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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

  • Ovene Winery

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

  • Frei Brothers Reserve

      Frei Brothers Reserve is a winery based in Sonoma, California. The grapes are sourced from...

  • J Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Davis Family Vineyards

    Davis Family Vineyards is located on a ridge top in the center of California’s renowned Russian R...

  • Michael Scott Wines

    Limited Production Award-Winning Wines (Cabernet & Zinfandel)  from Napa and Sonoma!   http://w...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Limerick Lane Headpruned Block Syrah 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful dark purple color. Rich pruney nose. Blackberry on the tip of the tongue. Some, woodiness to which I would attribute tannin. Nice firm tannins and acid give lots of backbone. I love the fact that this is not an in-your-face-with-fruit wine. The blackberry note hinted dissipates into a truly terrific wine experience. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  •  2014 Myriad Cellars Syrah Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard - USA, ... ... California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/19/2017)This really started hitting its stride around the 3 hour mark. Initially it had loads of anise on the nose. In time that gave way to ripe black fruit with a wonderdul secondary flavor of tobacco and cedar. Very ripe ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Stephen, you should start thinking in terms of sourcing from the US directly. I ... directly. I ... Browne 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  |  1 in stock  |  $99.99 Kosta Browne 2005 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir  |  1 in stock  |  $119.99 Kosta Browne 2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $89.99 Kosta Browne 2006 Sonoma Coast... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine


  • 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


  • Adler Fels Chardonnay the Eagle Rock 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Apple cider and white peach, blossom and tangerine aromas on the nose. Pleasantly silky mouthfeel and a rich palate of oak spice, lemon curd, toasted almond, and fresh acidity through the mid palate. This has amazing fresh fruit and is clean and light through to the finish where a nicely integrated oak note lingers. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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