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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • uptick vineyards

    UPTick Vineyards is family owned and located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, Califo...

  • Athair Wines

    In keeping with our Irish heritage and strong family traditions, we chose the name ATHAIR, the Ga...

  • Old World Winery

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

  • Hartford Court

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

  • DeLoach Vineyards

    DeLoach Vineyards pioneered Pinot Noir wine growing in the Russian River Valley when Cecil DeLoac...

  • Maboroshi Vineyard and Wine Estates

    We made up our minds one day to give up our comfortable lifestyle and leave Japan in order to try...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • 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


  • Limerick Lane 1023 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bright, tart red fruitcherryon entry. Interestingly, enough, the tartness almost suggests citrus, and, going really crazy, orange as much as anything. Some woodiness mid-palate. Medium-bodied. Not much tannin to speak of. A fun, easy-to-drink wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant watermelon and cherry aromas are quite juicy and inviting. This has a fresh tingling acidity and a zesty spice on the palate, playful and clean with excellent fruit notes of cranberry, cherry and strawberry leading up to a bit of an earthy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Stephen, we opened up this Yarra Valley pinot tonight. This has loads of ripe black and red cherry, vibrant acidity and a fairly long and clean finish.  Not as much dark fruit as a typical Russian River pinot but a bit heavier body than your normal Willamette Valley offering.  Drinking quite nicely at a very reasonable price point of around $20. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Wine in the US by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • White Oak Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another one from Lunch at Bravo's. Thin gold in the glass. Opens with Gravel, Pear, Kiwi, Smoke, and Ash. The Gravel, Earth, and Ash carry over to the Palate with underripe Peach, Honey, and Butter. Initially tight, medium acidity, then opens up very quickly in the Glass and becomes a medium oaked Chardonnay - quite pleasant. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • 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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