Santa Barbara had the good fortune of being the site of one of the numerous California Missions built by the Franciscan Brothers in the late 18th century. The good brothers needed altar wine and a source of reliable drink. Wells and stored water had a habit of becoming contaminated. Whether by choice or necessity they used a variety, now known as Mission, a variety of uncertain origin, but hardy and productive. It produced a very rough wine, suitable for the altar, but it must have made the more worldly members of the Order long for the wines of Europe.