Uncovering the History of Los Angeles Wines

Monday, October 31, 2016 | 8:33 pm

In his book, Los Angeles Wine, Stuart Byles explores the history of how the first vintages were made in L.A. He gave a companion lecture at the Lanterman House on Sunday to further explain how this drink shaped Los Angeles.

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The first California vintage was created on the San Juan Capistrano Mission in 1782. Byles explains that the first wine grapes grew in 1778 but that they take three to four years to yield enough fruit for wine production. From there, winemaking became popular in the San Gabriel Mission, the the L.A River and in the area that are now downtown L.A. Byles offered a detailed look at wine estates and how their vineyards shaped the map of modern Los Angeles, Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank.

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In the 1830s, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, merlot and cabernet franc were popular because many of the vine cuttings were imported from the Bordeaux region of France. Although Sonoma County and Napa Valley are now known as the wine producers of California, Byles’ book illustrates that Los Angeles has a rich history with wine.

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Today, there are still a number of local wine producers in Pasadena such as, Old Oak Cellars and Stone Barn. Old Oak gets their grapes from Northern California and ferments Merlots, Chardonnays, Reds, Zinfandels and Sauvignon Blancs in Pasadena. Stone Barn Vineyards Conservancy is a branch of the Historical Society of La Crescenta. This historic 81-vine vineyard is managed by the Historical Society of La Crescenta, in honor of the 1885 vineyard owned by Georges Le Mesnager and Pierre Durancette.

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For more information on Los Angeles Wine, visit https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781609496456.

 

 

 

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