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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Balletto Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Athair Wines

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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

  • Rochioli Vineyard & Winery

    With three generations of dedication to the land, Rochioli Vineyards and Winery has earned the re...

  • Ovene Winery

    Ovene Winery produces World Class Central Coast Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvig...

  • Adler Fels Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Fritz Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Green apple and honey aromas are light and fresh with a bit of fresh cut mango and papaya. Full and round mouthfeel, a bit chunky and certainly pleasant, with peach pit, more mango, green apple, a bit of lemon meringue and a touch of cream on the long finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane's Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Velvety smooth aromas of ripe cherries, crushed violets and loamy earth. Fruit forward and spice driven approach to this wine, with candied plum, dried red cherries, clove, a hint of herbal syrup, dried oregano, and raspberries on the finish. A great wine for lovers of spicy Pinot Noir. 88 pts. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • C. Donatiello Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Nice Russian River chard. A bit of oak on the nose and mid palate, along with lemon chiffon, dried pineapple and a touch of vanilla. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Valdez Lancel Creek Zinfandel 2010

    Snoothrank:

    A big tasty Russian River zin from Valdez. Red and black cherries on the nose and more so on the palate. Bright, fruity and easy to drink. Nice acidity with a short to medium finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Gamba Zinfandel Family Ranches Russian River 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Scherrer Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Here are my notes for the '08:"Extremely nice Pinot from Fred Scherrer. Well balanced with nice acidity, dark cherry, rhubarb, some white pepper and a very nice long finish."The '09 is more bright red fruit, less spice and a touch more acidity but still the whole package is in sync with all parts in perfect balance. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • All this talk about Sonoma inspired me to open this Pinot Noir from Thralls ... ... the 2011 Bucher from the Russian River ValleyTart red raspberry, rhubarb, cedar and mineral spices with some nice earth tones, great acidity that combines with just the right touch of tannins on the finis Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Again, v v, an excellent report.  I think this is the best wine country trip report I've ever read.  I have often commented here that I enjoy Spring Mountain District wines.  Maybe your experience will add more popular respect to this district.  My experience is from Chateau Chevalier, Keenan, Smith-Madrone and Terra Valentine.  However, I do ha... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...


  • Just when we thought this much fun couldn’t possibly continue we had day three.Started off with another fine breakfast at our B&B to lay in a good base and then off to our first appointment at Emeritus. Our enthusiastic host Laurel started us off with a taste of their Hallberg Ranch pinot and a tour of the vineyard and winery. This was followed ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...


  • RRV, what a fantastic place!OT, Fogline has been added to the list, not sure if/when we'll get over to that side of town during the remainder of our time here.Big Al, I'm always open to recommendations, thanks. Sunday is going to be our Napa day but we're already booked with 3 appointments. Apsara, Failla and Spring Mountain.First wine stop on d... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Russian River and Napa...


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