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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Sullivan Vineyards

    Arriving in the Napa Valley in 1972, Jim and JoAnna Sullivan purchased property in Rutherford, wh...

  • Canyon Road Winery

    Inspired by the scenic roads that wander through California’s stunning wine country, Rafael Jofre...

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company:

  • Ca' Momi Wines

    "Ca’ Momi” wines are named for our family home in Northern Italy. The name also pays tribute to M...

  • Cupcake Vineyards

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

  • Barefoot Cellars

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

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California on Snooth

  • And now for something completely different, I actually went out of California, last nightThis is a good wine, and it has the potential to be a very good wine.  Nice hit of dark berry and plum fruit--and not jammy.  Some very sturdy tannins and good acid.  I think that a few years of aging will do a good job of resolving the tannin and integratin... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Maybe we can create a thread called "What Parochial Wine are You ... ... ... (Lopez and Galleano) in Californi Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • Bonterra Equinox Red Blend California 2016


    Intriguing nose of mellow earth, mushroom and black pepper with light red fruit notes of cherry and red currant. Light on the palate, soft fruit notes of cherry and tart plum skin, fresh florals and berry compote towards the finish. Theres a resinous core to this adding some depth, complexity and a touch of tar. 89 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Davis Bynum River West Vineyard Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015


    A touch muted with light citrus fruit notes of grapefruit and lemon zest. More fresh citrus on the palate, mostly lemon and grapefruit with some apples and a clean finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Davis Bynum Virginia's Block Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2017


    Fresh lime and grapefruit aromas with green melon and cut grass. Tight acidity and citrus flavors of grapefruit and lime are direct and pure on the mid palate with a creamy melon note towards the finish, this is true to varietal form, refreshing and crisp with just a hint of green apple adding some extra fruitiness.91 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Limerick Lane Vineyard Zinfandel 2013


    Black fruitmaybe, even, blueberryon entry. Not the most mouthfilling Zin Ive ever had, but, certainly, pleasant enough. Moderate tannin. Very nice acid provides a nice counterpoint to the upfront berriness. An easy wine to enjoy. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Louis M Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley 2014


    Thick syrupy notes of black currant and blackberry preserves, some blueberry and a note of fresh hay and soft clay. On the palate this is dusty and tannic on entry, with some smoky black currant and baking spice notes on the mid palate, licorice root, burning heat, tart acidity and a lengthy cocoa finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Titus Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Valley 2015


    Fairly volatile nosedefinitely can detect the alcohol. Very pretty bluish-purple color. Lots of red fruit on the tip of the tongue. Unfortunately, much more jammy than I like. The acid and tannin are overcome buy the unfortunate front fruit in this wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016


    Intriguing earthy complexity and dark cocoa notes with fresh cream, vanilla bean and blackberry preserves. Brooding and earthy palate of dark spice, chocolate and mixed berries with a core of red fruit that wells up from the center, delivering red currant and resinous tannins that finish creamy with good length. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Cornerstone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2016


    Perfumed floral aromas of white blossom and white peach, notes of grapefruit and fresh citrus. Medium plus acidity and a tart palate of lime zest and young green apple, this has a touch of heat and a spicy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Thank you very much for this information. I love the wine!.

    Comment by 1160807capitanoensy 1160807 capitanoensy

  • Beyond the Vine ( 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 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 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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