Apr 15

byAlma Abell

California is one of the main regions for wine production in the world, producing more than 110 different varieties of wine grapes and more wine per year than everywhere except Spain, Italy, and France. Approximately two-thirds of all the wine bought in the U.S. comes from California, and California Wines make up 90 percent of those produced in the U.S.


Grapes for making wine were first brought to California by the church in 1769 to make the wines used during religious services, but the wine production in the state really grew in popularity after the gold rush. Once people realized they weren’t going to make it rich panning for gold, many turned to making wine after discovering that the region had the perfect climate for growing wine grapes. At first, most of the wine produced was stored in San Francisco because of its nearness to both the ocean and the railroad. However, after much of the stored wine was destroyed in the great earthquake in 1906, wines were then stored near the vineyards where they were produced to limit the risk of such large losses.

Most Common Varieties

Although many types of grapes are grown in California, the ones most commonly used in wines include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and White Zinfandel. The least common type of grape grown in the state is a red variety called Lagrein. Wines labeled with any of these grape types must consist of at least 75 percent of that type of grape, and wines labeled as California Wines must consist of 100 percent grapes from California.

Environmental Impact

Those looking for environmentally friendly wines may want to opt for those from California. California wine producers are more likely than those in many other parts of the world to use environmentally-friendly methods for growing grapes and producing wines. They even use animals, such as sheep, chickens, falcons, owls and bats, to help with pest control. This helps them limit the amount of pesticides needed to grow the wine. Those wines labeled organic are best, as the grapes weren’t grown using any fungicides, chemical fertilizers, insect repellents or weed killers.

Next time you’re looking for wine, check out the options from California available from Townecellarswines.com.