California is nearly three quarters the size of France and accounts for 90% of the entire American wine production, which is one third larger than that of Australia. It is the world's fourth largest producer of wine.
Following a renaissance in the mid-20th century, California entered the international stage and now has more than 1,200 wineries ranging from small boutique wineries to large corporations with global distribution.
California is a geographically diverse region with a wide range of climates and terroirs allowing over 100 different grape varieties to be grown. Grapes range from the more traditional varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to new hybrid varieties specially developed within the state.
Napa Valley to the north of San Francisco Bay was the first area to make it's mark and still leads the region in terms of quality, great names and important sub regions.