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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

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

  • Davis Family Vineyards

    Davis Family Vineyards is located on a ridge top in the center of California’s renowned Russian R...

  • Hartford Court

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

  • Balletto Vineyards & Winery

    2001 was the first vintage for our winery. As grape growers first, we strongly feel that with ...

  • Christopher Creek Winery

    Christopher Creek Winery is a small, family owned winery with a history of producing award winnin...

  • Pax Wine Cellars

    Launched with its 2000 vintage, the focus of Pax Wine Cellars is to produce the best vineyard-des...

  • Zmor Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    An exemplary expression of the Pinot Noir grape with bright, smiling, red cherry fruits and blood orange slices on the nose and palate. Black cherry licorice with powerful puffs of spice. A perfect 10! Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and fruit cherry and cherry cola aromas. Spice, cream and blackberries slide across the palate which is smooth and warm while still having a good dollop of acidity to keep it refreshing. Finish is long and filled of bramble, a bit of oak and earth. Nicely integrated and balanced wine - great with a vegetable sautee for dinner. Read More

    Wine review by mark


  • Martin Ray Winery Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Not bad, not great sauv blanc from russian river. Not a lot going on but there is a touch of creamy lemon and some decent acidity. This is more on the lemon side of flavors, not any of the NZ grapefruit. Overall, decent for the price, would probably buy again for a summer deck or mid-week quaff. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Brooding, earthy nose with a hint of phenols. Like so many California PNs, the first taste is cherry, but, then, a good thingas the wine moves over the palate, I get more of a blackberry flavor and acid and tannin structure add significant complexity. Acid/tannin suggests to me that there is some significant aging potential, here. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Celebrating the return of our master bath after 6 weeks. Out with the big tub (we used it once in 17 years), tired cabinetry and white tiled floor. In with a tiled double shower with sprays, heated 20" tile floor, new granite countertops and a new commode with one of those cool seats that slowly closes when you put the lid down. Put a couple t-b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Rose of Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore


  • Samuele Sebastiani Green Hungarian 1984

    Snoothrank:

    its been off the market as u say for quite sometime..this was one of the BEST from SEBASTIANIi wish they would reintro it in current day Read More

    Wine review by cowgirltx


  • Kenwood Vineyards Pinot Gris 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This is certainly pungent, and fruity though with aromas of tropical fruit leaning towards guava along with cooked apricot and melon it is somewhat atypical. Gentle on the palate, a little swet and with fruity flavors that recall the nose but show nice restraint this is a very appealing wine to a broad spectrum of consumer looking for something ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Carlisle Zinfandel Russian River Valley Carlisle Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Dark and earthy on the nose with lovely integrated wood spice notes, rich briar and tobacco notes and a base of spiced dry cherries. Velvety in the mouth with lovely, nuanced briery red fruits and a hint of plum accenting the raspberries and cherries that gain lovely wood spice notes on the backend. The finish is long, detailed and full with ri... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley the North Slope Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Big and lovely Russian River Pinot. Layers of dark fruit, allspice, stewed prunes, lively mouth watering acidity, a touch of smoke on the nose, chewy fine grained tannins and a fairly long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • 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


  • Description edited for this page.

    Page modification by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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