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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

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

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

  • Old World Winery

    Winemaker/Proprietor Darek Trowbridge studied winemaking with his grandfather, Lino Martinelli, w...

  • J Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Rochioli Vineyard & Winery

    With three generations of dedication to the land, Rochioli Vineyards and Winery has earned the re...

  • Porter Creek Winery

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

  • Oriel

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

  • Holdredge Wines

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • La Crema Russian River Pinot Noir 2013


    Warm and light on its feet, this opens with baking spice and ripe cherry aromas, cinnamon and some black pepper spice to complement the fruit. In the mouth, it's creamy and silky, with elegant dark cherry fruit around the edges of a round fullness showing some cocoa and licorice. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Weibel Family Gh Green Hungarian NV


    I experenced this wine in the 70's paired with a swedish meal of pork and it was amazing. I was shocked when Weibel stopped making it and the winery moved from my home town. Crisp, light, sweet, it is truly delicious. Read More

    Wine review by RhonnaM

  • Copied and pasted from Cellartracker: 1983 Hacienda Del Rio Zinfandel Leno ... ... California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (8/8/2015) Celebrating a special day with good friends and family. This wine is from the first commercial vintage of who are now Williams-Selyem with the iconic label. I had my fingers crossed when I opened this bo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 324443outthere 324443 outthere

  • La Crema Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2013


    Green citrus and oatmeal on the nose with a touch of spiced green apple and lemon peel. Milk chocolate dipped peaches and apples fan across the palate. The finish creeps back toward the citrus side of things with notes of orange slices and lemon drops. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Georganne 2009


    Pretty, dark red color. Some fruit on the nose but more wood or leather. Lightest hint of strawberry on introduction to the tongue/palate. This is a pretty big wine. However, it is wonderfully balanced. Fruit, tannin and acid are all there, but nothing dominates. They all support each other. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Sodini Vineyard Zinfandel 2012


    [Hmm. Ill be darned. It looks like I have commented on this wine in the past, and it looks like my impressions are quite different. I guess that shows that I dont know jack about wine.] Opaque dark red color. Some rustic earthiness in the nose. Very fruit forwardred fruits or berries, strawberry, red cherry. Some pepperiness. Very easy o... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Imagery Estate Winery Viognier Russian River Valley 2013


    Clear, very pale yellow in the glassvery close to white. Very floral, perfumey nose with the slightest hint of spice that I would associate with Gewurztraminer. Sure enough, lots of white stone fruit flavor on the tip of the tongue that morphs into a melon suggestion at the back. Also, a bit of spritz on the tip of the tongue. Good acid back... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • What is a bit odd for these North Carolina wines is that the chardonnay wine ... Sauv Blanc bottle it says Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and on the side is says Vinted and Bottled by Lake Norman Winery, Cloverdale, CA. Even more interesting is the cab bottle - Napa Valley Cabernet, Vinted and Bottled by Lake Norman Winery, Cornelius, NC... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0

  • Lake Norman Winery Sauvignon Blanc Sandbar 2013


    This is an excellent Sauv Blanc made by a winery in North Carolina sourcing Russian River grapes. On the nose is light lemon cream and a touch of green melon. There is also creamy lemon on the tongue along with slightly tart green plum, slightly under ripe peach and just a touch of white pepper on the back end. There is crisp acidity and a me... Read More

    Wine review by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0

  • RBA, that shellfish platter looks amazing.  You would have had to roll me ...  Santa Cruz Mountains? Russian River Valley?  Why am I getting this geographic discontinuity?Well, after some internet sneuthing I think I may have learned some things.Mount Eden Vineyards is, in fact, a historic wine estate located in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA.  ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend 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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    Page modification by 320303westsidelodge 320303 westsidelodge

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    Page modification by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews

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