Wine, Art and History Experiences

Nina Wemyss
Wine Historian

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As described by wine historian Nina Wemyss during her presentation on the history of wine in California.
From Rixford’s  Winepress and the Cellar, 1883

As described by wine historian Nina Wemyss during her presentation on California wine history.
Unloading grapes,  late 19th century




“Wine in California…inimitable fragrance and soft fire…and the wine is bottled poetry,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883. The story of California winegrowing is intricately entwined with the rich history of the State. Long before the orange groves, before the discovery of gold, while Los Angeles was a pueblo, and Yankees were foreigners, winemaking was an established part of California life.

This illustrated 35 to 50 minute presentation traces the captivating and stirring story of California wine from its gentle beginnings, through tumultuous times, to the innovative present.

Follow the growth of California winegrowing, beginning with Cortez and the Conquistadors in New Spain. Trace its movement north to Alta California’s missions and pueblos. Explore the evolution of California wine through exciting and challenging times - the Gold Rush, Statehood, phylloxera, and Prohibition - and on to the golden era of natural winegrowing and world-renowned wine.

Contact Nina Wemyss