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...

  • 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...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • 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

  • Kunde Family Winery

    Family owned and operated for five generations, Kunde Family Estate produces ultra-premium, estat...

  • A. Rafanelli

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

  • La Crema Winery

    La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored C...

  • Clos du Bois

      Clos du Bois didn’t start small and build up like many other wineries - it started with a ...

  • Casa de la Cruz

    Casa de la Cruz wines are a companion label of Keller Estate Winery. These lovely entry level Cha...

  • Robert Hunter Winery

    Visit and tour the special garden and grounds overlooking the Hunter Farms vineyard in Sonoma Val...

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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


  • 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


  • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Ruby color, but not as dark as one might expect. Very subtle berry fruit on the tip of the tongue, An herbal retro-nasal sensation. Less full-bodied than I might expect for a Zin, Quite mild tannin and acid, A surprising Zinfandel--more elegant than rustic. medium Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rockpile Pritchett Peaks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very enjoyable wine. Blackberry on the tip of the tongue. Some anise and some kind of tarry thing that nicely blunts any fruitiness. Contrary to some other tasters, I am still getting noticeable tannin and acid. If you have this you don't have to rush for it. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Jolie-Laide Grenache Provisor Vineyard 2017

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty translucent garnet color. Modestly fruity nose. On the tongue, a light hit of tart red berry--cherry, red raspberry--but, again, a light hit. This wine is quite tart, To me, that makes it quite refreshing, but another taster may judge it as acid imbalance. Quite light bodied. Something, probably, again, acid, is causing a "rough... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon Anu Moon Mountain District 2012

    Snoothrank:

    "Dark" nose with some viny sensation. On the tip of the tongue I was surprised by flavors of bright red fruit--normally, I detect black fruit in CS. Lots of mineral and stone mid-palate. Plenty of stiff tannin. An unfortunate unbalance of acid, which I am sure, is why I described the fruit as "bright." I probably should have let this one re... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Simi Winery Chardonnay 2016

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Jerry Brenner


  • J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Keto Diet Ketogenic diets are winding up increasingly more famous as a way to deal with weight reduction. Trusted by a huge number of individuals around the world.https://www.infinity4hub.com/keto-diet-shop/ Read More

    Wine review by Jerry Brenner


  • Kumbaya Blend California 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Ruby red coloration with rusty purple hues around the rim when held against light and shows nice legs too! Semi clear transparency which suggests some decanting could be done to this one. Aromas of sweet vanilla, dark cherry, blackberry and chokecherry deepness....perhaps some mild peppery spice and oak dryness. Flavors are very fruit forward... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • Ceritas Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

    Snoothrank:

    A very enjoyable wine. Lots of upfront fruit--lime and grapefruit on the citrus side, pineapple, kiwi and a suggestion, but only a suggestion, of banana. Terrific acid fills the mouth making this a very lively, bright wine, Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ridge Geyserville 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Three years after my previous notes on this wine, I'm still liking it. As noted before, a light hit of red fruit--raspberry--but with no sweetness. Acid is apparent. As previously reported, tannin is somewhat sedate. I'm still calling this a medium-bodied wine, but contrary to my previous assessment, I am of the impression that more years of ... 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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