15 California White Wines to Try

What better time than August 4 – National White Wine Day – to pop open a bottle of your favorite white varietal, or perhaps try something new to you? Here are some California white wine favorites, all grown and made across the state’s many award-winning wine regions. 

Wilson Creek Winery 2021 Roussanne

While this icon of Temecula is best-known for its almond champagne, this herbal and floral varietal is well worth your time this summer. Refreshing to the sip, the more tea-like flavors give way to a touch of delightful melon and pear on the palate. $26.99

Raymond Generations 2019 Chardonnay

This California white wine is a marriage of grapes from Jameson Canyon and Atlas Peak appellation and named to honor Raymond’s five generations of winemaking in the state. There is a lot happening with this creamy delight, from mango and figs to apricot and ginger, and it is all magic. $60

Bricoleur Vineyards 2020 Sauvignon Blanc

Given this winery is in the heart of Russian River Valley, its Chardonnays are obviously killer. But do not sleep on Bricoleur’s Sauvignon Blanc (pictured at top of page). So sleek and zesty, it almost feels sexy to the nose. Once it hits the lips, there is a welcome explosion of big green apple and just enough grapefruit to wake all the senses. $32

Handwritten 2021 The Author

This is a new release for the beloved Yountville brand, with its prior Author labels coming from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc. This California white wine still has an ample amount of the popular grape but is now blended with Sémillon as well. The result certainly has the tropical notes of its older siblings, but also flavors of rich, juicy pear and white peach as well. $50

Jordan Winery

Jordan 2020 Chardonnay

This winery, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, helped put northern Sonoma on the map. Known worldwide for its award-winning Chardonnays – which regularly break sales records nationwide – the 2020 vintage will not disappoint. That crisp apple taste fans know and love is there as well as ever-so-welcome hints of pear, lemon, acidity and French oak. $40

2019 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay

Like Jordan, Healdsburg’s Chalk Hill is also celebrating 50 years throughout 2022. Vanilla, orange blossoms, crisp apples and toasted marshmallows with a bit of spice from the barrels come together in this California white wine. Rich and creamy on the palate with notes of zested lemon oil and pear. $48

JCB No 81 Chardonnay 2018

Named to honor 1981 – the year international wine magnate Jean-Charles Boisset came to California – this elegant Napa expression is purposely made in the style of a white Burgundy from Boisset’s France. It has a mouthfeel almost of light mousse with kisses of vanilla, lemon custard and just a touch of spice. $65

Cougar Winery 2019 Falanghina

Rawr! Falanghina (pronounced fah-lawn-GHEE-nah) is a take on an ancient grape from Italy, and Cougar was the first-ever winery to get this variety recognized in the United States. It roars on the nose and to the taste with Asian pear, sun-sweetened apple, bright lime and even a touch of zesty pink grapefruit. $28

Mathew Bruno 2019 Carneros Chardonnay  

From two neighboring vineyards, the Baldacci Family’s Honey B Vineyard and Beckstoffer’s Carneros Lake Vineyard, this California white wine teases with aromas of nectarines, Honeycrisp apples and vanilla. To the taste, expect a rich smoothness with balanced flavors of stone fruits, pears and honeysuckles and just a hint of spice at the finish. $38

J Vineyards

J Vineyards Estate Pinot Gris V20

Given J Vineyards is a titan in all things Chardonnay, one may not know the brand also has an elegant Pinot Gris as well. But oh boy, does it ever. Each taste of this perfect summertime sipper offers ample fruit and notably white peach, but tempers it with a bit of tastiness and just a sprinkle of white pepper.  $36

ONEHOPE Bloom Limited Edition California Pinot Grigio

A new, whimsical label from the cause-driven winery, honeydew and citrus blossom dominate the palate here. Ultra-drinkable, while 95 percent Pinot Grigio, there is a touch of Muscat–5 percent from nearby Alexandria grapes–that sets it apart and make it ever so easy to sip by the pool, lake or ocean. $28

Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2018

Do not let the word “unfiltered” frighten. This is an exquisite expression made from prized grapes across the Carneros, Rutherford and Mendocino Ridge AVAs. It opens with floral aromatics but it then is equal parts toasty and acidic to the taste with clear notes of creamy caramel, apricot and a hint of sweet creamed corn. $55

DeLoach Estate Pinot Noir Blanc

You are reading this correctly; this is a white Pinot Noir. A true California rarity, this Santa Rosa varietal offers a symphony of orange blossoms and lemon on the nose before stone fruit joins the aromatic party. Those flavors continue to the taste, complemented by a splash of grapefruit and a surprise of blood orange. $34

Rombauer 2020 Proprietor Chardonnay

A beautiful pale yellow, there are multifaceted layers of aromas in this limited-edition St. Helena wine including caramelized pineapple, lemon rind, baked green apple, toast and vanilla. The densely concentrated palate features notes of powerful stone fruit, floral honey, baking spice and vanilla, all building, with a fresh, mouthwatering acidity, to a long and lingering finish. $75

2019 Sterling Vineyards California Malvasia Bianca

Many know that this beloved Calistoga winery has been closed to the public since 2020 after the Glass Fire. While in the midst of building back even better, show support of the award-winning brand by enjoying a bottle of this floral-yet-tropical California white wine with perfect notes of pineapple, pear and melon. $35

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.