Los Angeles Wine: A History from the Mission Era to the Present

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By Stuart Douglass Byles (2014)

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The renowned California wine industry, famous for northern vintages, actually was born near El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Spanish missionaries harvested the first vintage in 1782 at Mission San Juan Capistrano and then cultivated enormous vineyards at Mission San Gabriel. Their replanted vine-cuttings took root on Jose Maria Verdugo’s 1784 Spanish land grant in what became Glendale. Jean Louis Vignes brought a Bordeaux winemaking experience to LA in 1831 and initiated wine trade with San Francisco. By 1848, Los Angeles contained one hundred vineyards. Author Stuart Douglass Byles traces the little-known LA wine tradition through vintners of the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys, Anaheim and Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula Valley and Malibu and details the San Antonio Winery heritage, the last one standing from old Los Angeles days.

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