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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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

  • Ovene Winery

    Ovene Winery produces World Class Central Coast Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvig...

  • Adler Fels Winery

    Adler Fels Winery was founded in Sonoma Valley in 1979 by David and Ayn Coleman. The winery soo...

  • Michael Scott Wines

    Limited Production Award-Winning Wines (Cabernet & Zinfandel)  from Napa and Sonoma!   http://w...

  • Topolos

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

  • Hartford Court

    High Personality Wines Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the dif...

  • Peters Family Winery

    Peters Family Winery is dedicated to producing compelling, extraordinary wines which reflect thei...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Syrah Grenache Blend 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Unpretentious berry fruit on entryblueberry, blackberry. Slight suggestion of vanilla. After the initial impressions it moves towards savory. Nice full-bodied wine. Sturdy tannins. Acid makes it very drinkable and, along with the tannin, suggests improvement from more sideways resting. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Macmurray Estate Vineyards Pinot Gris Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Highly floral aromas of light orange blossom and honeysuckle, light melon and apple. Cool fruit notes, honeyed melon, grapefruit and lime with searing acidity and a tart, fresh finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Williams-Selyem Zinfandel Russian River Valley Papera Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Nice, slightly tart, red fruit. Suggestions of wood or bramble, but suggestions, only. Some herbalnessIm getting parsley. Reasonable tannic backbone but, also quite restrained. I am enjoying this wine, but Im glad I am taking it out of storage. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • A few more recent arrivals:L - The Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2015R - The Scattered Peaks Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015L - The Calera "40th Anniversay Vintage" Central Coast Pinot Noir 2015R - The Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Dry Riesling 2017  Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Bedrock Papera Ranch Heritage Red Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Opens with lots of red raspberry fruit. A mouth-filling wine. I find the tannins to be quite sedate. Love the acid level. That gives it a freshness. This is a very enjoyable wine at this point. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • J Vineyards Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Cool fruit aromas of banana and apricot, creamy vanilla, green apple and light floral perfume. Green apple and cream on the palate on entry with a soft mid palate of melon, light lemon and pear, oak spice, baked apple and crumb cake, finishing a bit bitter with toasted coconut and more oak. 89 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Gary Farrell Wines Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Light floral cherry and raspberry notes with hints of fruit candy and dark oak spice, plum skin and fresh herb. Bold mixed berry, cherry and red currant palate with thick streaks of earthy tar and oak spice and warm mellow heat underlying the fruit, this sings on the palate with a good blend of refreshing fruit, fresh acidity and earthen charact... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • J Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Elegant and layered floral aromas of red currant and ripe black cherry with soft perfume and strong baking spice notes. Juicy and firm on the palate with a lively palate of fresh acidity, good earthiness, a tingling of herb and bold smoky notes alongside hints of tar and black pepper. The mid palate starts with a burst of cherry fruit that conti... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Lemon curd and peach blossom aromas with aromas of fresh grapefruit and apple. Gorgeous, tart fruit notes of grapefruit and fresh lemon, puckering acidity and wooded oak notes, floral honeysuckle, light citrus zest and herb and a finish of apple, pear and melon. Fantastic complexity and depth but with a lightness that keeps the palate clean.93 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Peter Paul Russian River Bacigalupi Chardonnay 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly oaky wine is introduced by caramel flavor, but then there is bright tropical fruit--kiwi, pineapple. The pineapple tells you that it is supported by refreshing acid, but, then the the acid seems more lemon pithy. A pretty good wine. Not light-bodied, but a refreshing summer wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


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    Page modification by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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