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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Syrah

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

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

  • Adler Fels Winery

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

  • Rutz Cellars

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

  • Zmor Winery

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

  • Lynmar Winery

    Lynmar Estate is a premium producer of estate-grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonn...

  • Porter Creek Winery

    Owned and operated by father and son, Porter Creek is a winery and vineyard estate situated just ...

  • 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

  • Last night we had our neighborhood friends (Debbie & Rick) over for a nice ... 2012 St. Francis Zinfandel (Russian River Valley, Bacchi Vineyard) along with a skull cork screw.  We didn't drink my birthday wine, but here's how it went down as we pulled some wines from our wine cellar:Upon their arrival, I served a Rose sparkler, the Cricova fr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Failla Keefer Ranch Russian River Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Excellent Failla chardonnay. Layers of creamy lemon chiffon, subtle butterscotch, honey and just a kiss of vanilla and oak. This is a very well balanced wine, not overly fruity, oaky or acidic but enough of each to make things interesting. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir "Dutton Ranch" 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty Pinot Noir Red color in the glass, and by that I mean that I find the color of most PNs is not as dark as most other red wines. Very subtle nose hinting at cherry fruit and some violets. Quite soft on the palate. Some cherry fruit and, happily, some tartness. Little to no perceptible tannin. Satisfying aftertaste. Not a terribly com... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Foppiano Vineyards Petite Sirah 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Big beefy, chewy RRV Petite Sirah. Loads of dark ripe blackberries, plums, dried fig, a touch of anise and black pepper. Dark and inky in the glass, the tannins are a bit grainy but not overly so. Light to medium acidity and a medium length finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Graton Ridge Cellars Zinfandel Russian River Valley Bacigalupi Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    First whiff came out smokin' as in this had a heavy bit of smoke on the nose. After a 30 minute decant the smoke was gone and now there's just a bunch of really nice dark fruit, a touch of licorice, some mighty fine acidity and subtle fine grained tannins. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Girard Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Dolinsek Ranch Heritage Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very bright garnet color. Lots of berry fruit on the nose. Nicely lean on entry to the palatesome red raspberry flavor but, definitely, not the jammy Zinfandel thing, here. Not terribly full-bodied. Towards the back there is some more fruitiness that makes you think sweet, but, then there is also some woodiness that quickly erases that. Ver... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Hook & Ladder Winery Russian River Valley Third Alarm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm


  • Rancho San Miguel Winery Zinfandel Old Vine Starr Road Vineyard Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Fritz Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Green apple and honey aromas are light and fresh with a bit of fresh cut mango and papaya. Full and round mouthfeel, a bit chunky and certainly pleasant, with peach pit, more mango, green apple, a bit of lemon meringue and a touch of cream on the long finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • 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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