Complete California Wine History from the Early 1800’s to Today
First Vineyards in California: The first vines were planted in California as far back as the late 1700′s. While history shows vines were planted in 1683, it is not likely those first vineyards were developed, as the areas they were planted in, were abandoned. In 1779, a group of missionaries led by Father Junipero Serra planted vineyards for use in all 9 of the Missions he founded. Those early vines were cultivated to produce wine used for religious purposes. The initial plantings were not specific grape varieties. They were field blends, which due to their use by the Church became known as Mission grapes. The name came from the fact that they were planted by early Missionaries. The commercial birth of the wine industry took hold not much later in the mid to late 1800′s. Thanks to a small group of European emigrants, Napa and Sonoma got their start when Abraham Lincoln was President!
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