American Wine Labels: New York Wine Merchant Frank Schoonmaker developed the description that we read on a wine label today. The grape variety, which is listed below the name of the producer or the producer’s brand, is the most common way to designate wines in North America. This has replaced the old label descriptions that focused on using the names of famous European wine regions such as Chablis or Burgundy. At the time of Frank’s influence, there were very few wines blended from several grape varieties. The predominant variety was listed on the label, such as the name Zinfandel, if a field blend was used to produce the wine.


Sylvester Dusi purchases the iconic Cat 10, one of the last gray models.


Leon D. Adams (1905-1995) founded the California Grape Growers League with the goal of introducing table wine to Americans. At the time, he was a journalist covering Prohibition for the McClatchy newspapers.


Sylvester and Caterina’s third son, Benito Antonio Dusi, is born on January 2nd.

Max Goldman graduates from Whittier College with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Physics and Mathematics.

In the United States, Herbert Hoover ends his term as President. Unemployment is at an all-time high, and banks fail at the highest in US history. The Depression is rapidly spreading across the country.

On the international scene: Stalin is in power in Russia, Hitler is the Chancellor in Germany, Mussolini is the Dictator in Italy, George V is the King of England.

The repeal of Prohibition in the United States occurs with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933.


The Wine Institute (1934-present) is founded in the months after Prohibition ended. This trade organization is an outgrowth of the California Grape Growers League (1931-1934) and the Wine Producers (1933-1934). Co-founder Leon D. Adams directed the organization’s programs through 1954.

Max Goldman is hired as the chemist at Roma Wine Company in Lodi, California.

Max Goldman is instrumental in forming the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) at the Wine Institute in San Francisco.

Frank Pesenti establishes his winery, Pesenti Winery, in Templeton on Vineyard Drive. It was bonded BW 3974. His winery is the first established since the start of Prohibition. Frank Pesenti (1896-1983) laid the bricks for the winery buildings. He had worked as a mason in France, and when bricks were scarce Frank decided to have his son Victor Pesenti (1924-2000) help him make the bricks.


Leon Adams, with attorney Jefferson Peyser, developed California’s first quality wine standards, a code of practices and wine type specifications. Leon had them enacted into California Law.

Richard Sauret is born at the Atascadero General Hospital.

August 21: Grape Growers of Templeton, Atascadero, and Paso Robles have set the price for No.1 Zinfandel Grapes at $28.00 per ton at the vineyards. Signed by the following: John Roskovich, A. Dellagana, Pete Pisenti, I. J. Paderewski, A. Freeman, Racine, York Brothers, D. W. Wimmer, Frank Pisenti, A. Martinelli, Tonesi Bros., S. Dusi, W. H. Killion, Joe Dusi, Mrs. O’Neil, Clarence Cassolle.


André Tchelistcheff, America’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker, arrives from France in Napa at Beaulieu Winery on September 15 and is struck by the primitive conditions of winegrowing and winemaking in Napa. He works for three years to improve the winemaking at Beaulieu.


André Tchelistcheff enters his Burgundy in the Golden Gate Exposition of 1939, winning the grand prize. This launches his career in California.

The Institute of Food Technologies is founded in Chicago as an international, nonprofit scientific society of professionals dedicated to the science of food and food technology. Regional sections are established in 1940 in San Francisco, Bakersfield, and Sacramento.

Leon Adams founded the Society of Medical Friends of Wine and headed the group as executive secretary for 51 years.