"A half million acres are devoted to grapes in California": The Wines of California; Wonderfully Illustrated
The Wines of California.
Critchfield, Burke H.$500.00
Item Number: 82168
San Francisco : Bank of America, 1936.
First edition of this early overview of California wines. Octavo, illustrated wrappers with cut-out in front wrapper revealing a photograph of a bunch of grapes, with purple cellophane overlay. Cleverly-designed booklet with an essay on The Romance of California Wine followed by descriptions of various wines and their best matches with food. Rare.
The viticultural history of California dates back to the 18th century when Spanish missionaries planted the first vineyards using vine cuttings from Mexico. Descended from the "common black grape" initially brought to the Americas by Hernan Cortes in 1520, the Mission Grape became the dominant variety in California until the early 20th century. With the increasing population brought about by the mid-19th century California Gold Rush, local demand for wine increased and the newly growing wine industry took hold in Sonoma and Napa. The region today is home to more than one thousand wineries ranging from boutique wineries to major corporations.