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The country

In the 16th century, Spanish conquerors brought grapevines to the New World. The Spanish missionaries, who wandered from Mexico to the North, cultivated them in California. Due to the continuous spread of the missions, permanently large amounts of wine were required. After the missions were secularised, private persons took over the wine economy. During the prohibition, it was after all allowed, to produce small amounts of wine for medical and religious purposes.
The winegrowing

Already twice, the vine pest has afflicted California. Lastly, in the 80ies – one had listened to wrong advisers and planted grapevines, which were not vine pest resistant. Now, it is all about making up for the lost time and one is open-minded to new techniques and has produced remarkable wines by creative joy in experimenting. The result: top level products of invariable quality, which lightly outshine their European competitors. The secret:  the fully matured grape, of pervasively strong taste – also a result of the Californian climate between cooling Pacific air and the hot, dry air from the mountain range along the coast.
The future

Both – the joy in experimenting and the climate – have however led to a paradox: too much of the best, may turn into intrusiveness. Too much alcohol, too much extract, too much zest. The Californian wine farmers have bethought, finesse is the new motto. The grapes are not anymore harvested overripe, the alcohol content had been reduced, grape varieties were profoundly mixed, oak barrels were used much more cautiously. Today, Californian winegrowers are on their way - in connection with competence and sensibility – to find their own style.