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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

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

  • Maboroshi Vineyard and Wine Estates

    We made up our minds one day to give up our comfortable lifestyle and leave Japan in order to try...

  • Davis Family Vineyards

    Davis Family Vineyards is located on a ridge top in the center of California’s renowned Russian R...

  • Ovene Winery

    Ovene Winery produces World Class Central Coast Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvig...

  • C. Donatiello Winery

    A visit to our estate is a retreat from the mundane, a respite of beauty, harmony, and excellence...

  • Frei Brothers Reserve

      Frei Brothers Reserve is a winery based in Sonoma, California. The grapes are sourced from...

  • Athair Wines

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Hook & Ladder Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Picture Perfect Sonoma Coast chard. It has a gentle acidity, a little yeasty, tropical aromas and is soft enough to pair with pork. Love Love Love. Read More

    Wine review by ricthechef


  • Villa Mt. Eden Pinot Noir Grand Reserve Russian River Valley 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Nicely priced Pinot Noir. Good balance of Fruit and liveliness and acidity, with a bit of smooth milk chocolate and caramel in the finish. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Limerick Lane Vineyard Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Not a mainstream Zin. This example shows the wine-making flexibility of the grape. In the glass a lot of light passes through the garnet color. On the tongue there is a light hit of red fruitplumbut, also other stone fruitIm thinking apricot. A medium-bodied wine that has good tart acid, and is not terribly tannic. I suspect that this one i... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Frei Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Light lemon and grapefruit notes. On the palate this is medium to light bodied with notes of melon and lemon, very light hints of spice and muted grassiness, and there are some oaky notes towards the finish. Though there is plenty of acidity and flavor here, it comes with a touch of flabbiness that is still not entirely unwelcome as part of the ... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Cairdean Confidant Vineyard Syrah Russian River Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    On the nose there's vanilla cream layered on top of ripe black cherry fruit and some cocoa. This has a full body and structure, with notes of ripe black cherry and raspberry and some tart cranberry lurking underneath as well. Round and full tannins provide plenty of strucutre and bolstering acidity lifts and brightens the palate. Very good.89 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Honor Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Roswellnascar


  • Old World Winery Abourious Russian River Valley Sherry Martinelli Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Big hit of fruit aromas on the nose. Sure enough, an intense hit of cherries on the tip of the tongue. However, strong acid keeps it from cough syrup territory. Also, mid-palate hit of earthiness mitigates the fruit. Quite strong tannin along with the acid content makes me think that this one is a strong candidate for cellar time. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bootleg Red Blend 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by arjkay


  • Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


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