Unlike the majority of Old World winemakers who grow and then vinify their own grapes, most California wineries make wine with purchased fruit. Although more producers who wish to ensure quality crops are moving towards becoming simultaneously owners, growers, and winemakers, there is still a wide disparity in the quality of products offered, with many high-yield Californian wines being of average quality. But estates that do control all stages of the winemaking process and are committed to excellence are able to optimize this fabulous terroir to produce wines of exceptional quality.
The main California wine regions are able to cultvate hundreds of grape varietals thanks to the diversity in climate and soil typicality. The most famous regions are located on the Central Coast (Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo) and on the North Coast (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino). The Pacific Ocean brings freshness and fog to these sunny and warm climates, where temperature fluctuations are highly beneficial for the development of intense and diverse flavours.