A few million years ago large tectonic plates collided with each other and formed what we now know as California. In large part because of these fault lines and constant development of the land mass of North America, California has every kind of climate, land formation, vegetation and animal life found in the United States. All of the major wine producing regions of California are seated between the ocean on the west and the inland Central Valley on the east. The stretch of wine regions stretch from Santa Barbara County in the south to Mendocino in the north.
Although there are several families with a long history of viticulture in California, the big movement in the '60s and '70s was largely initiated by investment bankers, lawyers or businessmen and women with a passion for the lifestyle; nevermind the fact that they didn't know anything about farming! Winemaking in California has come a long way since the '70s. Thanks to UC-Davis, and large investments from leading edge wineries, California is now home to the most innovative winemakers and some of the best viticultural technology in the wine world.