How wine won the West

How wine won the West View Gallery
Napa Valley: almost every square inch of slope is vine-filled. Picture: Getty

If California left the US tomorrow, it would be the fourth-largest producer of wine in the world. This is the story of how the West Coast got so big

Californian wines are subject to the kind of mania produced when the Beatles hit the US in the 1960s, or when the Gold Rush hit the east coast in the early 19th century.

The state has almost 4,000 wineries – from hippy communes to reclusive tech billionaires’ playthings – and some of the most alluring and expensive wine on the planet.

Its best wineries do not need to export or advertise their wares. Wineries such as Screaming Eagle...

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