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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

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 ...

  • Tremani Russian River Valley Wines

    Tremani Vineyards is a partnership formed in 1997 by the Hansen family – sisters, Barbara and Dia...

  • Christopher Creek Winery

    Christopher Creek Winery is a small, family owned winery with a history of producing award winnin...

  • Peters Family Winery

    Peters Family Winery is dedicated to producing compelling, extraordinary wines which reflect thei...

  • Armida Winery

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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Syrah 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly big RRV syrah from Balletto. The nose is loaded with ripe dark cherries and a good hit of smoke, some earthiness and a bit of tanned leather. There's ripe black berries on the tongue but the fruit is just starting to fade, some more of the smokiness/leather, fine grained tannins, medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Wonderment Pinot Noir Campbell's Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mark


  • A day could be spent in and around the Russian River Valley as well. About 45-60 minutes West of Sonoma (depending on traffic.More laid back, scenic and hundreds of winery options. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Napa and Sonoma


  • Lewis Cellars Chardonnay Sonoma 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lovely golden yellow color. Definite oak bouquet on the nose. Lots of tropical fruit on the tonguelychee, pineapple. Some vanilla, but that is subdued by excellent acid on the back end which gives this a nice refreshing quality. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • I tried a wine I have been excited to dig into tonight...2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel.My take away is that it will be very good in a couple years.  Dense fruit. A little tart.  It just needs some bottle time.  Not surprising.  After an hour of air it has a little mustyness to it.  If that's a word.Over the last couple years ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • 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 357808vin0vin0 357808 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


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