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...

  • 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...

  • 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 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

  • Mazzocco Vineyards

    Although Mazzocco is a small family-owned winery, our vineyard sources are among the best in the ...

  • Chateau Souverain

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

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

    In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine staked their claim in th...

  • A. Rafanelli

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

  • Hafner Vineyard

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

  • 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


  • Kenwood Pinot Noir Six Ridges 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by donealrice


  • St. Francis Chardonnay 2017

    Snoothrank:

    Lovely and crisp for a chardonnay without trying so hard to add particular flavors that come off fake.I actually tried this at Sip 'n Paint (The Wine Cellar at the Rio in Las Vegas). Read More

    Wine review by donealrice


  • Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Good wine, but definitely needs more time. Fruit of red cherry. Some dustiness. Quite stiff tannin. Nice tart acid. Retro-nasal menthol sensation. Give this one three more, or so, years to let the tannin and acid resolve. Then, I am pretty sure, this wine will develop to become outstanding. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Windracer Chardonnay Anderson Valley 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Good Thanks Read More

    Wine review by warrendavidking


  • Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Great little wine. Review to follow... Notes of celery, strawberry confit and perhaps a touch of raspberry - depending on the moment. Entry is silky smooth, like a fine Beaune; there is strawberry (though slightly muted) and more vegetable notes like celery stalk - topped off with a sprinkle of vanilla. This mature, well-made PN only needs a ... Read More

    Wine review by zufrieden


  • Bedrock Wine Co. Limerick Lane Vineyard Zinfandel 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice refreshing wine. Not too heavy on the red fruit on entry. Some spice--clove. Not terribly full-bodied. Most tannins. Very nice tart acid. Something of a retro-nasal red cherry sensation. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Myriad Petaluma Gap Sangiacomo Vineyard. Syrah 2016

    Snoothrank:

    A pretty big, mouth-filling wine. Red fruit, some earthiness, some herbal hints. Moderate tannin. noticeable acid. I like this wine, I suspect that the other bottle that I have in storage will improve over the years. I'm not going to wait very many years, though. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Red fruit on entry--cherry, strawberry, Something of a "thicK" viscous mouthfeel. If this wine had tannin--and some acid--I'd be all over it. It certainly is not going for the subtle PN that seems to be the fad In CA these days. Thankfully it is also not going for the "cherry cough syrup" profile, either. Actually, and OK low-dollar wine, bu... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Patz and Hall Wine Company Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Quite oaky nose. Sure enough, very noticeable flavors from oak--caramel--but, also nice citrus and stone fruit flavors. Truly excellent tartness. Nice wine for the price. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • My take from Carlisle was not quite as prodigious as v v's.These are all ... ... Mountain Gruner VeltlinerSonoma County SyrahPapa's Block RRV SyrahPagani Ranch Sonoma Valley ZinfandelMontalfi Ranch RRV ZinfandelLimerick Lane RRV ZinfandelDry Creek Valley ZinfandelSonoma County Zinfandel ( X 2 Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • 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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