The California Gold Rush – Northern California Wine Country

The California Gold Rush began in 1848 with the discovery of Gold at Sutter’s Mill.  By the following year, 1849, the Rush was on.  People from all over the world came to California with Gold Fever.  By 1850 the population had swelled and California became a state.  San Francisco had by then grown to 100,000 people.

As early as 1824 Franciscan Priests had planted vineyards in Sonoma County.  Sonoma and Napa Valley is California’s Wine Country with many vineyards and wineries nearly 200 years old now.

California began, it’s modern history as the bone of contention with battles and wars between The United States and Mexico over the territory.  The architecture is both Mexico and US.


Since the commerce and population center of the area of Northern California shifted South to SanFrancisco Sonoma and surrounds have maintained an isolated beauty and charm harking back to it pre World War One Roots.

The area was financially depressed but managed to weather the lunacy of Prohibition after recovery, post World War II, Sonoma is known for stature among the finest of wines approaching France and Italy.  California, as a matter of history also, saved the wine industry of the Old World through the worldwide epidemic of the root disease phylloxera.


Phyllorexa is a root disease caused by an aphid-like variety.  The wild grapes, here in the New World, California most notably, were resistant to the epidemic. Root Stalks from California and other ares were exported to Europe and the ancient varieties of grapes were grafted onto the healthy resistant stalks.

The Old World wine industry was thus saved, as well as Domestic wines, and those, the world over.  Today there are hundreds of wineries in the Sanoma Valley and the Napa Valley and they hold status among the world’s greatest tasting wines.

Fire in California.  That has been among the challenges and set backs for Califnornia’s Napa and Sonoma Valley wine producers right along.  The first catastrophe in 1906 when Earthquake led to the great San Francisco fire that destroyed entire vintages and millions and millions of gallons of wine, then stored in SF.

This year also has seen massive damage to vineyards and millions of gallons of wine with several wineries also destroyed by fire.  Based on the setbacks caused by prohibition and the restored vigor of the California Wine industry after World War II, there will be a continuing Northern California Wine Country Story.

Napa Valley in California has the status and reputation after the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 wherein the blind taste tests placed Napa Valley produced Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon above prestigious French Wines.  This established Napa Valley which had 140 plus wineries by the beginning of the 20th Century, as unrivaled world class wine country.

World recognized Labels, such as Ernest and Julio Gallo, Christian Brothers, Diageo, Constellation Brands have moved in and bought smaller Vineyards and Wineries and the area of Napa Valley is now known for world class Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, among others, produced in Napa Valley’s 450 plus Wineries today.

Napa Valley has suffered through the setbacks common to Sanoma including the Great Depression, the Prohibition, the phylloxera as explained here from Wikimedia:

From Wikipedia:

” A modern outbreak of phylloxera was discovered in the valley in 1983 in a vineyard planted with AxR1 rootstock.                   Many growers seized upon this outbreak as an opportunity to switch to varieties that were better suited to the climate             and soil. By the late 1990s nearly 75% of the affected vineyards had been replanted with phylloxera resistant                         rootstock. The growers in the region are currently channeling their energy to battle the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter,             a non-native pest that carries Pierce’s disease.

Napa Valley boasts 4.5 million visitors per year for it wine tourism industry.  In 2010 Napa Valley received TripAdvisor’s endorsement, them callint it: “The World’s Best Wine and Food Destination” as awarded by TripAdvisor’s 2010 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

I hope you know more about California and the wine industry there.  The history and the magnificent wines produced in California.

Please explore the wines we offer from around the world in D C Cellars.  Professional buyers assemble a delicious array for you, our customers.  Please enjoy the panoramic views provided above featuring Sonoma and Napa Valley in California.  And Go to links on the other pages to learn more about DC Cellars.  Please leave your comments.  Chris Queen 12/28/2018






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