California wine production has a rich viticulture history since 1680 when Spanish Jesuit missionaries planted Vitis vinifera vines native to the Mediterranean region in their established missions to produce wine for religious services. In the 1770s, Spanish missionaries continued the practice under the direction of the Father Junípero Serra planted California’s first vineyard at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Its contemporary wine production grew steadily since the end of Prohibition, but mostly known for its sweet port-style and jug wine products. As the market favored French brands, California’s table wine business grew modestly, but quickly gained international prominence at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, when renown French oenophiles, in a blind tasting, ranked the California wines higher than the primer French labels in the Chardonnay (white) and Cabernet Sauvignon (red) categories. The result caused a ‘shock’ in viticulture industry since France was regarded as foremost producer of the world’s finest table wines. This revolutionary event attributed to expanding the recognition and prestige of vintners in the New World, specifically, the Golden State.
The state produces about ninety percent of the American wine supply and is the fourth largest wine producer among the world’s independent nations. It has more than 1,200 wineries ranging from home-grown and small boutiques to large corporations with international distribution. Wikipedia