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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Carlo Rossi Vineyards

    Every year the Great Central Valley of California provides harvests of uniquely delicious grapes....

  • Sycamore Lane Cellars

    Sycamore Lane is a private label brand produced by Trinchero Family Estates in Napa Valley, Cal...

  • 3 Blind Moose

    Truth be told, the moose aren’t blind. They just think it’s cool to share good wine with friends,...

  • Matchbook

    This is a duplicate winery page of Matchbook Wine Company: http://www.snooth.com/winery/matchbo...

  • Sullivan Vineyards

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

  • Tisdale Vineyards

    Since its inception, the hallmark of E. & J. Gallo Winery’s founders has been their unwavering co...

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  • Theopolis Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Unusual, almost prune color. Somewhat cloudy in the glass, and definitely appears to be somewhat light-bodied. Moderately fruity nose, Lots of red cherry on the tip of the tongue. Also some surprising astringency--that may be from acid. Very observable mineral things under the rear palate, In contrast to my visual prediction, while this is ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very easy wine to enjoy. Light hit of blackberry and black plum on the tip of the tongue. As the wine passes back I get some salinitity and earthiness. Very sedate tannins and acids. Not terribly full-bodied, but this wine will not be out of place with a beef entree that was not heavily sauced. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Halcon Roussanne Yorkville Highlands 2018

    Snoothrank:

    A very crisp wine. Lemon pith that I quickly detect tells you that there is acidic crispness. I also am getting a tropical flavor--kiwi. Some stoniness. Very pleasant herbal aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • That's a funny coincidence that Jack asks about a Wind Gap a few days after ... a Wind Gap Nebbiolo. California Nebbiolo????????????My surprise is specious.  We are well aware of Foxall's fascination with the grape, and his fascination with growing the grape in California.I look forward to a more detailed report on the evening's event Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...


  • VV, Yes, it is ... too bad, I mean.  Bedrock is well regarded - like many other California wineries mentioned here from time to time.  Many of us simply buy through the mail now, and that is the wave of the future.  However, I resist the temptation because I just end up with dozens of bottles of wine and just the two of us here to drink them (wi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...


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  • Robert Mondavi 'Oakville' Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

    Snoothrank:

    More blue than red in the glass. Astringent nose of black berries. On the tongue I find as much red berry--raspberry--as black--blueberry (if I can call that that black). A considerable amount of tannic puckeriness-- I guess there's no surprise there--and quite a bit of acid tartness. I'm afraid this one needs much more sideways time in orde... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Pennywise Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Very good dinner wine. Ligth but with a considerable amount of flavor. I would recommend it if you can still find it. Read More

    Wine review by Tony Colozza


  • Sterling Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Another estate sale find. While storage of this wine was less than optimal--room temperature environment--I am perfectly happy with it. Jammy red berry fruit on entry. Some earthiness, mid-palate. A bit of "old tannin funk" on the rear palate. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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  • 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, ...

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  • 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


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