Russian River Valley Wine

The Russian River Valley is the most southerly AVA within Northern Sonoma. It is named for the influx of Russian immigrants who, between 1812 and 1841, settled along the Sonoma coast, establishing agricultural businesses including the planting of wine grapes. Beginning at Fort Ross they moved up to Sebastopol, Graton and Freestone, eventually settling in what would become Russian River Valley.

Most of the Russian settlers abandoned the area by 1841, but other settlers had already migrated there and continued to support viticultural plantings. By the 1870s, the wine industry began to take hold and companies such as the Santa Rosa Wine Company, Martini and Prati, Korbel Cellars and Foppiano established longstanding wineries. 
 
The Prohibition was a devastating blow to the region, but there were some survival techniques employed by certain wineries to get around the problem. The Alicante-Bouchet grape from Europe, know for its unique teinturier (naturally dark, heavily pigmented juice without Read more »

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Popular wines made in Russian River Valley under $20

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Varietals Produced in Russian River Valley View all

  • 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...

  • 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 Russian River Valley

  • Green Valley

      The Green Valley AVA is in the west corner of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, in Calif...

Popular Wineries in Russian River Valley View all

  • Mara

    Welcome to our website, which, like us, is devoted to the passion for wine. You will discover our...

  • Hartman Lane

    Can you tell me the story behind this red?

  • Pax Wine Cellars

    Launched with its 2000 vintage, the focus of Pax Wine Cellars is to produce the best vineyard-des...

  • River Road Vineyards

    River Road Vineyards started in 1976 with the purchase of a 78 acre Chardonnay Vineyard on River ...

  • Walter Hansel Winery

    Walter Hansel Winery is located in Sonoma County at the southern tip of the Russian River Valley ...

  • Topolos

    The softly undulating hills of the famed Russian River Valley, caressed by cool blankets of fog a...

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Russian River Valley on Snooth

  • Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting "thick" mouthfeel. Blackberry on the tip of the tongue, but, then, I get some red fruit--cranberry. This Zin is more like the rustic style that I learned on 30 years ago. A lot of fun. A full-bodied wine. Great with any kind of hearty meal. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


  • 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


  • Marimar Estate Pinot Noir la Masia Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful plum color. Fresh berry nose. Hit of red fruit on the tip of the tongue. Also, interestingly, immediate detection of salinity. Very noticeable acid and tannin. Very much an unrestrained Zin--noticeable bramble and rusticity. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • B.R. Cohn Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty clear garnet color. Lots of tart red cherry on the tip of the tongue. Some cola. Some slate. Quite light-bodied. Tartness and light body makes this wine easy to drink. However, lack of complexity removes it from the list of aspirational wines. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Carlisle Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Plum color. Dark berry nose. Subtle flavor of not-quite-ripe dark fruit. Bright from acid. Lots of earthiness, Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Jolie-Laide Trousseau Gris Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard 2018

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty salmon color. "Fresh" nose--the nose predicts this will be a somewhat acidic wine. Sure enough, light fruit on the tongue--peach, kiwe and citrus. While the fruit flavors are subtle. there is no mistaking the citric acid--lemon or lime pith. Then there is the tingling on the tongue which, I am sure, is from the acid. A very refr... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Gary Farrell Rrv Pinot Noir Russian River Selection 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Quite light bodied. Lots of up-front red fruit--cherry, strawberry. An easy wine to drink but no complex, at all, and, so, not, particularly memorable. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Carlisle Russian River Valley Papera Ranch Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very appealing wine. Opens with gentle red berry fruit--raspberry and, maybe, cranberry. Interesting spicy sensation around the edges of the tongue--not but not unlike the "spritz" from cinnamon. Medium-boded red wine. Very sedate tannin and acid. Mid-length aftertastes, although, the spritz lingers a bit more. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Don't miss the Trousseau Gris from Fanucchi Vineyards!

    Comment by 1165994Thomas C 1165994 Thomas C


  • My favorite Vineyard in Russian River in The Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard.

    Comment by 806255Luciano L 806255 Luciano L


  • Our favorite discovery is Fanucchi Vineyards!

    Comment by 565487Jo Kelly 565487 Jo Kelly


  • Love the place. Thanks everyone.

    Comment by 518791RaguilarCAT 518791 RaguilarCAT


  • 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 R...

    Comment by 324443outthere 324443 outthere


  • Just had a 2008 Saralee's Vineyard Joseph Swan Chardonnay..not my style usually...barrel fermented, 100% Malo, but it was so well put together. Really delicious.

    Comment by 363563Pinotmoi 363563 Pinotmoi


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    Page modification by 320303westsidelodge 320303 westsidelodge


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    Page modification by 36106John Andrews 36106 John Andrews


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