The university is headquartered in the town of Berkeley, Alameda County, on the mainland side of San Francisco Bay in the US California, Additional branch operations are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Davis. In 1880 it was decided to viticulture and oenology to record as new branches. However, since Berkeley had poor climatic conditions for viticulture, an outbuilding was built in the interior of the country in the city of Davis (Davis is a frequent short name for the viticulture branch). The then Agricultural Professor Eugene Hilgard (as one of several) the great importance of finishing in the fight against the phylloxera and the relationship between climate and more suitable vine firmly. By the prohibition (1920-1933) the activities were severely restricted. Shortly after the lifting of the prohibition, the Department of Viticulture was revived in 1935 at the University. The focus was on the analysis of grape varieties and the training of the new winegrower generation.
In 1944, the Californian wine-growing areas were divided into five climates according to the so-called heat summation method (see the classification under California ), especially the scientist Albert J. Winkler (1894-1989) earned. The oenologist and publicist Maynard A. Amerine (1911-1998) was dedicated to the study of the suitability of grape varieties for different climatic zones and the reconstruction of the prohibition lost viticulture skills. Through numerous new breedings and worldwide consulting work, Dr. Ing. Harold P. Olmo (1909-2006) known. The grape specialist Dr. Carole Meredith clarified by means of DNA analysis the origin of some grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah and Zinfandel, At the university, in the mid-1980s, Prof. Ann C. Noble (* 1935) the so-called aroma wheel developed in which the wine flavors are divided into 12 main groups. Most of the California winegrowing and cellaring professionals have been trained in Davis.