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Varietal Character

A grape with a mission, a mission with a grape…
American history is wrapped in a cape.
The grape the padres brought from their homeland of Spain
Was placed in the ground with sweat and pain.
From San Diego they came, spreading their word of God,
To Sonoma they marched with their gospel and rod…
All the while they were planting what was to become
What we now know as the very first one
This history is what we need to remember
As we all sit in thanks, every single November.
A grape with a mission, a mission with a grape…
American history all wrapped in this cape.

Varietal Character by Jo Diaz

Appellations Growing Mission Grapes

Appellations producing the most Mission wines:

Mission Grape Details

Mission (aka. Pais)

The Mission or Pais grape was the first Vitis vinifera vine planted in North America. From 1697 until well into the 1870s, this grape dominated vineyards in California. It was introduced to the region by Father Juan Ugarte, and the vine plantings followed the development of Missions as far north as San Jose. Overtime Mission has lost acreage in California for numerous reasons including urban development and lack of marketing appeal, but pockets of the vine remain including some old vines Mission in the Cucamonga AVA. Here it is often used to make fortified wines. 'Pais' reaches its height of popularity in South America, where it is planted four times more than any other grape variety. Pais is revered by the Jesuit Brotherhood, Chileans and Argentineans alike. In South America it is used both to make dry red table wines and South America's preferred distilled wine known as Pisco.

Feature In

Best-of-Appellation Wine List

See the Mission wines that have been advanced to Best-of-Appellation™ standing for their respective regions.

Featured Mission

Joseph Filippi Winery & Vineyards NV Angelica Elena (Cucamonga Valley)
An exquisite dessert wine with fragrant fruit aromas leading to a sweet, nutty and smooth palate. Will cellar well for decades.
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Gypsy Canyon Vineyards NV Ancient Vine Angelica 4th Vintage, Dona Marcelina's Vineyard (Sta. Rita Hills)
A legendary wine from a historic vineyard...a dessert wine that offers a rare taste of California history.
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