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

  • Ovene Winery

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

  • J Vineyards & Winery

    A 25-year legacy of making exceptional wines to inspire in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley...

  • La Crema Winery

    La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored C...

  • uptick vineyards

    UPTick Vineyards is family owned and located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, Califo...

  • Christopher Creek Winery

    Christopher Creek Winery is a small, family owned winery with a history of producing award winnin...

  • Lynmar Winery

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

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • 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


  • Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Medium intensity aromas of buttery vanilla, green apple, fresh almonds, vanilla pudding and just a hint of apricot and golden berries. Smooth yet refreshing, the palate offers fresh pineapple, lemon zest, green apples and a creamy texture with well integrated toasty oak. The long finish is similarly complex delivering a few extra seconds of enjo... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Full and warm lemon, grapefruit and apricot aromas with a hint of lemon zest and a touch of cream. Flavors are big and bold, leading with green apple and more lemon and mellowing into a spicy herbal thyme and lemon zest refresher with more grapefruit and refreshing acidity. You would do well to serve this one with a creamy textured soup or cream... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Buehler Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Simple but nice Russian River chardonnay. Not overly complex with some creamy lemon pith, medium weight and medium acidity. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Dutton Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Karmen Isabella 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Just a fantastic Russian River pinot! Both dark and bright red cherry, green plum, along with some other subtle citrus and a touch of cranberry on the back end. Excellent mouth watering acidity, great balance between the fruit, acid and alcohol, and a fairly long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Deep black fruit, leather, earth and baking spices on the nose. Palate is concentrated with blackberry, black currant, leather, tobacco leaf, ripe black cherry and cedar. Finishes clean and long, but surprisingly light and refreshing. A special bottle. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Valdez Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley U.V. El Diablo Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very similar to the 2011 but perhaps a bit more honey and a touch of caramel balanced with nice acidity.Here's my review of the 2011 bottle:Fantastic sauvignon blanc from northern Russian River. More Sancerre than New Zealand or Australian. Not so much grapefruit but more lemon peel, green apple, subtle honey and great balance. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Amber Ridge 2007

    Snoothrank:

    A lot of light shines through the pretty red color in the glass. Very nice nose of red berry fruit. Sure enough initial mouth sensation is red cherry. Some kind of effervescent fizz. I little bitter on the back of the throat. Not a lot of power, here. Good acid, mellow tannin. Medium-bodied wine means light for a red. A good wine. Fair... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Tin Barn Vineyards Zinfandel Russian River Valley Gilsson Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Spiky and spicy hot on the nose with mostly black fruit aromas, a hint of oak and licorice. Bright ripe blackberry flavors, warm cherry pie and licorice flavors. Definitely a warm weather zinfandel with a lot of fruit and powerful heat, you'll want to stand this wine up against a big meal of grilled meats. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Voluptuous cherry aromas open for this wine, with hints of cedar box, tobacco and ripe red fruit. Flavors are deep and pure, full and proud with cherry, tart cranberry, well integrated oak and dark chocolate. Truly a pleasurable experience - worth a repeat visit. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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