Californian wine accounts for an impressive 90% America’s total wine production and it’s not to be sniffed at! The land mass is nearly three-quarters the size of France and if California were a separate country, it would be the world’s fourth-largest wine producer with 1,200 wineries ranging from small boutique wineries to large global corporations.
The first vineyards were planted here by Spanish missionaries in the 18th century to make wine for mass (they must have had a lot of churches?) and a century later a wine industry started to take root with the Californian Gold Rush bringing an increasing population and a demand for table wine! The boom began in Northern California around the counties of Sonoma and Napa – where some finest wineries can be visited today.