There are a number of French champagne producers who have operations in California, such as Roederer (whose California wine I prefer over the French, and it’s half the price). But here’s a twist: a California winery with a genuine French champagne. And this isn’t just any winery; Buena Vista is the second oldest in the state. (The first was D’Agostini winery, established in 1856 by a Swiss immigrant. Buena Vista calls itself the first “premium” winery in California, but that seems to be based more on aspiration than fact.)
Regardless, Buena Vista was founded in 1857 by Agoston Haraszthy de Mokesa, who immigrated from Hungary, first to Wisconsin and then to San Diego, where he was improbably sheriff and then marshal. He attempted a vineyard in Mission Valley, but it failed.