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

  • Zmor Winery

    From 1985 to 1995, Daniel Moore’s ZMOORE winery was known as the preeminent New World benchmark i...

  • Oriel

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

  • Lynmar Winery

    Lynmar Estate is a premium producer of estate-grown Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonn...

  • Rochioli Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Holdredge Wines

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

  • Enkidu Wine

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Cairdean Confidant Vineyard Syrah Russian River Valley 2013


    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


    No written review

    Wine review by Roswellnascar

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


    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


    No written review

    Wine review by arjkay

  • Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Dehlinger Pinot Noir Altamont 2013

    Snoothrank: Read More

    Wine review by alm mtw

  • J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2013


    Very perfumed violet, blueberry, cherry and plum aromas on the nose. Tart cherry and spice in the mouth with a touch of licorice and cinnamon spice. It's quite juicy and full of bright flavors, with a tartness towards the finish and just a touch of vanilla and oak flavors.88 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Bootleg Red Blend 2012


    Dark blackberry and baking spice on the nose with interesting notes of dried fig and dried currant. In the mouth this feels full and rich, with more dried fig and dark fruit, some licorice and lots of creamy spice, chewy tannins and a bit of heat on the finish. Bold enough to stand up to a variety of grilled meats and savory dishes, but with som... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Kistler Pinot Noir Russian River 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by yarnanimal

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