I find being in and around vineyards uniquely soothing and nurturing. Maybe it's because they are usually part of a pastoral landscape. I may be triggered too by knowing they are devoted to producing a special product -- one that brings pleasure and conviviality.
California's first vineyards were planted starting in 1779 by Franciscan missionaries. The vines planted were what have become known as Mission grapes, or Criolla, a term that covers a few varieties traditionally used for sacramental wine.
See all those drivers buzzing below the Getty Center on the 405? They are literally following the footsteps of their predecessors: Native Americans, Spanish explorers, mission padres, and early California settlers.