California can be considered as the motherland of viticulture in the United States describe. It is also quite rightly the beautiful epithet "Wine State", because wine is a significant economic factor here. The Spaniards led the Spanish variety in the 16th century Listán Prieto in Mexico one who was called here Misión and later in California mission. In 1769, the Franciscan monk had Junipero Serra (1713-1784) at the founding of the mission "San Diego" in California allegedly created the first vineyard with this vine (according to recent sources, only ten years later). Here there was not the great difficulties as on the east coast of the Atlantic, because the dry climate prevented fungal diseases and the vines thrived magnificently. The wines were then produced in a rather primitive way; a contemporary report provides clear information: Between two trees hung a cowhide filled with mashed grapes ( wineskin ), in which the fermentation took place. At the bottom was a stopper that was simply pulled out to fill a cup of wine.
In most cases, the mission wine was burned to liquor and the Spriten of the residual wine used. Around the year 1833, a Frenchman with the emblematic name Jean-Louis planted Vignes (1780-1862) first imported from Europe vines near Los Angeles. General Mariano Vallejo (1808-1890) was the last Mexican Governor of California, which became independent from 1846 and four years later in 1850 the 31st US state. He had in Sonoma created a winery and was the first great wine maker. In 1849, gold fever broke out in California and wine broke out Zinfandel became the most popular drink of the gold diggers.
The big breakthrough was made by the Hungarian Agoston Haraszthy (1812-1869) introduced from 1860, the Sonoma in the winery Buena Vista Winery founded and introduced hundreds of European grape varieties. In the immediate vicinity founded the German Jacob Gundlach a winery, 1973 under the name Gundlach-Bundschu was reactivated. Another pioneer was Charles, a native of Prussia jug (1825-1892), who in 1861 in St. Helena in Napa Valley the Charles Krug Winery founded and trained young winemakers. The native Frenchman Paul Masson (1859-1940) was famous from 1892 with its sparkling wine and referred to as "Champagne King of California". Until the end of the 19th century, a diverse wine culture developed with high-quality wines from imported European Vinifera varieties.
Around 1880 was by the University of California a wine research center was founded in Berkeley, which later became Davis. In 1890, already one million hectoliters of wine was produced. The Phylloxera disaster From 1880 many vineyards were destroyed, but they were rebuilt. But the prohibition (1920-1933) brought the total decline of American wine culture. Only in the 1950s, a revolution began. It started with small wineries that experimented with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and French oak barrels. The pioneers who were responsible for the recovery were Robert Mondavi (1913-2008), who founded his first winery in Oakville, Napa Valley in 1966, and Joe Heitz (1919-2000). Both were made by the famous oenologist André Tchelistcheff (1901-1994) supported. The high quality of Californian wines has also been enhanced by an already legendary wine tasting ( Paris Wine Tasting ) approved.
California is divided into five major winegrowing regions, which are by no means congruent with the climate regions listed below. The regions are in political counties (provinces), each with several AVA areas are divided. But these can also go beyond the political county boundaries, as is the case with Wild Horse Valley (Napa and Solano counties) and Los Carneros (Napa and Sonoma counties):
Central Coast : The region covers about 25,000 hectares of vineyards. It forms a 560 km long strip from the north south of the San Francisco Bay to Los Angeles in the south.