Questions or comments on our new mobile-responsive site? Tell us here.
Log In / Join Now

Wine Spectator School


Class 1: Cabernet and California


HISTORY OF WINEMAKING IN CALIFORNIA

 
Early History
The state's first wine grape, the Mission grape, was planted in the late 1770s by the Franciscans, who founded the California missions. Cabernet Sauvignon and other Vitis vinifera arrived from Bordeaux in the 1830s.

Southern California was the leading winegrowing region at this time, but over the next few decades vineyards were planted in Napa, Sonoma and other northern areas.

With the Gold Rush of 1849, the local population and the demand for wine surged; California wineries were in their heyday.

 
Hard Times
In the late 1800s the phylloxera root louse (which had traveled from the east coast of the United States to Europe, where it devastated the vineyards) made...

Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
START NOW!
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member


If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 300,000+ ratings.