By far the country's most prominent wine region, California has established a unique reputation for quality and has demonstrated its exceptional range of growing conditions and grape varietals.
California allows direct winery shipping as well as shipping of wine orders from retailers located in other states (those that also allow retailer-to-consumer wine shipping). This law, as of 2006, allows wine shipments directly to consumers with no volume limits. Here are some top wine clubs that ship to CA:
California's wine history dates back all the way to a Jesuit vineyard planted by Spanish missionaries in 1683. The Gold Rush of the mid-19th Century then sparked an influx of European immigrants, who brought with them grape varietals, winemaking knowledge, and a demand for wine in the marketplace. From that point on California has become one of the world's premier wine regions and today it is responsible for producing 90% of all wine grown in the USA.
Home to some of the most famous winemaking regions in the entire world, California contains nearly 200 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Many of these sub-AVAs are located within primary AVAs and investigators are continuing to sub-divide regions as more and more distinguishing terroir features come to light. Some of California's most celebrated AVAs include the Central Coast, Calistoga, Mendocino, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, to name just a few.
Given the state's diverse climate, vineyards are scattered throughout the breadth and width of the California territory. Along the coastline cool climate varieties – such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – thrive, while further inland, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot achieve excellent expressions as well.
With excellent weather year round, California is a veritable hot spot for wine travelers and tourists looking to get a first-hand taste of world class winemaking. Though wineries can be found throughout the Golden State, much of wine tourism activities centralize around the Napa and Sonoma wine regions. Tasting rooms, restaurants, hotels, and tour guides abound in wine country, making the region an excellent attraction for newcomers and wine buffs alike.