The California premium wine industry has gone from a tiny industry 60-70 years ago to world pre-eminence because we ignored European reliance on tradition and embraced science. U.C. Davis, staffed with scientists such as professors Winkler, Amerine, Singleton, Lider, Cook, Olmo, Kleaver et al, did the basic scientific research to find the truths of Enology and Viticulture. They used science and the scientific method to test old assumptions and new theories and then offered up their results for peer review. They taught their students what they had learned in their research and as importantly they taught their students how to think critically. California wine quality soared, and progressive, enlightened and open-minded European winemakers were soon coming to California and Davis to learn that which they could not learn in Europe. I am grateful and proud that I am a product of that educational system.
I admit to being biased and U.C.-centric. Go Bears!