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Wine Making In California

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The history of wine making in California is a long story that continually changes and constantly grows. The history of wine making in California leads to one of the most recognized fine wine making regions in the world and is recognized as such by consumers and experts all over the world.

The history of wine making in California begins before the creation of the United States and establishes wine making in California before the American Revolution. As with many things in the creation of California the history of wine making in California starts with the story of a religious man just looking to start a new life in California.

The history of wine making in California begins in 1759 with a Franciscan missionary named Father Juniperro Serra. Father Serra planted the first California vineyard at the Mission San Diego de Alcala and created eight more missions with associated vineyards before he passed away. For all he did in the history of wine making in California, Father Serra is commonly referred to as the Father Of California Wine. The father part was probably more due to his creation of the industry in California rather than his religious station in life. Either way Father Serra started the history of wine making in California and it grew from there.

So Why Is California Wine So Great?

California wine gets its taste from a combination of the climate and land of California and the grapes native to Europe. That is right, the grape vines used today to make California wine were brought to California from Europe and are not native to California. In 1833 Jean-Louis Vignes is the first documented person to import a European vine to Los Angeles, California thereby starting the influx of European vines into California. It was this notion of bringing in European vines that created the next great person in the history of wine making in California. Agoston Haraszthy was credited with being the person that really brought California wine making to the next level and the work he did is the foundation for the industry.

Throughout the mid-1800’s Haraszthy had an enthusiasm for creating a winemaking industry in California that got him the attention of the state government. He went on to import hundreds of the best wine making vines from Europe to California with some of the funding for these expeditions coming from state grants. He would establish vineyards in California and then start digging caves to store the wine and import other European methods of wine making that helped to establish the industry of wine making in California. It all came together in 1861 when Charles Krug established the first commercial wine making vineyard in Napa Valley.