz Cellars

    2004 Rutz Cellars Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($45) Owner Keith Rutz seeks outst...

  • Armida Winery

    Hello folks! We purchased controlling interest in Armida Winery from Robert Frugoli in 1994. Wo...

  • River Road Vineyards

    River Road Vineyards started in 1976 with the purchase of a 78 acre Chardonnay Vineyard on River ...

  • Zmor Winery

    From 1985 to 1995, Daniel Moore’s ZMOORE winery was known as the preeminent New World benchmark i...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Acorn Axiom Syrah Alegria Vineyards Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Spicy dark berry and bramble fruit aromas with moist earth and something a bit oaty in the glass. Full, rich palate of dark fruit and textured tannins with a light smoke and dark chocolate, a drying finish of light licorice and sticky resinous berry spice. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Carlisle Montafi Ranch Russian River Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly complex Zinfandel. Lots of opening fruitsome berry but, also stone fruit. Then the old Zinfandel bramble from the 1980slike sticks and stems. This provides a bitter sensation to contrast with the sweetness of the opening fruit. Nice stiff tannin and sturdy acid. Im one who is eager to pop the cork on my wines, and while I am, in fact... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Just got back from a wine-centric trip to Paso Robles and Monterey County.  We've been to Paso a number of times and belong to two wine clubs - Tablas Creek and Adelaida.  This was our first visit to Carmel/Pacific Grove to check out what they have to offer.I made a few appointments and we dropped in to quite a few more tasting rooms.In Paso, Ta... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately? by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Limerick Lane 1023 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Good wine. Red fruit. Sturdy acids and tannins give complexity, Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Macmurray Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Bright red cherry aromas with a light note of cranberry, this is fresh and floral with darkly sweet spice. Soft and mellow note with a zesty mid palate that delivers a bold freshness and a mixture of blueberry and plum spice, more notes of fresh cranberry and lightly textured tannins, a smooth and balanced wine with soft fruit and fall spice tow... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • T-Vine Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Restrained and brooding chocolate and licorice aromas with notes of cherry and raspberry. Concentrated and explosive on the palate with a rich mouthfeel of cherry, red currant and raspberry with a bracing acidity and an unwavering spice adding a lot of depth and complexity but falling away slowly on the finish, releasing blueberry and chocolate ... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Limerick Lane Syrah 'Headpruned Block' 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Oh wow, is this good. Its kind of all over the place with flavor suggestions, but they are only suggestionsblackberry, black plum, coffee, unsweetened chocolatenothing really dominates. Chocolate sensation probably was really from tannin. Winner, winner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • J Vineyards Brut Rose Russian River Valley NV

    Snoothrank:

    Warm cherry and strawberry aromas, smooth and balanced with floral notes. Zesty and tart citrus notes on the palate with tangerine, lemon and grapefruit notes with fresh strawberries and cream, very warm with baking spices and bold acidity with a bit of earthiness coming through towards the finish, framed with cherry and a faint tannin layering ... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Russian River Valley NV

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh citrus fruit notes of lemon and grapefruit with soft brioche and warm butter cream aromas. Lively and zesty on the palate with lemon and grapefruit flavors up front yielding to a creamy mid palate of buttery toast and more fresh fruit flavors of melon and citrus pith towards the finish. A consistently solid and approachable blend.90 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Thumbprint Cellars Chardonnay 2007

    Snoothrank:

    When I drink this wine can i feel my first hangover Read More

    Wine review by jave


  • Don't miss the Trousseau Gris from Fanucchi Vineyards!

    Comment by 1165994Thomas C 1165994 Thomas C


  • My favorite Vineyard in Russian River in The Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard.

    Comment by 806255Luciano L 806255 Luciano L


  • Our favorite discovery is Fanucchi Vineyards!

    Comment by 565487Jo Kelly 565487 Jo Kelly


  • Love the place. Thanks everyone.

    Comment by 518791RaguilarCAT 518791 RaguilarCAT


  • 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 R...

    Comment by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Just had a 2008 Saralee's Vineyard Joseph Swan Chardonnay..not my style usually...barrel fermented, 100% Malo, but it was so well put together. Really delicious.

    Comment by 363563Pinotmoi 363563 Pinotmoi


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    Page modification by 320303westsidelodge 320303 westsidelodge


  • Description edited for this page.

    Page modification by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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