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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • River Road Vineyards

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

  • Walter Hansel Winery

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

  • Athair Wines

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

  • Ovene Winery

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

  • Topolos

    The softly undulating hills of the famed Russian River Valley, caressed by cool blankets of fog a...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Barefoot Pinot Noir 2012


    In terms of value, this is a really nice and affordable bottle. I could pretend to write a critical critique here, but who are we kidding? Read More

    Wine review by matthewjk

  • Limerick Lane 'Russian River Valley' Zinfandel 2013


    Dark fruit nose with a bit of alcohol. Soft textured on entry. Medium hit of dark berry fruit, maybe red fruit--cranberry. Very fresh tasting, certainly, not jammy. Medium-stiff tannin at mid-palate. I think this one is fairly typical of Zinfandel from this region. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Enkidu Syrah Russian River Valley Odyssey 2009


    Something of a musky nosemaybe, mushroomy. Fairly light on the tip of the tonguesome blackberry hintbut, definitely not in your face with fruit. Some hint of herbaceousness, but I could not tell you what herb. Certainly not overly tannic. So, it is an easy to drink wine. However, Im getting a bit of heat at the back of the palate. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Limerick Lane 1023 2012


    Remarkably smooth entry for such a young wine. Black fruit, but it seems watered down. So, it doesnt smack you in the face. There is also an herbal aspect that is, as much as anything, minty. Smoothness fades mid-palate where a combination of tannin, acid and alcohol seem to give it a roughness. I like this wine and am of the opinion that ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • I fall a hell of a lot less these days EMark. ;-)Speaking of falling,  I ... ... of 2010 Cairdean Estate Russian River Valley Chardonnay looking for a new home. Open offer, pay shipping and they are yours. Can't beat free. Any takers out ther Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Yeah vinOvinO, I bit too. An eclectic mix I think.Cabot Vineyards - Aged Zins ... - 2ea 2012 Ribolla Gialla Russian River Valley Skin-fermented, 2014 Ribolla Gialla Russian River Valley (not skin-fermented), 2014 Fiano Russian River Valley "sous-voile"Campesino Cellars - Red Rhones - 2ea 2013 Grenache (Sonoma Valley), 2013 Baybos (Grenache/Syr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Napagirl, you've got it all wrong, that corked wine was still good.... For ... 5 bottles of 2010 Cairdean Russian River Valley Chardonnay. It's really good wine. To someone. You pay shipping and it's yours. I can only deglaze so many pan Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine you would not drink...

  • I wouldn't bother with St Annes Crossing/Naked Wines personally. Besides, ... around the Dry Creek Valley/Russian River Valley/Alexander Valley triangle. So much to try right ther Read More

    Forum post in the topic Recommendations for...

  • Hook & Ladder Pinot Noir 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1

  • Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2013


    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

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