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

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

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

  • Athair Wines

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

  • Rochioli Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Hunter Wine Cellars, LLC

    Chasseur Wines is dedicated to small lot, hand-crafted wines in the old French tradition with emp...

  • Frei Brothers Reserve

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

  • Holdredge Wines

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

  • Porter Creek Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • J Vineyards Brut Rose Russian River Valley NV

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasantly rustic, smoky strawberry and sour cherry aromas with a creamy vanilla note and light toast. The palate is full bodied, zesty and decadent with cherry, strawberry and ripe watermelon notes, a buoyant acidity and lively texture with a bit of grapefruit zest and vanilla frosting on the finish adding some depth. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Joseph Swan Vineyards Zinfandel Russian River Valley Mancini Ranch 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Quite tart. Red fruit. Maybe, OK, I know its not red, blueberry. There is sweetness to the berry flavor, but it is not too serious. There also seems to be some spicinessnot pepper or anything like that, but, more, a suggestion of cinnamon or cuminOK, maybe its a texture thing more than a tastelike these powdered spices have been dissolved in ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Battaglini Estate Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley Twin Pines Vineyards 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity nose, but with noticeable alcohol. A LOT of red fruitraspberry, cherry, stone fruit--on entry. Then you are smacked by alcoholhot and bitter. I bought this bottle at an Italian deli a couple weeks ago. It has probably been laying on the shelf there for 5 or 6 years. So, it is entirely possible that the compromised storage has forced t... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Limerick Lane 1023 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bright, tart red fruitcherryon entry. Interestingly, enough, the tartness almost suggests citrus, and, going really crazy, orange as much as anything. Some woodiness mid-palate. Medium-bodied. Not much tannin to speak of. A fun, easy-to-drink wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant watermelon and cherry aromas are quite juicy and inviting. This has a fresh tingling acidity and a zesty spice on the palate, playful and clean with excellent fruit notes of cranberry, cherry and strawberry leading up to a bit of an earthy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Stephen, we opened up this Yarra Valley pinot tonight. This has loads of ripe black and red cherry, vibrant acidity and a fairly long and clean finish.  Not as much dark fruit as a typical Russian River pinot but a bit heavier body than your normal Willamette Valley offering.  Drinking quite nicely at a very reasonable price point of around $20. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Wine in the US by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • White Oak Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another one from Lunch at Bravo's. Thin gold in the glass. Opens with Gravel, Pear, Kiwi, Smoke, and Ash. The Gravel, Earth, and Ash carry over to the Palate with underripe Peach, Honey, and Butter. Initially tight, medium acidity, then opens up very quickly in the Glass and becomes a medium oaked Chardonnay - quite pleasant. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Can get these - prices AUD We can add any of the following to our order. Please advise if you’d like any. 2015 Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, $69ea2015 Failla Chardonnay, Hudson Vineyard, Napa Valley, $89ea2015 Failla Chardonnay, Haynes Vineyard, Coombsville, $110ea2015 Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, $79ea2015 Failla Pinot Noir, Keefer Ranch, ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine


  • J Vineyards Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Cool and crisp aromatic green apple, peach and fresh tea leaf aromas. Creamy and buttery with a round and full palate, this starts out with good ripe fruit notes of pear and peach and then shows a broad side of vanilla bean and fresh butter, finishing with an oaky frame around a core of green apple and even a faint hint of lemon. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Limerick Lane Headpruned Block Syrah 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful dark purple color. Rich pruney nose. Blackberry on the tip of the tongue. Some, woodiness to which I would attribute tannin. Nice firm tannins and acid give lots of backbone. I love the fact that this is not an in-your-face-with-fruit wine. The blackberry note hinted dissipates into a truly terrific wine experience. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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