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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • Sycamore Lane Cellars

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

  • Joseph Carr

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

  • Estancia Estates

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

  • Canyon Road Winery

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

  • Charles Shaw Winery

    The Charles Shaw label is best known for producing wines of “extreme value.” These became popul...

Page 1 of 1,000

California on Snooth

  • Carlisle Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Lovely plum color in the glass. Nuanced berry nose. On the tip of the tongue, I get some blackberry but, also, some savoriness. Interestingly, as the wine passes back I get more fruit that seems to also have more sweetness and more tartness. Some minerality. Tannin is quite sedate. A nice mouth-filling wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Shake Ridge Ranch Barbera 2017

    Snoothrank:

    Medium-bodied wine with a "thin" mouthfeel. Big red fruit on entry--cherry, raspberry. A bit spritzy suggesting acid, but that doesn't seem to show up with tartness in the fruit. Some minerality or steeliness. An OK, but not complex, at all. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Hahn Pinot Noir Monterey County 2017

    Snoothrank:

    Coloration is fairly brilliant cherry/cranberry, looks to be quite clear, with rustic hues around the rim. Aromas that are fruit forward....cherry, toasty oak, tobacco leaf, wet leather, honey molasses bbq sauce richness and a muted cinnamon, nutmeg/mace & pepper spice. Flavors are pretty straight up of field berries (cherry, blueberry, raspbe... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • 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


  • Halcon Elevacion 2017

    Snoothrank:

    A quite restrained wine that opens with just a suggestion of blackberries. Intrestingly, I am getting a lot of earthiness. A lot of acid spritz on the edges of the tongue. A very good wine today that will be better in the coming years. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Sandlands Lodi Chenin Blanc 2018

    Snoothrank:

    Very pale yellow color. Somewhat of a tropical fruit nose. On the tongue, I get melon, kiwi and, maybe granny smith apple. Interestingly I do not get any acid tartness, but there is acid astringency around the edges of the tongue. Quite light-bodied. Good summer sipper. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • On sale for 18.99, reg 27.99......Black Sage Merlot 2017 Vintage.....from the ... and reminds me of a good BC/California Cab to be honest....full and flavorful.  Definitely give this one a t Read More

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


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Vineyard Under the Mountain Carignan 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting color in the glass--more blue than red. My first impression is the mouthfeel--it seems to have a velvety feel that covers the mouth. Very interesting. To me Carignan has a lot of dustiness. This one, not as much. It's there, but there is also dark berry fruit--blackberry or, maybe, boysenberry. Some pretty serious tannin, Nice... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Quivet Cellars Beckstoffer las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This is a big, powerful wine. I opens with a nice unobtrusive level of dark fruit--currant, blueberry. Then there is some steeliness, or, maybe, graphite, followed by some dustiness, Then, the tannin hits--very serious tannin, I am enjoying this wine, right now, but there is sufficient acid here to predict that several more years of storage ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Muscadet is my favorite wine accompaniment with shellfish.  Here is California version of the Muscadet grape--Melon de Bourgogne. A very fruity wine--apple, pear, kiwi, melon.  Some stoniness mid-palate.  Light-bodied (Well, duh.) but a surprisingly robust mouth feel.  Light but detectable acidity.  A very pleasant wine.  An excellent summer sip... Read More

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


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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, ...

    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


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