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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

california: a lesson in diversity

Since the first vineyards were planted in California toward the end of the 1700s, California has made great progress and today produces some of the finest wines in the world.

An important factor in California's success is diversity. The large state contains a wide range of climates and soils that accommodates many different varieties and wine styles.

If California were a separate country, it would be the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after Italy, France and Spain. The vineyards themselves stretch for some 500 miles north to south.

California's main growing regions stretch from Mendocino County, north of San Francisco (seen here), down to Santa Barbara, located north of Los Angeles


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