Wine History Project Founders

In 2015 Libbie Agran established the Wine History Project to study the land, microclimates, grape varietals, growers and wine makers who have shaped the Wine History of San Luis Obispo County.

Don Campbell, Jan Cannon, Vicki Carroll, Gary Eberle, Nancy and Bill Greenough, Robert Haas, Archie McLaren, Ian McPhee, Heather Muran, Suzanne Redberg, Richard Sauret, Ken Volk and Jan York have provided invaluable historical insights and guidance. We are grateful for everyone’s expertise and support.

Libbie Agran: Original Founder and Researcher of the San Luis Obispo County Timeline of Grape Growing and Winemaking History from the Mission Era to the Present. Libbie has built a staff to collect, preserve and share our local wine and food history through traveling exhibits, programs, wine and food events, films and field trips in collaboration with local Historical Societies, Wineries, Wine Makers and Growers, the Food History Project Study Group and the International SLO Film Festival.

David and Judy Breitstein: For 45 years, David and Judy Breitstein were owners of the retail wine store Duke of Bourbon in Canoga Park, California, from which they retired in 2012. While in business, they made a multitude of friends in the world of wine, were very active with Central Coast wineries, supported the Central Coast Wine Classic, and created a unique wine collection. They continue to stay in touch with many wineries, winemakers, and customers/friends and try to give back to the wine world in various ways. One very special memory they recollect, “In 1977, we had a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir made for our store by Chalone Vineyard from grapes grown on the Niven Family’s Paragon Vineyard. These “Chaparral” wines were so special that they led to the Nivens’ and Chalone’s forging a joint venture to create Edna Valley Vineyard. Our connection and affection for San Luis Obispo County continues to this day. It is our pleasure to contribute to the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County in its inception and we are delighted to become founding members.”

Julia Perez: Julia Perez is a professional photographer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived and worked in every corner of the world — photographing safaris in Tanzania, mosques in Turkey, temples in Hong Kong, and war-torn ruins in Southern Spain. She has long been a great lover of wine and fascinated with winemakers. Over the past few years, she has been fortunate to have taken photos of vineyards, wineries, and winemakers all over the world. Ms. Perez studied Photography at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfic de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. For most of her career, she has specialized in travel photography and her own projects focusing on street photography and examining the adaptation and resilience of cultural icons. Julia and her husband are partners in a small wine project in Priorat Spain, which led her to begin photographing vineyards, wineries, and winemakers. Eschewing the cliches of wine photography, she focuses on the human stories of the artists who make wine. With her husband, Julia published a book chronicling the 2014 vintage for friends, family, and co-workers. The reception was so positive that she began looking for similar projects in 2016. She is the Photographer, Creative Director & Founder Member of The Winemakers of Paso Robles, Julia’s first consumer book. This beautiful large-format book lovingly profiles 50 cult winemakers of Paso Robles through 328 pages of stunning photography and intimate storytelling. She is considering where to go for Volume II. She can be reached at jp@wnmkrs.com or (323) 286-9699.

Archie McLaren: Founder of the Central Coast Wine Classic, bringing education and the celebration of wine and food that shaped the History of local Wine Making. Archie elevated philanthropy by auctioning fine wines, art, dining and travel experiences to raise over $3,000,000 since 2004 for charities serving the Central Coast.

Richard Sauret: Harvesting grapes at age six, planting a nursery of vines at age 11, and selling grapes to local wine makers at 17, Richard grew grapes for over 70 years. HMR, Au Bon Climat, Rosenblum Cellars, Eberle and Donatoni Wineries won Gold Medals and made History in The Wine Spectators’ top 100 wines in the World with wine made from grapes grown by Richard Sauret.

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