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About the Wine History Project

Collecting and presenting two centuries of local viticulture history through research, interviews, exhibitions, films, and publications, we work with local vintners and growers to bring to life the wine history of San Luis Obispo County.

Explore the stories of the men and women who made viticultural history in our county in People. Learn about the historical tools and equipment used in cultivating grapevines and making wine in Objects. Delve deep into the chronology of wine history in the county in Wine.

Reach out to us and help contribute to our continually expanding wine history timeline and archival collection.

Together We Can Preserve the Story of Central Coast Winemaking

From the Collection

Croze, Howel Or Chiv?

This article focuses on the cooper, a maker or repairer of casks, and the cooperage tools used to make cuts at the ends of the barrels, a specific size of cask.

  • Legends

Howard Steinbeck and the Steinbeck Family

Seven generations of Steinbecks have farmed grapes in Paso Robles and four generations currently live and work on the Ernst/Steinbeck ranch. Their love of the land and commitment to farm sustainably is passed down to each generation. This is the longest farming dynasty in San Luis Obispo County.

Wine - 18th Century History

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.

Wine - 19th Century History

The Wine House – Paso Robles 1887

1144 Pine Street, located on the southeast corner of Pine at 12th Street, has been many things over the years. It is currently an Italian restaurant and formerly home to Villa Creek. Further back in time, to the year 1887 to be exact, the property housed The Wine House and Billiard Hall, owned and operated by E.J. Carpeaux.

Wine - 20th Century History

University of California – Experiments with Deciduous Fruits In the Geneseo Settlement, Paso Robles

As agriculture in California developed, the California Legislature and the University of California worked to determine which dry-farmed crops would thrive in various regions throughout the state. Paso Robles became an important area of study in 1889 thanks to the passage of the Hatch Act of 1887 to provide funding for agricultural experiment stations.

Updates from Us

Wine & Food Industry News

Let’s Celebrate National Zinfandel Day!

Zinfandel Stories: Central Coast from Zinfandel Advocates & Producers on Vimeo. California’s Central Coast, known for its rugged beauty, is also home to several world-class wine regions. For Zinfandel, no other AVA compares to that of Paso Robles. Planted by Italian immigrants in the 1920s, Zinfandel has had plenty of time to take root. National Zinfandel Day is a worldwide celebration of the Zinfandel grape variety, intended to give Zinfandel lovers around the globe a platform to express their passion for the grape and the wines made from it.