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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Zmor Winery

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

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

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

  • Christopher Creek Winery

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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

  • Peters Family Winery

    Peters Family Winery is dedicated to producing compelling, extraordinary wines which reflect thei...

  • J Vineyards & Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • OK, that Carlisle OVZ, last night, really inspired me.  So, tonight it is ...  The Carlisle was "Russian River Valley," and this one is "California."Other than that, they are both labeled "Zinfandel."  So, according to the laws of the United States 75% of the souce grapes that made these wines were the Zinfandel variety.Cutting to the chase, I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Carlisle Russian River Valley Zinfandel Old Vines 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruit on entryred plumwith a violet-like flowery component. A lot of bramble reminiscent of 1970s-80s zins. Some very serious tannins, which, my guess will take some time to calm down. That, along with good acid content, suggests that I should have listened to common wisdom about Carlisles and let it lay on its side for several more years. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Macmurray Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve Russian River Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh ripe cherries, star anise, clove and blueberries on the nose. Clean and fresh on the palate, round and full with bright cherry fruit, a bit of heat and a finish of licorice and soft earth. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Martinelli Syrah Terra Felice 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty garnet color in the glass. A medium-bodied red wine. It enters without much shouting, but then I detect a lot of red fruitcherry, raspberry. As the wine passes back the fruitiness diminishes to a neutral earthiness and, then I notice tannin and spiciness. A fairly short finish, but not unsatisfying. I paid $17 for this wine, and, so,... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Terlato Vineyards Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    oaky sweetness mixed with lemon and minerals. great wine! Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Limerick Lane Block Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Noticeable alcohol on the nose, and its been open for about 20 minutes. Tip-of-the-tongue fruit is quite sedate. There is blackberry and, maybe, dried fruitraisins, prunesbut the fruitiness in nice, not obnoxious. A nice, robust, full-bodied Zinfandel. Stout, but, again, not obnoxious tannin. Could, probably, be an excellent candidate for ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane's Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fresh candied cherry and strawberry aromas with sweet baking spice and violet petals on the nose. A bit spicy on entry, this is cool and soft on the palate showing more cherry and strawberry fruit and adding some cranberry, a bit medicinal through the mid palate and nicely earthy and streaked with a hint of tarry minerality towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Following a nice massage in the morning, we spent Friday afternoon doing some ... ... Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley, which paired nicely with a dozen oysters and then our main courses of swordfish for myself, and raw big-eyed tuna for Sandra.  The After dinner drinks consisted of a Hennessy VSOP for Sandra and I enjoyed a nice ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Belle Glos Pinot Noir Dairyman Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Perfect pinot for me. Very dark and velvety with a beautiful finish. Bold yet smooth with exquisitely well balanced flavors. Closer to a cabernet than any traditional pinot. Read More

    Wine review by sld1991


  • Hook & Ladder Station Ten 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • 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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