Wine History

Collecting, preserving and sharing the story of wine in SLO County.

Wine History by Decade: 1980s

1983 Two AVAs Established in North County. AVA Status was awarded to approximately 614,000 acres surrounding Paso Robles. Gary Stemper, Mayor of Paso Robles, worked with local winemakers to establish the Paso Robles AVA. York Mountain AVA was also established on 6,400...

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Wine History by Decade: 1970s

The Estrella Winery is on a hill that dominates the countryside on the Estrella Plains, just east of the Paso Robles Airport. The magnificent structure is surrounded by the 700-acre Estrella vineyards rolling out like a lush carpet over the surrounding hills. Local architect, Nick Gilman designed the winery. Dick Hamilton of Systems Builders in Paso Robles is the project manager. The owners are Gary Eberle, Cliff Giacobine and a third brother, a heart specialist, who lives in Pennsylvania. Gary Eberle, the youngest brother, was happy being a professional student with a master’s degree in Chemistry, and a year away from completing a Doctorate in Microanatomy.

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Henry Ditmas

Bostonian A.B. Hasbrouck bought the neighboring 4,437-acre Rancho Arroyo Grande for $27,000 from the Steele Brothers in 1883. He established the St. Remy Ranch on the property in 1883. He soon built his home, planted ornamental and vegetable gardens as well as a vineyard over the next few years. In 1884 he started work on his St. Remy Winery, building a stone foundation.

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Abram Bruyn Hasbrouck

The first winery built in the Upper Arroyo Grande Valley was built by a man who grew up in a wealthy family in upstate New York but who longed for adventure. He had a style and grace that made him a legend in hospitality on the Central Coast and a beautiful English wife who owned her own cattle brand and was famous for her roses and love of English gardens.

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Wine History by Decade: 1960s

The 1960s are a disastrous decade for York Winery – from Gold Medals to snow storms. 1960 York Winery was awarded a gold medal for Zinfandel on the 16th day of September 1960 by the Los Angeles County Fair Association in Pomona California. It was signed by the...

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Pesenti Winery

Frank Pesenti immigrated to the San Luis Obispo County from Italy in 1914. He started working in the York Mountain area, clearing timber and making charcoal for the railroads for fuel. He planted Zinfandel vines in 1923. After Prohibition ended in 1933,...

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Wine History: 1769 to 1800

The art of winemaking and the rootstock that we call the Mission Grape, belonging to the famed Vitis vinifera species of grapes, were brought to California by the Spaniards. The grape, first known as Listan Prieto, arrived in Mexico around 1540 and was planted in what is now New Mexico in the 1620s.

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Tombs, Trellises and Troughs

Wine history is in Egypt is painted on the walls of the ancient Tombs. Thus we can visualize the vineyards along the Nile where the western bank of the river was the best area for planting vines. Terrace were built on higher grand to protect the vineyards...

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Visit our Wine History Bibliography for a curated list of resource related to wine history.

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