Santa Barbara County has a history of winemaking and winegrape growing stretching back more than 200 years to before California was a state (Father Junipero Serra brought grapevine cuttings from Mexico in 1782 to be planted).
If you've never seen a winery or understand the process of winemaking from grape to glass, take a tour of the winery, you will learn a lot and your wine-tasting experience will be that much more enjoyable.
JG: In the early history of Australian winemaking, and until about 15 years ago, many Australian winemakers would model their winemaking techniques from the classic European (mainly French) techniques.
If you ever compare a bottle of wines made in this method to the other methods of sparkling winemaking, you will notice a difference in the quality, refinement, and character of the bubbles.
While not all wines produced outside of Europe follow EU guidelines in winemaking, any winemaker outside of Europe who labels a wine with a Brut designation must conform to EU guidelines.