Wine Grapes have been cultivated in California's verdant valleys since the days of the Spanish missions in the eighteenth century. Since the 1970s, the California wine country has been among the world's premier wine-growing regions, and California wines hold their own against the best of Europe and elsewhere. Beyond the well-known vintners of the Sonoma and Napa valleys, the Golden State is home to quality wine producers from Mendocino to Santa Barbara. The temperate climate and lush landscapes that make this state an ideal locale for wine production also offer spectacular scenery for leisurely drives and backroads adventures. A tour through the wine country is a tour through the history of California, a journey back to the Old West, a wilderness adventure, an encounter with American literary icons, and much more. The mystique and history of California's wine regions are captured in full glory in Backroads of the California Wine Country. From the misty northern appellations of Mendocino County to the hot, dry flatlands of Paso Robles, in the wilds of the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the placid Russian River, writer Karen Misuraca and photographer Gary Crabbe lead you on an informative and colorful tour of the most spectacular landscapes of California, offering myriad excursions for wine-lovers and weekend adventurers alike.