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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

  • 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

  • Murphy-Goode Winery

    At Murphy-Goode, winemaking isn’t just a family busness; it’s a family tradition – one that’s end...

  • Rutz Cellars

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

  • Kunde Family Winery

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

  • Dumol Wine Company

    Our 25 acre biodynamically farmed Estate Vineyard is located on an undulating eastfacing slope of...

  • Kenwood Vineyards

    Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards is dedicated to producing premium wi...

  • Medlock Ames

    Medlock Ames is located on 335 acres of rolling oak and madrone woodland in the South-Western por...

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Sonoma County on Snooth

  • These just arrived:L - 2015 St. Francis Merlot Reserve Sonoma CountyLM - 2016 Yalumba Eden Valley ViognierRM - 2016 Banfi Chianti ClassicoR - 2016 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Marietta Cellars Angeli Estate Grown Zinfandel 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive dark color. Fruity nose with a touch of alcohol. Lots of berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. I find this to be a nice medium-for-a-red bodied wine. While it is not a blockbuster, it is not shy. Moderate tannins and acid. I found some notes on the '13 vintage of this wine in which I was not particularly impressed. I am mo... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Dark maroon with black currant and oak nose. High tannic, full body wine, high acid with blackberry notes. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Enjoyed Dec 25/18Beginnings of tawny coloration happening with background colors of Earthy rust & black currant, and overall it is somewhat murky. Aromas are a medley of big time alcohol initially, huge peppery spice, old leather strap, Earthy soils and a fruity mineral that helps round things out. On the palate, there is a boozy tinge that st... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • He's baaaaack.I've passed on the Pato bottlings for no reason other ... ... I find that I enjoy Sonoma County Zins to the extent that I'm not interested in other ones.Yes, I'm turning into a cranky old ma Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Rockpile Winery Syrah Madrone Spring Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Light berry fruitblackberry, blueberry, plumbut not sweetish at all. Not a particularly mouth-filling wine. Very sedate tannin. Typical syrah savoriness mid-palate. Mid-length finish that seems to extract a bitter flavor. An OK, but not an aspirational, wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • No sooner than the Fedex driver dropped off our fall Bedrock allocation their winter release hit my inbox, decisions, decisions. 2016 Hudson Vineyard Syrah, T’n’S blocks Napa Carneros  (x3)2017 The Bedrock Heritage Red Sonoma Valley  (x2)2017 Esola Zinfandel Amador County  (x2)2017 Evangelho Heritage Red Contra Costa County  (x2)2017 Judge Sauvi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Wilde Farm Cardiac Hill Vineyard Syrah 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Light red fruitcherry, maybe, cranberry. Fairly tart and lean. Relatively light bodied. Very short finish. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Syrah Grenache Blend 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Unpretentious berry fruit on entryblueberry, blackberry. Slight suggestion of vanilla. After the initial impressions it moves towards savory. Nice full-bodied wine. Sturdy tannins. Acid makes it very drinkable and, along with the tannin, suggests improvement from more sideways resting. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel Rockpile Botticelli Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a barnyard nose, but, thankfully, that does not seem to translate on the taste buds. Very pleasant plum and berry flavor on entryslightly tart. Some dustiness. Some wood. Nice big, mouth-filling wine. Very moderate tannins still hanging around. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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