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

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

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

  • Hartford Court

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

  • Oriel

    “...What if you could walk into any wine store or restaurant and select a wine from any of nine c...

  • Carlisle Winery

    Welcome to Carlisle Winery & Vineyards! We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the ...

  • Maboroshi Vineyard and Wine Estates

    We made up our minds one day to give up our comfortable lifestyle and leave Japan in order to try...

  • DeLoach Vineyards

    DeLoach Vineyards pioneered Pinot Noir wine growing in the Russian River Valley when Cecil DeLoac...

  • Hunter Wine Cellars, LLC

    Chasseur Wines is dedicated to small lot, hand-crafted wines in the old French tradition with emp...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Hook and Ladder Zinfandel Russian River Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    First impression is blueberry pie. Some very nice acidity and red and black cherry coming through on the back end. Not overly complex but definitely a nice mid-week drinker. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Furmint/Harslevelu 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly pale yellow color. Fresh apple aroma. Quite light on initial taste. Light fruit hints of apple with a bit of lime. Excellent ouch of acid tartness prevents sweet fruitiness from dominating. I like this wine a lot. It is pleasant, easy to drink, and is not in-your-face with any characteristic. However, I do not have enough experienc... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Enroute Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Another from dinner Wines at Perry's. Red fruit, plum, and raspberry and afterwards more earth and mineral notes, and further complexity. Great long finish. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Siduri Pinot Noir Keefer Vyd Russian River 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Burgundy. Cargassachi and Lee 2012. - burgundy. blackberry. Tasted again May 2, 2015. Read More

    Wine review by William Djubin


  • Picket Fence Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by hransom


  • Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Syrah 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly big RRV syrah from Balletto. The nose is loaded with ripe dark cherries and a good hit of smoke, some earthiness and a bit of tanned leather. There's ripe black berries on the tongue but the fruit is just starting to fade, some more of the smokiness/leather, fine grained tannins, medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Wonderment Pinot Noir Campbell's Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mark


  • A day could be spent in and around the Russian River Valley as well. About 45-60 minutes West of Sonoma (depending on traffic.More laid back, scenic and hundreds of winery options. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Lewis Cellars Chardonnay Sonoma 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lovely golden yellow color. Definite oak bouquet on the nose. Lots of tropical fruit on the tonguelychee, pineapple. Some vanilla, but that is subdued by excellent acid on the back end which gives this a nice refreshing quality. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • I tried a wine I have been excited to dig into tonight...2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel.My take away is that it will be very good in a couple years.  Dense fruit. A little tart.  It just needs some bottle time.  Not surprising.  After an hour of air it has a little mustyness to it.  If that's a word.Over the last couple years ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • 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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