California wines are highly regarded for their consistency, reliability and high quality. They combine a rich European tradition with a drive for innovation and improvement typical for America. With over 224.000 hectares of vineyards and a production of 2 billion liters per year, California is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world, behind Italy, France and Spain. California is known for its long growing season, which is marked by sunny, warm and dry days, followed by cool evenings - an ideal combination for allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. The result is the distinctive "fruit forward" quality that wine enthusiasts around the world have come to recognize as a hallmark of California wines.