Californian Wine

Viticulture in California began in the 1700s as Spanish missionaries worked their way north from the South American colonies. Grapes (of the Mission, a.k.a. Pais, variety) were originally planted with the intention of producing ceremonial wine and the first wineries were established for the cultivation of Mission grapes. From these beginnings, Parisian oenologist Jean Louis Vignes is credited with being the first person to import European vines for general consumption to Los Angeles in 1833. 

 
This was followed in the 1850’s with Hungarian businessman  Agoston Haraszthy, who came to California after establishing businesses in Wisconsin. Finding the prevalent Mission grape to be of inferior quality, he began to select high quality vines from Europe and established vineyards in Crystal Springs outside San Francisco with the help of a government viticulture grant. Though found culpable for some shady business practices outside the wine industry, he was able to relocate his vines Read more »

Mentor for Californian Wines

Eric Guido

Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

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Popular wines made in California under $20

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Varietals Produced in California 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...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • 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 California

  • Amador County

      Amador County, in the Sierra Foothills district of California, is named for mid-1840s ranc...

  • Central Coast

      Central Coast is a vast AVA that spans between Santa Barbara County in the south to the Sa...

  • Lake County

    Lake County is an emerging wine region within California’s North Coast, north of Napa. Clear La...

  • Mendocino County

      Mendocino County AVA is a large and climatically diverse region within the North Coast reg...

  • Monterey County

      The Monterey County AVA is part of the Central Coast region in California, below San Franc...

  • Napa County

    There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the ...

  • North Coast

      The North Coast AVA is a region that spans eight counties and dozens of prestigious subreg...

  • San Francisco Bay

    AVA is one of California’s ‘Mega’ appellations. This vast AVA, covering over 1.5 million acres, ...

  • San Luis Obispo County

      San Luis Obispo is part of the larger wine Central Coast region of California, located at ...

  • Santa Barbara County

    The Santa Barbara County AVA lies within the Central Coast territory of California. Like much o...

  • Santa Cruz Mountains

      The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is a vast region within San Francisco Bay in California’s Cen...

  • Calaveras

    is a picturesque and remote area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Popular with o...

  • Contra Costa

    The Contra Costa County AVA is located within the San Francisco Bay region of California’s Cent...

  • El Dorado County

    The spectacular Sierra Nevada range offers a fitting backdrop to the vineyards of El Dorado Count...

Popular Wineries in California View all

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

    Our winery is located in Monterey County, California where warm days give way to cool nights a...

  • Livingston Cellars

    Since 1984 and 17 years, the de facto estate wine of Livingston Moffett winery has been bottled ...

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • Barefoot Cellars

    We got our start as a "garage wine" back in the Sixties but really stepped up what Barefoot wa...

  • Estancia Estates

    Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking fa...

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California on Snooth

  • Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhat flowery nose. Red fruit on entrycherry, strawberry. While not syrupy, there is more fruitiness than I normally like. A pleasant wine. Fairly light-bodied, but not revelatory. Could use a bit of acid. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Gewurztraminer Alta Vista Vineyard Moon Mountain District 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Quite pale yellow color. Very reluctant nose. Tropical fruit on the tonguepineapple, kiwiand surprisingly little Gewurztraminer spice. The wine is completely dry, but the hyper fruitiness tempts you to think otherwise. Quite acidic. So, it is quite tart, but that makes it refreshing. Very light-bodied. A lengthy aftertaste exactly like on... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Seghesio San Lorenzo Estate 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Vibrant purple color in the glassmore blue than you normally see. Candied fruit on entry. That seems a bit disappointing. Tannin and acid are, very much, resolved. So, now that Im over the initial fruity blast, Im all over the smoothness. An enjoyable wine, but I think Im going to drink mine up. I see no reason to keep these in the cellar. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Hahn Estate SLH Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Spiced heat and mixed berry aromas with a tart red fruit note and fresh earth on the nose. Berry, cherry and vanilla bean on the palate, somewhat tart with resinous pine and smoky root flavors and a long finish of plum and tart cranberry. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Brooding blackberry and black currant fruit with a soft note of fresh earth and minerality, lightly floral and inviting. Generous black cherry, blackberry and black currant fruit palate is medium-full bodied but still approachable, nicely spiced and weighty with pleasant floral and mixed berry fruit notes towards the finish with a tingling acidi... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Ridge Three Valleys 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fair amount of red berry fruit. Maybe, a tad more than Id like to see. Moderately tannic. Nicely acidic. Definitely, not a rustic zin. OK for the price, but a disappointment if one is expecting something along the lines of Ridges single vineyard bottlings. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ridge Zinfandel East Bench Vineyard Dry Creek Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Dark ruby in color. Red and blue fruit on the nose though a little shy. Shy on the palate too. Medium acidity with a long slightly dry finish. Like the wine really just doesn't represent value to me. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Interestingly I have Keenan Estate Spring Mountain 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon @ my ... -as contenders for best new California Cabernet. - I tip my Hat to Sonoma for the Energy Read More

    Forum post in the topic Keenan Winery - The Best...


  • Rombauer Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Great easy buttery Chardonnay Read More

    Wine review by Anijade


  • Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of berries on the nose. An unfortunate sourness on first taste. That seemed to pass after a few minutes. Blackberries and some herbal sensationsmint, sage. Then some candied fruit. For $15 a functional Zin. I just bought this wine a few days ago, and it was the last one in the bin. It may have been in the store too long. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Thank you very much for this information. I love the wine!. http://usaphen375.com

    Comment by 1160807capitanoensy 1160807 capitanoensy


  • Beyond the Vine (www.4beyondthevine.com) has completed it’s first in a series of blind tasting to find the best Syrah producer in Santa Clara County. The first flight was a good representation of 12 Syrah from south Santa Clara County and one inexpensive mystery bottle. Entries were as follows; ’07 Clos La Chance, ’07 Creek View, ’07 Fernwood, ...

    Comment by 921334greg112558 921334 greg112558


  • zinfandel

    Comment by 579496Didu 579496 Didu


  • Zinfandel

    Comment by 579496Didu 579496 Didu


  • Is there a winery in or near Pleasanton, CA that has a good merlot? My daughter is there working and I wanted her to pick me up some local wine.

    Comment by 541781Pam Burns 541781 Pam Burns


  • Does anyone have any comments about Peay Wines?

    Comment by 512854hawks8999 512854 hawks8999


  • Has anyone ever heard of "Kitchen Sink" vineyards? I was given a bottle of KITCHEN SINK red........it was a mixture of cabernet, petite Sirah, merlot, zinfandel. It was actually a nice surprise in taste. I just don't know where to get it......is it expensive or inexpensive? Would like an opinion from someone.

    Comment by 156349shari duff 156349 shari duff


  • New image uploaded to this page.

    Page modification by 33093Chris Carpita 33093 Chris Carpita


  • This a most amazing,wine growing state.We have such an array of decent to great wines to please the novice all the way to the greatest wine snob.-to be continued....

    Comment by 308614THEDOGE 308614 THEDOGE


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