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

  • Holdredge Wines

    Holdredge Wines is a small, family owned and operated winery in the Russian River Valley of Heald...

  • Old World Winery

    Winemaker/Proprietor Darek Trowbridge studied winemaking with his grandfather, Lino Martinelli, w...

  • Porter Creek Winery

    Owned and operated by father and son, Porter Creek is a winery and vineyard estate situated just ...

  • Oriel

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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

  • Rutz Cellars

    2004 Rutz Cellars Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($45) Owner Keith Rutz seeks outst...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Gamba Zinfandel Family Ranches Russian River 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Scherrer Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Here are my notes for the '08:"Extremely nice Pinot from Fred Scherrer. Well balanced with nice acidity, dark cherry, rhubarb, some white pepper and a very nice long finish."The '09 is more bright red fruit, less spice and a touch more acidity but still the whole package is in sync with all parts in perfect balance. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • All this talk about Sonoma inspired me to open this Pinot Noir from Thralls ... ... the 2011 Bucher from the Russian River ValleyTart red raspberry, rhubarb, cedar and mineral spices with some nice earth tones, great acidity that combines with just the right touch of tannins on the finis Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Again, v v, an excellent report.  I think this is the best wine country trip report I've ever read.  I have often commented here that I enjoy Spring Mountain District wines.  Maybe your experience will add more popular respect to this district.  My experience is from Chateau Chevalier, Keenan, Smith-Madrone and Terra Valentine.  However, I do ha... Read More

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


  • Just when we thought this much fun couldn’t possibly continue we had day three.Started off with another fine breakfast at our B&B to lay in a good base and then off to our first appointment at Emeritus. Our enthusiastic host Laurel started us off with a taste of their Hallberg Ranch pinot and a tour of the vineyard and winery. This was followed ... Read More

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


  • RRV, what a fantastic place!OT, Fogline has been added to the list, not sure if/when we'll get over to that side of town during the remainder of our time here.Big Al, I'm always open to recommendations, thanks. Sunday is going to be our Napa day but we're already booked with 3 appointments. Apsara, Failla and Spring Mountain.First wine stop on d... Read More

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


  • Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Big, fruitysweet applenose. Plenty of that same fruitiness on the tongue, maybe with some apricot flavorits almost, but not quite sweet. Then, I get a bit of minerality. The wine seems to be a bit viscous. At the back of the palate there seems to be some effervescence. All the fruitiness in this wine makes me think that it would pair well w... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


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