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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • uptick vineyards

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

  • Enkidu Wine

    Enkidu produces wines primarily from the varieties grown in the Burgundy and Rhone Valley of Fran...

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

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

  • La Crema Winery

    La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored C...

  • Pax Wine Cellars

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

  • Rochioli Vineyard & Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Block 509 Russian River Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    We liked it. Ez drinkin. Really liked it at first. Impressive for California. Read More

    Wine review by thecitymouse


  • Limerick Lane Zinfandel Rocky Knoll 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly dark purple color. Big Zinfandelly noseblackberries, woods. Slides very easily over the tongue. Not nearly as fruity as the aromas forecasted. There are hits of blackberry and prune, but very sedate. Firm, not obvious, tannins. Nice acidity makes for good drinkability. Wonderful balance. No alcohol heat at all. Something of a c... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Parallus Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection, also available on Lot 18. A big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay, but only just so. Opens with a blast, but then becomes more subtle with caramel, toffee, chestnut/hazelnut, ripe peach and apricot and very nice acidity that cuts away and balances the toffee/oak. Big and silky in the mouth, with long finish of vanill... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Picket Fence Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Great fruit Flavors with a smooth finish. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • River Road Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve Selection 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Fantastic for the price! Very smooth with strawberry notes. Wish it opened up more, was expecting fruitier tones. Read More

    Wine review by rlb4227


  • Grafter Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


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