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The first vines arrived from Europe in the 1700's when Spanish missionaries brought stocks over with them. They were followed by Italians and Germans and some substantial vineyards had been planted by the time phylloxera hit the area in the 19th century. Prohibition in the early 20th century did not exactly help the wine makers cause but after the Second World War the industry started to clamber out of the slough. By 1960 they were beginning to get their voices heard and this reached a crecendo in 1970 when two of California's wines were victorious over their French counterparts in what became known as 'The Judgement of Paris.'
Today, there are well over 1000 wineries producing virtually every style of wine known to man