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

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • 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...

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

  • La Crema Winery

    La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored C...

  • River Road Vineyards

    River Road Vineyards started in 1976 with the purchase of a 78 acre Chardonnay Vineyard on River ...

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

  • Carlisle Winery

    Welcome to Carlisle Winery & Vineyards! We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the ...

  • Adler Fels Winery

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

  • Hartford Court

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Darker than many popular PNs, these days. Light hit of plum flavors on entry. Very nice. A bit of bitterness towards the rear of the tongue/palate. My suspicion that it is tannin. This is not a wine with puckery tanninno surprise therebut I cant image where that sensation comes from. Meanwhile the time it takes me to write this is longer t... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Folie a Deux Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Ripe and lightly oaked. Pleasant wine. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Liking that Liquid Farm Roger. I picked up a Golden Slope at Bottle Barn a ... ... California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (8/6/2017)On the big, buttery and rich end of the spectrum. Lots of wood on this, detracted from the rest of the bottle.2014 Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Co... Read More

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


  • Limerick Lane Block Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    An eminently likeable wine. Red berry and stone fruit on entry. Then some serious tannin jumps in. However, the fruit still lingers a bit. Very good acid content really helps this one become a winner. I think this might be a wine that will grow in complexity with several more years of aging. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • We met last night for our 2nd annual pre-HVS old vine offline at Pizzeria Rosso ... rush on these.1980 Sotoyome Russian River Valley Petite Sirah was well past its prime and was shelved with the Pagani.2001 Field Stone Staten Family Petite Sirah is in its prime drinking window nicely integrated and seamless. 2003 Jaffurs Thompson Vyd Petite Sir... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Another Old Vines and Pizza... by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Large blackberry and dark cherry profile here, dark chocolate, earthiness with big tannins, matching acidity. Here's the catch - there is a sweetish grapey-ness that is highly a port profile. Interesting thought isn't it. 92 points - hold - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • We had a meeting today to finalize (as best we could) the 2017 Northwoods Wine ... meal:The 2013 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley - I was surprised by the profile.  Large blackberry and dark cherry profile, dark chocolate, tannins, earthiness and good acidity - what got me and one other today was that this could be driven into a port styled ... Read More

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


  • J Vineyard & Winery Sparkling Brut Rose NV

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasantly rustic, smoky strawberry and sour cherry aromas with a creamy vanilla note and light toast. The palate is full bodied, zesty and decadent with cherry, strawberry and ripe watermelon notes, a buoyant acidity and lively texture with a bit of grapefruit zest and vanilla frosting on the finish adding some depth. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Joseph Swan Vineyards Zinfandel Russian River Valley Mancini Ranch 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Quite tart. Red fruit. Maybe, OK, I know its not red, blueberry. There is sweetness to the berry flavor, but it is not too serious. There also seems to be some spicinessnot pepper or anything like that, but, more, a suggestion of cinnamon or cuminOK, maybe its a texture thing more than a tastelike these powdered spices have been dissolved in ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Battaglini Estate Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley Twin Pines Vineyards 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity nose, but with noticeable alcohol. A LOT of red fruitraspberry, cherry, stone fruit--on entry. Then you are smacked by alcoholhot and bitter. I bought this bottle at an Italian deli a couple weeks ago. It has probably been laying on the shelf there for 5 or 6 years. So, it is entirely possible that the compromised storage has forced t... 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 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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