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

  • Grafter Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2012


    Another Tasting Room Quarterly Selection; here are the tasting notes from Tasting Room - 'Inviting wild strawberry, red raspberry and black cherry are immediately apparent upon opening. The fruit is bright and focused and the pallet mimics the nose with inviting notes of cola and spice. Silky, refined and velvety describes the texture and the hi... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Patz & Hall Chardonnay Dutton Ranch 2012


    Big oaky bouquet, herevanilla, caramel. Dainty fruit on the front of the tongue, accelerating towards the backtropical fruits (melon, banana, mango) and some tree fruit (peach). Good refreshing acid that almost suggest citrus thankfully defeats the oakiness that I detected on the nose. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Sodini Vineyard Zinfandel 2012


    Interesting nose with Zinfande-typical black fruit/berry mixed with a spice (mace?). On the tongue, the first thing I notice is that this is not the most full-bodied Zin. Very little fruit taste on the tip of the tongue. Its not until the wine gets to about mid-palate that some blackberry/blueberry flavor pops up. Fairly tame tannin. Nice, ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Last night we had our neighborhood friends (Debbie & Rick) over for a nice ... 2012 St. Francis Zinfandel (Russian River Valley, Bacchi Vineyard) along with a skull cork screw.  We didn't drink my birthday wine, but here's how it went down as we pulled some wines from our wine cellar:Upon their arrival, I served a Rose sparkler, the Cricova fr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • Failla Keefer Ranch Russian River Chardonnay 2012


    Excellent Failla chardonnay. Layers of creamy lemon chiffon, subtle butterscotch, honey and just a kiss of vanilla and oak. This is a very well balanced wine, not overly fruity, oaky or acidic but enough of each to make things interesting. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir "Dutton Ranch" 2012


    Pretty Pinot Noir Red color in the glass, and by that I mean that I find the color of most PNs is not as dark as most other red wines. Very subtle nose hinting at cherry fruit and some violets. Quite soft on the palate. Some cherry fruit and, happily, some tartness. Little to no perceptible tannin. Satisfying aftertaste. Not a terribly com... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Foppiano Vineyards Petite Sirah 2010


    Big beefy, chewy RRV Petite Sirah. Loads of dark ripe blackberries, plums, dried fig, a touch of anise and black pepper. Dark and inky in the glass, the tannins are a bit grainy but not overly so. Light to medium acidity and a medium length finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Graton Ridge Cellars Zinfandel Russian River Valley Bacigalupi Vineyard 2010


    First whiff came out smokin' as in this had a heavy bit of smoke on the nose. After a 30 minute decant the smoke was gone and now there's just a bunch of really nice dark fruit, a touch of licorice, some mighty fine acidity and subtle fine grained tannins. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Girard Chardonnay 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Dolinsek Ranch Heritage Russian River Valley 2012


    Very bright garnet color. Lots of berry fruit on the nose. Nicely lean on entry to the palatesome red raspberry flavor but, definitely, not the jammy Zinfandel thing, here. Not terribly full-bodied. Towards the back there is some more fruitiness that makes you think sweet, but, then there is also some woodiness that quickly erases that. Ver... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

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