While conventional history suggests that the wine industry in California is relatively new - the truth is thanks to the Spanish Jesuit missionaries we've been growing grapes in California for more than 300 years! While most Americans think of "California" as a US state, "California" is actually the stretch of land that includes Alta California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. National boundaries and centuries of politics can make things complicated when it comes to a heritage like this. However, the role that the Catholic church's Mission System played is clear. So let's grab a glass of "missionary wine" and explore some history of wine in California and indeed that of wine production in the New World itself.