Wine History

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

Paderewski – Switzerland and California

Ignacy Paderewski was born on November 18, 1860, in the village of Kurylowka, Poland. He was playing the piano and attracting notice by age eight. He studied piano with a variety of great musicians in Berlin and Vienna and started to compose. He debuted as...

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Wine History by Decade: 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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California’s Original Wine – Angelica

Grapes being pressed to create must. This historic wine was first made in California by the Franciscan fathers. It is the first true California wine in our Wine History Time Line. We do not know when this wine was officially named Angelica but we do know...

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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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Kvevri – Wine Making in an Earthenware Jar 6000 B.C.

When did man meet the vine and start making wine? It happened long, long ago. Archaeological evidence indicated that wine making has been around at least 8,000 years. Ancient clay pots, known as Kvevri, have been found in the Transcaucasus region. There...

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The First Vineyard Owner – 2350 B.C.

Remember Sunday School and all the Bible Stories we listened to? No? Well, surely you remember Noah, the ship builder and sailor, who loaded his wife and the animals two by two onto his ark to save them from the giant flood. The Book of Genesis in the...

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Wine in Small Batch: An Article first published in 1866

A guide to making wine in small batches for home consumption or for testing winemaking for commercial production. The author cheerfully offers what information he possesses. On February 15, 1868, the Pioneer published a piece titled “Wine Making on a Small Scale.” The...

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Early Grape Varietals in San Luis Obispo County

Have you ever wondered what varieties of grapes were first found growing on the Central Coast? There are documents from the days of Spanish explorers, dating from the 1500s, that describe several species of native grapes (Vitis californica and Vitis girdiana) that...

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San Luis Obispo’s Earliest Winemaking Instructions

On 15 February 1868, San Luis Obispo’s first newspaper, the Pioneer, published the county’s first instructions on making wine, “Winemaking on a Small Scale.” The article had been copied, without attribution, from the October 1867 issue of the American...

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Size Matters: Is the Bigger Bottle Better?

Due to the ubiquitous nature of wine and champagne in today’s society, most people can identify what a standard bottle looks like. Some are even able to recall the term “magnum” as a way to describe a bottle larger than average. Outside of the world of...

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