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...

  • 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...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

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

  • Oriel

    “...What if you could walk into any wine store or restaurant and select a wine from any of nine c...

  • La Crema Winery

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

  • Carlisle Winery

    Welcome to Carlisle Winery & Vineyards! We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the ...

  • River Road Vineyards

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

  • Adler Fels Winery

    Adler Fels Winery was founded in Sonoma Valley in 1979 by David and Ayn Coleman. The winery soon ...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Kenwood Pinot Noir Russian River 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Nbrown04


  • Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Smooth, with a touch of spice. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Macmurray Ranch Pinot Noir Winemaker S Block 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Shared with our wine buddies The Gilmores. Very, very classy and paired well with Mary's close to brilliant stuffed flank steak. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    An exemplary expression of the Pinot Noir grape with bright, smiling, red cherry fruits and blood orange slices on the nose and palate. Black cherry licorice with powerful puffs of spice. A perfect 10! Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • B.R. Cohn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and fruit cherry and cherry cola aromas. Spice, cream and blackberries slide across the palate which is smooth and warm while still having a good dollop of acidity to keep it refreshing. Finish is long and filled of bramble, a bit of oak and earth. Nicely integrated and balanced wine - great with a vegetable sautee for dinner. Read More

    Wine review by mark


  • Martin Ray Winery Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Not bad, not great sauv blanc from russian river. Not a lot going on but there is a touch of creamy lemon and some decent acidity. This is more on the lemon side of flavors, not any of the NZ grapefruit. Overall, decent for the price, would probably buy again for a summer deck or mid-week quaff. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Brooding, earthy nose with a hint of phenols. Like so many California PNs, the first taste is cherry, but, then, a good thingas the wine moves over the palate, I get more of a blackberry flavor and acid and tannin structure add significant complexity. Acid/tannin suggests to me that there is some significant aging potential, here. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Celebrating the return of our master bath after 6 weeks. Out with the big tub (we used it once in 17 years), tired cabinetry and white tiled floor. In with a tiled double shower with sprays, heated 20" tile floor, new granite countertops and a new commode with one of those cool seats that slowly closes when you put the lid down. Put a couple t-b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Balletto Russian River Valley Estate Rose of Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore


  • Samuele Sebastiani Green Hungarian 1984

    Snoothrank:

    its been off the market as u say for quite sometime..this was one of the BEST from SEBASTIANIi wish they would reintro it in current day Read More

    Wine review by cowgirltx


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