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...

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

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

  • Carlisle Winery

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

  • Old World Winery

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

  • Armida Winery

    Hello folks! We purchased controlling interest in Armida Winery from Robert Frugoli in 1994. Wo...

  • Balletto Vineyards & Winery

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

  • C. Donatiello Winery

    A visit to our estate is a retreat from the mundane, a respite of beauty, harmony, and excellence...

  • River Road Vineyards

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Bear Boat Pinot Noir Russian River 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ejb7777


  • On second look there are more than three wineries. My mistake, it was 3 ... ... Dry Creek Valley wineries15 Russian River Valley wineries3 Alexander Valley wineriesKinda funny seeing Armida, Forchini listed as best Pinot noir as they are known for their Zinfandel and Deerfield who advertises their top rated Zin and Syrah at their entrance. Obv... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best Guide to Great Sonoma...


  • Holdredge Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jtfluitt


  • Russian Hill Estate Winery Russian River Valley Viognier 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Decent Viognier from Russian River. Some nice floral and honeysuckle on the nose. More of the same on the palate as well as some creamy lemon pith, medium acidity and a medium finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Q8 Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2011

    Snoothrank:

    A Lot 18 quarterly selection and Lot 18 produced Chardonnay. Opens with citrus and spice and hint of oak. Medium Oak, and more fruit and spice. Nicely balanced fruit and oak with medium to low acidity. Can't quite figure the strong and predominate finish a interesting combination of herbs and spice, but pretty darn good nevertheless. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Block 509 Russian River Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    We liked it. Ez drinkin. Really liked it at first. Impressive for California. Read More

    Wine review by thecitymouse


  • Limerick Lane Zinfandel Rocky Knoll 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly dark purple color. Big Zinfandelly noseblackberries, woods. Slides very easily over the tongue. Not nearly as fruity as the aromas forecasted. There are hits of blackberry and prune, but very sedate. Firm, not obvious, tannins. Nice acidity makes for good drinkability. Wonderful balance. No alcohol heat at all. Something of a c... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Parallus Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection, also available on Lot 18. A big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay, but only just so. Opens with a blast, but then becomes more subtle with caramel, toffee, chestnut/hazelnut, ripe peach and apricot and very nice acidity that cuts away and balances the toffee/oak. Big and silky in the mouth, with long finish of vanill... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Picket Fence Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Great fruit Flavors with a smooth finish. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • River Road Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve Selection 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Fantastic for the price! Very smooth with strawberry notes. Wish it opened up more, was expecting fruitier tones. Read More

    Wine review by rlb4227


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