Sonoma County Wine

 

Wine-making in Sonoma, California began in 1812 when Russian colonists planted grapes at Fort Ross, along the coast. Then Father Jose Altimura led Spanish Franciscans to plant Mission grapes at Mission San Francisco Solano for ceremonial purposes in the 1820s, with these cuttings traveling further into California. For the next thirty years or so, wines using the Mission grape became a burgeoning industry, through the Bear Flag Revolt and annexation of the state of California in 1854. 
 
By this time, General Mariano Vallejo was going great guns (pardon the pun) with his own vineyard producing Mission grapes. Until he met a Hungarian businessman named Agoston Haraszthy, who bought it and replanted it with fine European vitis vinifera, renaming the vineyard Buena Vista. Haraszthy is credited with the first hillside plantings after the European tradition, as well as employing Chinese laborers to dig caves for cool temperature cellaring, and introducing the first Zinfandel cuttings Read more »

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Popular wines made in Sonoma County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Sonoma County 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...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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 Sonoma County

  • Alexander Valley

    Alexander Valley, part of Sonoma County in California, is named for pioneer Cyrus Alexander. A ...

  • Dry Creek Valley

    The Carneros AVA straddles between both Napa and Sonoma Valleys, with distinct climates. The Na...

  • Knights Valley

    Knights Valley is a wine region in Northern Sonoma in the North Coast of California. It’s named...

  • Russian River Valley

    The Russian River Valley is the most southerly AVA within Northern Sonoma. It is named for the ...

  • Sonoma Coast

      The Sonoma Coast AVA is an extensive part of Sonoma County, California. It stretches betwe...

  • Bennett Valley

    Just when you’ve finally figured out the criss-cross of Sonoma County’s 12 sub-appellations here ...

  • Chalk Hill

      The Chalk Hill AVA is located within the Russian River Valley district of Northern Sonoma,...

  • Sonoma Mountain

    Sonoma Mountain is a subregion of Sonoma Valley in California. The region has different microcl...

Popular Wineries in Sonoma County View all

  • Optima Winery

    Optima began as a dream producing just 400 cases in 1984,now, the winery is continuing their trad...

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

  • Hafner Vineyard

    We're a small family winery tucked away in Alexander Valley, 15 minutes from Healdsburg. You w...

  • A. Rafanelli

    The Rafanelli family is now in its fourth generation of growing grapes and making wine in the Dry...

  • Chateau Souverain

    At Souverain, our goal is to make authentic wines that are the best expression of each varietal a...

  • Dumol Wine Company

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

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Sonoma County on Snooth

  • This Saturday June 5th 2010 is Single Night in the Russian River Valley at C Donatello Winery. 6:30 - 10:00pm Single Vineyard tastings from the following wineries: Acorn Winery Ancient Oak Cellars Balletto Vineyards Benovia Winery D&L Carinalli Dutton-Goldfield Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery Foppiano Vineyards Foppoli Wines Graton Ridge Cell...

    Comment by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Planning to head to Sonoma Valley over Labor Day Weekend? It is Sonoma Wine Country Weekend! County wide event with lots of activities going on. Get more information here: www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • If you didn't see this Snooth posting and planning a trip to Sonoma, check this out: http://www.snooth.com/wine-tours/sonoma/

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Bright ruby red in color. Quite fruity and a bit alcoholic on the nose. Sour cherries on the palate with a medium finish. I though it was a bit simple pop and pour but developed nicely with some air showing it quality. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Scherrer Russian River Valley Syrah

    Snoothrank:

    Terrific wine. A big nose of dark berries and violets. Gentle blackberry flavor on the tip of the tongue.Nice level of acidity shows up with back-of-the-tongue tartness Some savoriness. Some tannin, but, certainly, not over the top. A fairly full-bodied wine. Drinking well, now, but I wish I had more. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County 2018

    Snoothrank:

    Something of an acerbic nose--not alcoholic, but, definitely, tingly. Lots of upfront fruit--prune leads. Dangerously close to syrupy for my taste. Not a bad wine, but not, particularly compelling. On the other hand, the tariff makes this a perfectly fine everyday drinker. This is the only one I bought in my last Carlisle order, I, in all ho... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ancillary Cellars Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Sangiacomo Vineyard 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Red plum fruit on the tip ot the tongue, Some spice--suggestive of clove--mid-palate. Nice acid tartness. Medium-bodied, although, fuller than many other PNs, these days. Pleasant, mid-length aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Limerick Lane Zinfandel Rocky Knoll 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Not surprisingly, this is a big mouth-filling wine. Macerated dark fruit. It seems to have an unusually thick or viscous mouth feel. There seems to be a mid-palate sensation of unsweeted chocolate which, to me, seems to be a tad unusual for a Zin, Sturdy acid and tannin indicate that this wine could lay sideway for a few more years. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rivers Marie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018

    Snoothrank:

    Clear, quite pale yellow in the glass. Some vanilla and citrus on the nose. Fairly tart on the tongue--lemon pith, kiwi, peach. Also, I get the vanilla. It is oaked, but, certainly, not over the top, A good summer refreshment, Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirah 2010

    Snoothrank:

    I love the dark plum color of PS. Dark fruit--blackberry, blueberry, black plum--but not too much; Some serious mineral or soil add a nice contrast and complements the fruit. A fairly smooth wine. Although, there are still unresoved tannins that indicate that more years of storage could be rewarding. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • La Crema Pinot Noir Bennett Valley 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by courtneyivey


  • Carlisle Sonoma County Syrah 2018

    Snoothrank:

    Nice tangy red fruit--cherry, cranberry. Lots of savoriness and spice--mace, cinnamon. Interesting tannin--I get tannin puckeriness, but it is not over the top. If there is a better $25 Syrah, I want all I can get. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rivers Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Lively red berry fruit Sprightly acid, I suspect is giving me the liveliness.. Some baking spice. Some savoriness. Respectably medium bodied. Lingering aftertaste--again, probably due to the acid. Very good wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • If you didn't see this Snooth posting and planning a trip to Sonoma, check this out: http://www.snooth.com/wine-tours/sonoma/

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • The Russian River valley was my wife an my introduction to Sonoma during our 20th anniversary trip to the area. We fell in love with the geography and the vibrant Cabernets (not really a Pinot Noir lover). If one is planning on a wine vacation to either Napa or Sonoma, I would without a doubt pick Sonoma. Watching the fog come in from the Pac...

    Comment by 197388Mitch Maloney 197388 Mitch Maloney


  • First trip to California hoping to get some advice on wineres that are "must see", in the Somoma region. We are going in June and only have about 4 days. I would love any feed back on anything else i.e restaraunts lodging. L

    Comment by 325474mrlasr 325474 mrlasr


  • The 18th Winter Wineland is soon coming to Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley. January 16 & 17, 2010 11:00-4:00 both days 120 Wineries - 50 Lodgings Advance Online Ticket Prices Are: $40 Weekend, $30 Sunday Only, $10 for Designated Drivers At the door prices will be $50 Weekend, $40 Sunday Only, $10 for Designated Drivers Find out...

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • Roessler Visit … As I had mentioned a while back I am making some wine this year and this means for a short period of time I need to be in Sonoma a lot. I need to be there to see what is going on, do punch downs and take readings on the wine. Harvest is a busy time but if you are only doing work on one ton of grapes there isn’t a lot to do. ...

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


  • Hey HondaJohn - great job curating this page. Keep it up!

    Comment by 6331solomania9 6331 solomania9


  • Mantazas Creek Visit … One of the things that continues to amaze me is the just the sheer number of wineries that there are in Northern California. I’ve been to a lot of them but there are so many more that I have not been to. That’s why, when I had the opportunity to, I dropped in to Mantazas Creek Winery in Bennett Valley. Mantanzas Cre...

    Comment by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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