CALIFORNIA IS  AVA.- 142     Varietals- 110     @Los Angelas, San Francisco

  • WHITE= Chardonnay 17%, Colombard 4%, Sauvignon Blanc 2%, Aleatico, Albarino, Aligote, Altesse, Aramon, Arneis, Burger, Chenin Blanc, Falanghina, Furmint, Fiano, Freisa, Friulano, Garnacha Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Green Hungarian AKA=Butschera, Greco di Tufo, Gruner Veltliner, Jacquere, Marsanne, Moscato, Muscat(Black), Muscadelle, Muscat(Canelli), Muscat(Orange), Palomino AKA=Golden Chasselas, Picpoul, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla, Riesling, Roter Veltliner, Savagnin Vert, Symphony, Traminer, Trebbiano, Triplet Blanc, Trousseux Gris, Verdelho, Verdejo, Vermentino, Viognier
  • RED= Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Merlot 8%, Zinfandel 8%, Pinot Noir 7%, Aglianico, Alicante Boushet, Barbera, Bastardo, Black Muscat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Pfeffer, Carignan, Carmenere, Charbono, Cinsault, Concord, Counoise, Corvina, Dolcetto, Dornfelder, Etraire de la Dui, Frappato, Gamay, Garnacha, Graciano, Grand Noir, Lagrein, Malbec, Marselan, Mataro AKA=Mourvèdre, Mencia, Mission AKA=Listan Prieto, Mondeuse, Montepulciano, Mysterious Spotted Grape of Old Hill, Nebbiolo, Negrette, Petite Sirah, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Petite Bouschet, Pinotage, Pinot Meunier, Poulsard, Primitivo, Rondinella, Rubired, Rucche, Ruby Cabernet, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Souzao, St. Laurent, Syrah, Tannat, Tempranillo, Teroldego, Tinta Cao, Touriga Nacional, Trousseau, Vaccarese, Valdiguie

GEOGRAPHY COUNTRY-America, REGION-California, STATE-California, LATITUDE: 32°- 40° N

  • MAJOR REGONS-Central Coast AVA, North Coast AVA., South Coast AVA.
  • MAJOR CITIES-Los Angelas, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sonoma

TOPOGRAPHY  FEATURES- Flat/ Rolling/ Hilly/ Mountainous/ Valley/ Terraced

  • Valley- Alexander, Bennett, Carmel, Central, Edna, Napa, Potter, Redwood, Russian River, Santa Maria, Salinas, Santa Ynez, Sonoma
  • Klamath Mountain Range Geography– Southern Oregon/ Northern California
  • Cascade Range  Geography– Southern Oregon/ Northern California
  • Modoc Plateau Geography– North-East
  • Pacific Coast Ranges Geography– Humboldt County to Santa Barbara
  • San Joaquin Valley Geography– West Interior
  • Sierra Nevada Mountains Geography– Eastern Interior
  • Transverse Mountain Range Geography– Santa Barbara
  • Peninsular Ranges Geography– South Coast


  • Tectonics Pacific Plate is Subducting Under Continental Plate Shearing Off and Leaving Portions of Both Exposed On the Surface of Vineyards.
    • 150 Million Years Ago–  A Series of Geographic Events Caused the Shifting, Slipping and Lifting of the Area Known Today as California.
  • The Great Valley Sequence (Mesozoic Age), Subduction of Farallon Plate That Gave Rise to Arc of Volcanism Throughout Sierra Nevada Mountains. Over Time the Mountains Eroded and Lead to What is Now the Numerous Soil Series That Make Up California.
  • The Franciscan Formation/ Assemblage As Volcanos Were Forming Inland In California the Surface of the Ocean Floor Was Being Craved Off as it Met the Coast Line Leaving Marine Sediment On the Newly Formed Landmass.
    • 25 Million Years Ago–  -Forming of the San Andreas Fault- The Convergence of 3 Tectonic Plates Took Place, The Fallon, Pacific and the North American Plate. This Triple Junction of These Plate Moved the Sedimentary and Volcanic Bedrock In All Directions. Great Compression Forces Pushed Up Wrinkles In the Earth Crust That Eventually Became the San Joaquin Vally, Central Coast Range and Numerous Mountains Throughout California.
    • Soil– Franciscan Complex Soils- Ocean Floor Sandstone, Cobble, Heavy Clay, Loam
  • Glen Ellen Formation-(Cenozoic Age) An Exposure of  Quaternary & Pliocene Gravels, Sorted Clays, Sand, and Cobbles Near the Town of Glen Ellen, In Sonoma Valley.
  • Wilson Grove Formation- (Cenozoic Age)
  • Pepaluma Formation- (Cenozoic/ Neogene Age)
    • Sonoma-  ~Bennett Valley Fault~,  ~Bloomfield Fault~,  ~Carneros Fault~,  ~Healdsburg Fault~
      • ~Petaluma Valley Fault~,  ~Sebastopol Fault~
  • TOPOGRAPHIC GAPS/ WIND GAPS IN CALIFORNIA- The California Current Which Runs North to South Down the Coast Brings Cool Water and Weather to California. Gaps In the Coastal Mountains Ranges Allows Moisture Into the Interior of the State.
    • Petaluma Gap                                        San Pablo Gap (Carneros)
    • San Francisco Bay Gap                         Monterey Bay Gap
    • Templeton Gap (Santa Maria)             anta Barbara Gap
    • Rainbow Gap (Temecula)

SOILS Metamorphic, VolcanicSedimentary

  • Limestone In California- Chalone AVA., Paso Robles AVA., Santa Cruz Mts. AVA., Santa Rita Hills AVA.
  • **Refer to CALIFORNIA/ Sub-Chapters For Detailed Information On Soils.
  • **Refer to TERROIR/ Geology & Soil For Detailed Information On Soils.

CLIMATE Mediterranean, Continental, Maritime, Desert

  • CURRENTS/ Coast Influenced by Humboldt Current.  AKA=Pacific Current, California Current.  
    • Pacific Ocean Current Moves Southward Along the Western Coast of North America, Bringing Cold and Moisture.
  • California’s Consistency Good Weather Makes Year to Year Vintage Variation Less Significant.

VITICULTURE  565,000 ac. Planted,  (White    %/  Red      %)

  • If California Was a State it Would Be #4 In Production In World Behind Italy, France, Spain
  • California Sustainable Wine-Growing Winery & Vineyard CCSW.
  • California Doesn’t Have a Conforming Climate.  Sunlight, Cloud Cover, Heat Accumulation All Vary.  It’s Difficult to Get the Ripening Equation In Balance When Heat and Sunlight Are Not Equal.
  • Top Varieties by Acreage In California In 1970.
    • 1. Carignane     2. Zinfandel
    • 3. Garnacha     4. French Colombard
    • 5. Mission     6. Alicante Bouchet
    • 7. Palomino      8,Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 9. Petit Sirah       10. Chenin Blanc     11. Pinot Noir

VINICULTURE– Numbers of Wineries- 4,615  (3,622 Bonded/ 993 Virtual) As of 2020,  #1 State/ USA.

  • Sparkling- California vs. Europe: Riper, More Fruity, Aged Shorter, Bubblier, Frothy
  • Produces 85% of USA. Wine
  • Jug-Wine- Term For Dry Table Wine Calle Dago Red, Named After the Italian Producers Who Made A lot of It Out In the Central Valley.  Dago Red Was Sold In Large Glass Bottles Which Were Referred to as Jug Wine.


  • **Refer to Appropriate Sections of DtheV. com For Detailed Information On These Topics.
  • 1769 @California Junipero Serra Planted Grapes at Mission San Diego de Alcala.
  • 1770 @California– Junipero Serra & Franciscan Missionaries Planted Vineyards at Missions From San Diego to Sonoma.
  • 1812 @Fort Ross Viticulture, Russians Immigrants Planted Vines.
  • 1821 @California Spanish/ Mexican War,With Independence, Missions Become Less Religious and More Agricultural.
  • 1826 @California Joseph Chapman Started First Commercial Grape Growing In Los Angeles.
  • 1830 @California Nicholas Longworth- Establishes First Commercial Winery Los Angeles Called El Aliso Vineyard.
  • 1834 @Sonoma First Vines Planted at Mission of St. Francis.
  • 1836 @Yountville Viticulture, George Young Planted First Vineyards In Napa.
  • 1848 @California Mexican/ American War, American Wins California.
  • 1848 @Sierra Gold Found, Gold at Sutter’s Mills, Influx of European Settlers.
  • 1848 @California Gold Rush”, Brought Wealth and Prosperity to California and With it the Spread of Population and Vines.
  • 1849 @California Haraszthy Buena Vista *Brought 165 Varietal From Europe.
  • 1850 @California Became a State
  • 1850 @America Trans-Continental Railroad Connects California to East Coast.
  • 1850 @Oak Knoll Joseph Osborne Planted 1,800ac. In Oak Knoll.
  • 1854 @Napa John Patchett, Open Napa’s First Official Winery.
  • 1854 @Calastoga Alfred Tubbs, Planted Vineyards and Build Chateau Montelena.
  • 1855 @Buena Vista Agoston Haraszthy- Build 1st. Grandiose Winery “Started” California Wine Industry.
  • 1856 @Alexander Valley Cyrus Alexander Plants First Grapes In Alexander Valley.
  • 1860 @California Post Gold Rush Begins, European Miner Become Grape Farmers.
  • 1861 @St. Helena Charles Krug, Plant Vines, Established Charles Krug Winery.
  • 1862 @Europe Governor Appointed Haraszthy Head of a Viticulture Trip to Europe.
  • 1862 @St. Helena German Jacob Schram Establishes Schramsberg Winery.
  • 1870 @California California Becomes the Top Wine Producing State In America.
  • 1873 @California Phylloxera,Phylloxera Outbreak, Effecting Vitis Vinifera Grapes.
  • 1873 @Sonoma First Pinot Noir Vine Planted at Rochioli Estate.
  • 1874 @St Helena Joseph Ghisletta, Plants Sunny St. Helena Winery.
  • 1876 @St. Helena German Jacob & Fredrick Beringer,  Establishes Beringer Winery.
  • 1877 @Napa Phylloxera, Phylloxera Hits Napa Valley.
  • 1877 @Howell Mountain Jean Brun & WJ. Chaix Plants First Vineyards.
  • 1879 @Calastoga Finland Gustave Niebaum, Established Inglenook.
  • 1880 @Pritchard Hill Charles Pritchard Planted Zinfandel.
  • 1881 @Oakville Hamilton Crab, Planted 119ac. Vineyard That Became To-Kolon.
  • 1890 @Napa Viticulture, Pre 1900’s Planting Boom
  • 1890’s @Napa Phylloxera, Hits Napa Valley Again.
  • 1895 @Rutherford Thomas Rutherford, Plants Vineyards, Becomes Rutherford.
  • 1900 @Lake County Strong Wine Industry Throughout Lake County.
  • 1909 @Lake County Had 600 Acres of Vineyards.
  • 1920 @America Prohibition, January 17th. 1920 to December 5th. 1933.
  • 1930’s @AmericaGreat DepressionGreat Depression
  • 1933 @America Prohibition, End of Prohibition.
  • 1944 @Napa Seven Members Formed Napa Valley Vintners Association.
  • 1960’s @Napa Wine Renaisssance, New Generation Bringing: New Ideas, Passion, Technologies, Dedication, Wineries, Facilities, Viniculture Techniques.
  • 1960 @Lake CountyRe-Emergence, Wine Industry Starts Growing Again.
  • 1965 @Oakville Robert Mondavi, Leaved Krug to Start Robert Mondavi Winery.
  • 1975’s @Napa Irrigation, Drip Irrigation Introduced
  • 1976 @California/ FranceJudgement of Paris, Napa vs. France Blind Wine Tasting.
  • 1983 @Napa Robert Mondavi & Philippe de Rothschild Collaborate on Opus One.
  • 1983 @Napa Wine Law, Napa Valley Became California First AVA..
  • 1989 @Sonoma Economy, Grapes Become Sonoma County’s Top Revenue Crop.
  • 2000 @Lake County Investment, Increased In Promoting and Establishing New Vineyards.
  • 2014 @Napa– On August 14, Magnitude 6 Earthquake Caused by the West Napa Fault.
  • WINE & POLITICS-  ~Prohibition~
    • Nationwide Constitutional Bad On the Production, Importation, Sale and Transportation of Alcoholic Beverages. Called the Volsted Act/ 18th. Amendment. The Amendment Was Ratified On January 16th. 1919  and When Into Effect January 16th. 1920 and Lasted Till December 5th. 1933.
    • Loopholes In the 18th. Amendment Allowed For…
      • Home Winemakers to Produce and Consumption Up to 200 Gallons.  Each Harvest Season Rail Cars Full of Grapes Would Make Their Way to the Mid-West/ East Coast as Many Families Took Advantage of This and Produced Wine In Their Garages and Basements and Kitchens. The Most Popular Grapes to Send Back East Where Not the Varieties That Would Make the Best Wines But Grape That Would Not Spoil as Fast Such as Alicante Bousche, Carignan, Mataro, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel.
      • The Production of Wine For Religious/ Sacramental Purposes.
    • The Start of Prohibition Brought to an End the First Great Era of California Wine-Making and the Repeal of Prohibition Signified the Start of the Next Great Era of California Wine-Making.
    • As a See Effect of Prohibition This Era Ushered In a Era of Bootleggers, Speakeasies as Well as Great Social Unrest.


    • ~Gundlach Bundschu~ Sonoma, Founder of Historical Sonoma Valley Winery.
    • ~J. Rocchioli~ Sonoma 1968, One of First Pioneers In Russian River Pinot Noir.
    • ~Joseph Swan~ Sonoma, Early Pioneer of Pinot Noir In Russian River.
    • ~William Selyem~ SonomaOne of  First Pioneers of Russian River Pinot Noir.
    • ~Cyrus AlexanderSonoma, 1841, Planted First Vines In In Alexander Valley.
    • ~Harry Wetzel~ Sonoma, 1963, Planted First Chardonnay & Pinot Noir.
    • ~George Bloch~ Sonoma, 1868, French Immigrant Who Planted First Vines.
    • ~S.B. Hallengren~ Sonoma, 1868, Swedish Immigrant Who Planted First Vines.
    • ~Giovanni Pedroncelli~ Sonoma, Helped Modernize Industry Post Prohibition.
    • ~Martinelli Family~ Sonoma Growing Grapes In Russian River Valley Since 1880.
    • ~Junipero Serra~ California, Father of California Wine, Planted 1st. Vineyards.
    • ~Agoston HaraszthyHungarian Immigrant How Helped Created the Commercial Wine Industry In California.
  • ECONOMY~ If California Was a Separate Country it Would Be 4th. Largest Wine Producer Country In the World.
  • GASTRONOMY… Fusion of Styles Marked by Freshly Prepared Local Ingredients.
    • CHEESE… Humboldt Fog, Point Reyes Blue, Cowgirl “Red Hawk”
  • CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE!  A Variety of Issues Lead the Phylloxera Out-Break of the 1980’s In California!”
    • YESIrrigation Which Was Introduced In the 1970’s Didn’t Challenge the Roots to Go Deep In Search of Water Which Was Readily Available at the Surface. This Coupled With the Massed Produced AXR-1 Rootstock Which Was Promoted by UC. Davis as Phylloxera Resistant Was Not.

Monks & Missions ~California~

  • HISTORY- Monks & Missionaries Played a Major Role In the Spread of Religion and the Development of Vineyards In the New World, Especially In California and South America. It Was the Jesuits and the Franciscans Who Pioneered Wine-Growing In California.  The Franciscan Chain of Missions Always Were Planted With Vineyards. The First Vintage Was Though to Be 1784 and by 1798 Most of the Mission Were Producing Considerable Amounts of Wine First to Use For Sacramental Needs, Then For Their Tables and Finally Selling it Commercially.  The Wine and Economy the Wines Brought Was Booming Until 1833 When the Mexican Government Took Over the Church Lands Trying to Break the Church Secular Power.  Today These Missions Are Museums and Monuments That Are Present Day History Lesson Into Father Junipero Serra and the Franciscan Monks That Followed Him.
  • Present Day California Was Then Known as “Alta or Upper” California as Opposed to Present Day “Baja” California.  Both Considered Part of Mexico Until the Mexican War of 1846.
  • Establishing Missions Along Trade and Commercial Routes Junipers Serra Introduced Wine to California In the 1770 & 1780’s. The 22 Mission Are Spread 600 Miles From San Diego to Mission Sonoma and Were Never More Than a Days Horse Ride Apart. To Present Day California the Franciscan Mission Stations Are the Oldest Non-Indian Buildings In California.
  • The Mission Grape Which Was Almost Exclusively Use In Franciscan Mission Wine Production Was Not Particularly Good and Lacks Acidity. It Did Produced Large Clusters of Large Grapes That Where Resistant to Parasites and Growing Issues That Destroyed Most of the European Grape Varieties.
  • El Camino Real-(The Kings Road/ Now Highway 101)- The Historical Path the Missionaries Used to Link the Mission. the Trail is Lined With 12 Foot High Green “Shepherds Hook” With Rusted 1 Foot In Diameter Lamp Post. The Mission Trail and Missions Were Each About 14 Leagues Apart, About a Days Ride.
  • In 1833 the Mexican Government Decided to Secularize All Religious Houses.  In 1834  the California Missions Started to Get  Dissolved, Was Completed In 1837.
    • ~San Diego~ (Founded 1769)    ~San Luis Rey~ (Founded 1798)
    • ~San Juan Capistrano~ (Founded 1776)     ~San Gabriel~ (Founded 1771)
    • ~San Fernando-Rey de Espana~ (Founded 1797)     ~San Buenaventura(Founded 1782)
    • ~Santa Barbara~ (Founded 1787)     ~Santa Ynez~ (Founded 1804)          
    • ~La Purisma Concepcion~ (Founded 1787)     ~San Luis ObispoTolosa~  (Founded 1772)
    • ~San Miguel-Arcangel (Founded 1797)     ~San AntoniaPadua~  (Founded 1772)
    • ~Nuestra Senora de la Soledad~ (Founded 1791)  ~San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo~ (Founded 1770)  
    • ~San Juan Bautista~ (Founded 1797)     ~Santa Cruz~ (Founded 1791)            
    • ~Santa Clara-Asis~ (Founded 1777)     ~San Jose~ (Founded 1797)
    • ~San Francisco-Asis Dolores~ (Founded 1776)      ~Sonoma~ (Founded 1823)
  • ANGELICA       @California
    • RED= Mission
    • GEOGRAPHY- California
    • VINICULTURE- 50% Mission Grape Fortified With 50% Mission Brandy. or
      • 50% Mission Wine Fortified With 50% Mission Brandy.
      • Estate/Producers- Gypsy Canyon
    • HISTORY- Dates Back to the 1800’s.
      • Angelica is the Only Approved American Semi-Generic Name Wine.
      • Angelica Dates Back to the Mission Period In California and the Name Was Thought to Be Taken From the City of Los Angeles.  Angelica Was Produced by Franciscan Missionaries.


  • Wine Touring of California Can Be Done as a One Stop Weekend Destination or Done as a Extended Wine Tour In Which Multiple Regions or AVA. Can Be Covered Over the Course of a Long 3 Day Weekend or Entire Week. Accommodations Can Be Made In Medium Sized Cities In Which You Use Them as a “Home Base” or You Can Pick Up and Leave and Drive to Your Next Wine Destination Each Day In a Different Charming Small Town Along Your Wine Adventure.
    • CRITERIA Breath of Tour, Educated Employee/ Hospitality, Quality of Wine, Topography
      1. BenzingerSonoma Mountain AVA./ Sonoma
      2. Tablas Creek, Adelaide AVA./ Paso Robles
      3. MondaviRutherford AVA./ Napa
      4. ChaloneChalone AVA./ Central Coast
      5. Hess Collection, Mt. Veeder AVA./ Napa
      6. Melville, Santa Rita AVA./ Santa Barbara


  • RHONE RANGERS- Group of American Wine Makers Who Grow Grape Varieties Native to the Rhone Region of France. This Non-Profit is Dedicated to Wine Education and the Promotion of American Rhone Varietals.
    • HISTORY Originally Formed In the 1987 When 16 Rhone Grape Producers Got Together In Berkley to  Discuss How to Unite This Movement.
      • Today Its Members Include Wineries, Growers, Associate and Customer Members Located In Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan and Virginia.
    • PIONEERS~  Original Members of the Rhone Rangers.
      • ~Randall Graham~   ~Joseph Phelps~   ~Ken Brown~   ~John Macready
      • ~Bill Crawford~  ~Fred Cline~   ~Bob Lindquist~   ~John Cushman~
  • ZINFANDEL ADVOCATES & PRODUCERS ZAP. Consortium of 200+ Grape Growers and Winemakers Who Promote the Education and Preservation of Zinfandel
    • HISTORY ZAP. Preserves Historical Old-Vine Zinfandel Vineyards, Through the Identification of Different Colonial Selection of Zinfandel. ZAP. Also Leads the Way In Researching How Different Selection of Zinfandel Vines Grew and Develops In Different Regions of the World.
    • FESTIVALS~ ~Zinfandel Experience Zin. EX.~ (February/ San Fransisco)
      • The Most Comprehensive Zinfandel Tasting In the World.
    • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Napa Valley Vintners~
  • MERITAGE ASSOCIATIONS- American Vintners Group Formed to Defend and Identify Wine Blended From Traditional Noble Bordeaux Varietals. Formed In 1988.
    • Red Meritage Blend of a Least 2 or More Red Noble Bordeaux Varietals.
      RED= Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Gros Verdot, St. Macair

      • No Single Varietal Making Up More Than 90% of Blend.
    • White Meritage Blend of at Least 2 of 3 Specific White Noble Bordeaux Grapes .
    • WHITE= Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or Muscadelle
      • No Single Varietal Making Up More That 90% of Blend.
    • HISTORY- After the Court Ruling Came Down, Trade-Marking and Prohibiting the Use of the Term Bordeaux Blend, California Producers Got Together to Come Up With a New Catch Phrase to Describe the Blend of Bordeaux Varietals. History Has it That a LA. Times Newspaper Competition Led to a Drunken Brainstorming Weekend In Sonoma. After Consumed Many Bottles the Term Meritage Was Born. A Combination of the Words Marriage & Heritage. There Are Domestic and International Members That Pay a Fee and Are License to Use the Term.
  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  Could the White Zinfandel Phenomenon of the 1980‘s have Led to Quality and Quantity of the Old Vine We Have In California Today?”
    • When Sweet White Zinfandel Was “In Vogue” In the Late 70’s Producers Thought to Plant More Zinfandel Vines to Assure the Growing Consumption. When the Peoples Taste Changed In the Late 80’s They Where Left With Acres of Vines That Are Now Approach “Old Vine Statue”, and Producing Greats Wine.

  • GEOGRAPHIC DISCLAIMER: To Understand the Wine World and Benefit From a Understanding of California’s Geography is Needed and the Ability to Visualize Its Wine Regions Topography.  California is Organized In a North to South, / East to West Orientation and Intended to Be Researched as So.

    • Northern California
    • Mendocino, Sonoma
    • Lake County
    • Napa
    • Central Coast North
    • Central Coast South
    • Central Valley
    • Sierra Foothills
    • South Coast
  • **Refer to These Proceeding Sub-Chapters For Detailed Information.

**Refer to BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.