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

  • Hunter Wine Cellars, LLC

    Chasseur Wines is dedicated to small lot, hand-crafted wines in the old French tradition with emp...

  • uptick vineyards

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

  • River Road Vineyards

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

  • Pax Wine Cellars

    Launched with its 2000 vintage, the focus of Pax Wine Cellars is to produce the best vineyard-des...

  • Athair Wines

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

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

    In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine staked their claim in th...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Sounds like good times ahead - if....er....when you get into Napa Valley, can I recommend you stop at Duckhorn Vineyards?  We love their cabs.  Another favorite of ours is Barnett Vineyards too. Read More

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


  • Sonoma-Loeb Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting nose that I would attribute more to Zinfandel than to Pinot Noirblackberry, and some briary aroma. Under the palate, I get the standard PN cherry flavors around the edges of the tongue, but centrally, there is less of that and more of a bitter earthiness, that, actually, makes this wine more appealing. A bit of acid tartness in at ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Trenton View Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Just a fantastic Russian River pinot. Loads of bright bing cherry, red cherry, some really nice mid-palate spiceness - all wrapped around mouth tingling acidity and fine grained tannins. Love it! Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Medium intensity aromas of buttery vanilla, green apple, fresh almonds, vanilla pudding and just a hint of apricot and golden berries. Smooth yet refreshing, the palate offers fresh pineapple, lemon zest, green apples and a creamy texture with well integrated toasty oak. The long finish is similarly complex delivering a few extra seconds of enjo... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Full and warm lemon, grapefruit and apricot aromas with a hint of lemon zest and a touch of cream. Flavors are big and bold, leading with green apple and more lemon and mellowing into a spicy herbal thyme and lemon zest refresher with more grapefruit and refreshing acidity. You would do well to serve this one with a creamy textured soup or cream... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Buehler Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Simple but nice Russian River chardonnay. Not overly complex with some creamy lemon pith, medium weight and medium acidity. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Dutton Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Karmen Isabella 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Just a fantastic Russian River pinot! Both dark and bright red cherry, green plum, along with some other subtle citrus and a touch of cranberry on the back end. Excellent mouth watering acidity, great balance between the fruit, acid and alcohol, and a fairly long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Deep black fruit, leather, earth and baking spices on the nose. Palate is concentrated with blackberry, black currant, leather, tobacco leaf, ripe black cherry and cedar. Finishes clean and long, but surprisingly light and refreshing. A special bottle. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Valdez Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley U.V. El Diablo Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very similar to the 2011 but perhaps a bit more honey and a touch of caramel balanced with nice acidity.Here's my review of the 2011 bottle:Fantastic sauvignon blanc from northern Russian River. More Sancerre than New Zealand or Australian. Not so much grapefruit but more lemon peel, green apple, subtle honey and great balance. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Amber Ridge 2007

    Snoothrank:

    A lot of light shines through the pretty red color in the glass. Very nice nose of red berry fruit. Sure enough initial mouth sensation is red cherry. Some kind of effervescent fizz. I little bitter on the back of the throat. Not a lot of power, here. Good acid, mellow tannin. Medium-bodied wine means light for a red. A good wine. Fair... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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