Wine Country California
California Winery List
About half of all wineries in the United States are located inside California.
If California was a country, it would be the fourth largest wine producer worldwide, behind France, Italy and Spain.
The wine industry in the Golden State has more than tripled in the past 2 decades; from 2000 wineries in the year 1999 – to over 6000 vineyards for 2022. Wine bars and wine tourism services have expanded as well.
When Total Escape began this little compilation of California wineries (back in 1998), there were only a few regions that were considered “wine country”. Now over 25 years later, nearly the whole Golden state is under wine production.
Of course, north of San Francisco is the first and most iconic ‘wine country region’ > neighboring valleys of Napa & Sonoma. Many facilities dating back to before the 1950’s. Nearby Mendocino County is a natural progression northward, with numerous river valleys and forests hosting small farms and family vineyards.
In addition, the Central Coast of California – from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo – has long been known for its wine growing capabilities. Paso Robles has grown up to cater specifically to wine tourists, bringing all the other surrounding areas in on the action.
Around 1990, Temecula in Southern California began their serious expansion of vineyards, golf resorts, new housing developments and the renovation of their Old Town. San Diego added more to the mix and then Baja California (Mexico) began developing more agriculturally – especially with wines.
The California Central Valley launched interest in wine making in many different locations, from Cuayama Valley to Sacramento. Pockets of activity and wine tasting include Lodi and Clarksburg, both south of the state capital.
The Sierra Nevada mountains (western foothills) and Historic Gold Country have an abundance of wineries that have sprouted up. The far Northern portion of the state used to be void of wine land, but that is now changing with new, rural, mountain vineyards appearing.
Wine Towns around California
[vineyard regions listed alphabetically]
“The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” – Galileo
Many wineries offer event venues for private parties, family events, work parties or weddings. Plan your special day at a garden overlooking a vineyard, or at a rustic ranch with a winery. Several wineries offer overnight accommodations, which usually book up months in advance. Outdoors events, wrapped nicely within nature & a sacred ceremony are unforgettable experiences. Find a dreamy location today!
Most all wine country regions around California – also have abundant wildflower displays in springtime. Take some extra time on your trip to explore the back roads and enjoy the flora, with a picnic (of course).
Avoid the crowds on weekends and schedule your winery tour mid-week.