STATE OF GRAPE
California is a wonderland for wine grapes! Blessed with ample sunshine, cooling maritime influences and every site type imaginable from steep coastal hillsides to gentle valley floors. California offers an ideal home for nearly every grape variety, and for HandCraft wines, we select from the best sites for classic California grapes and add our personal touch: a dash of Italian heritage varietals.
THE EARLY DAYS
The state's first vines were planted in 1769 at Mission San Diego de Alcala, and for the next 80 years, the "mission" grape was California’s most widely planted. Grape varieties and locales grew apace following annexation and the 1848 gold rush, especially around the San Francisco Bay area. Destruction from the vine pest phylloxera in 1890s, followed by the lean years of Prohibition, destroyed the California wine market. But a renaissance starting in the 1970s began a steady return to wine's heyday. Today, California represents 90% of wine produced in the US and has approximately 100 grape varieties planted in more than 100 designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) across the state.