An old mission house on the grounds of a Sonoma County Vineyard. California

California Wine Facts

California Wine Month!  Let’s go!

Time to dive into some fun and interesting facts about California Wines:

  • California is the workhorse of American wine, making up around 90% of total production.
  • California side stepped prohibition by making sacramental wine and shipping grapes to home producers who had the legal right to make their own durring this period, keeping the hope and development alive.
  • Missionaries from ‘The Church’ brought wine into california, starting in the southern part of the state in 1769, it wasn’t until almost 100 years later that Napa and Sonoma established their first growths.
  • The “Sideways Effect” hit California harder than any other state, effectively ruining Merlot overnight, nad brought in the Pinot Noir fever that has helped the grape thrive in areas of the state (by the way, Merlot is on the comeback, just slower and much better than it had been previously – the markets always right themselves).
  • California winegrowers use owls, bats, chickens, falcons and sheep to control pest infestations in the vineyards.
  • The size and diversity of climates in the state allow for not only large amounts of production, but also diversity in styles from single varieties.  For example, a North Coast Syrah is a world away from a Syrah in the southern parts of the state, and a whole ‘nother animal from the Sierra Foothills.
  • On a global scale, California alone comes in behind the whole of France, Spain, and Italy.
  • For all the states production, only 1% of the total land size is under vine.
  • Chardonnay by volume actually leads over Cabernet Sauvignon in the state.
  • California’s first wine grape was the Mission grape.
  • 48 out of 58 counties in the state grow wine grapes.
  • Over 20 million people each year visit California wineries.
  • California Wine makes almost 1 million jobs available, yet just over 1/3 of them are in the state itself.

Available globally, it shouldn’t be hard to find, so go enjoy some this month!




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