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...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Holdredge Wines

    Holdredge Wines is a small, family owned and operated winery in the Russian River Valley of Heald...

  • Adler Fels Winery

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

  • J Vineyards & Winery

    A 25-year legacy of making exceptional wines to inspire in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley...

  • Rutz Cellars

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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

    Walter Hansel Winery is located in Sonoma County at the southern tip of the Russian River Valley ...

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

    In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine staked their claim in th...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • River Road Russian River Valley Sonoma County Reserve Pinot Noir 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Garnet in color and shy on the nose. Medium light in weight, light dark cherry fruit with good acidity and very light tannins. Needs food. Not a bad wine just nothing to cause me to look for it again. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Kenwood Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty, clear garnet color. Light cherry nose. Tart cherry on entry. Some slight bitterness that seems to be diminishing. While not offensive, it is pretty undistinguished. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Calling Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Had at matt the Miller Read More

    Wine review by gmb468


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very surprising, subtle entry on the tongue. Some red berry fruit, but not, necessarily any particular berry that I can pick out. Nice. Good tannin and sprightly acid. Interesting that I seem to get more fruitand its stone fruiton the rear palate than on the tip of the tongue. Good job, Bedrock. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Here are 3 that we've found are very good values and just plain good ... ... NOT like it's Sonoma or Russian River Valley counter parts.  They are more red fruit dominated with additional spice IMO.  This is darker and fuller with fruit and less spice - good in it's own right I hope it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.All were less than $30 whe... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good pinot noir in the $30...


  • 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


  • Does anyone know anything about River Road Winery in Sonoma. I've picked up ... ... Stephanie's Vineyard Russian River Valley. Thinking of giving it a try. http://www.totalwine.com/wine/red-wine/pinot-noir/river-road-pinot-noir-stephanies-russian-river-valley/p/88320750?s=2101&igrules=tr Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good pinot noir in the $30...


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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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