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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Optima Winery

    Optima began as a dream producing just 400 cases in 1984,now, the winery is continuing their trad...

  • Sonoma Creek Winery & Vineyards

    The Sonoma region has a rich heritage filled with historic California character that dates back t...

  • Rutz Cellars

    2004 Rutz Cellars Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($45) Owner Keith Rutz seeks outst...

  • Dark Horse Wine

    Named 2007 Winemaker of the Year by the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, winemaker Michael Loykasek ha...

  • Hook & Ladder Winery

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

  • Clos du Bois

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

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Sonoma County on Snooth

  • 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?


  • Looks like Morgan and Chris have been busy Bedrock babies, here's what came ... Zinfandel Lodi2X  2017 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County1X  2017 Under the Mountain Heritage Wine Santa Clara6X  2018 Ode To Lulu Rose California3X  2018 Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley1X  2016 Beduccini Note to self, probably not a good ide... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • A couple of Pax Syrah's hit the door today:L - The 2015 Castelli Knight ... Lair" Sonoma County Syra Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Sojourn Russian River Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Bright red color. Cherry on the tongue--more black than red--and, maybe, plum. Some salinity, mid-palate. Medium-bodied. Good tartness. An OK wine, but, again, not aspirational. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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