We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE


The Rise Of Santa Barbara'S Wine Industry

Victor Geraci

Publication Year: 2004

Published by: University of Nevada Press

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.9 KB)
pp. xi-xii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (60.4 KB)
pp. xiii-xiv

This inquiry into the regional Santa Barbara wine industry unfolds as an eight-part story illuminating the evolution from grape growers to family wine farms, and the resulting vintibusiness structure of the California wine industry. Chapter 1 gives the historical context for American wine by quickly summarizing wine’s seven-thousand-year migration ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (77.7 KB)
pp. xv-xx

Although central to my life, wine and grapes have not always been my passion. As a young boy I worked at my father’s side in San Diego County vineyards. In our family the tradition of father and son in the vineyard and winemaking spanned multiple generations from Sicily to America. I reluctantly paid my dues during winter, spring, and summer ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (87.2 KB)
pp. 1-6

America’s post–World War II middle-class, freed by its car culture and disposable income, sought new and exciting ways to relax and enjoy an acquired appreciation of self-indulgent recreation. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s “back-to-nature” enthusiasts planned vacations and short escapes to family wine farms to imbibe wine and enjoy the good life at its ...

read more

Chapter 1. Northern European Roots and the First American Wine Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF (134.9 KB)
pp. 7-24

Warmed by an evening of cheap wine Zorba lectured his capitalist friend on “how simple and frugal a thing is happiness.” He continued his scolding with a firm reminder that “a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier,” and “the sound of the sea” are at the soul of the human experience.1 Nikos Kazantzakis’s Zorba the Greek captures the depth of ...

read more

Chapter 2. Boom and Bust: Birth and Death of the First California Wine Industry

pdf iconDownload PDF (151.8 KB)
pp. 25-46

Winemaking was off to a slow start in the new republic, but determined wine proponents refused to give up on the possibilities of producing quality American wines. Many looked westward to the Spanish colonial empire in today’s American Southwest, where commercial winemaking peaked as Spanish soldiers, Franciscan priests, and Spanish entrepreneurs ...

read more

Chapter 3. The California Wine Revolution

pdf iconDownload PDF (125.0 KB)
pp. 47-61

With the repeal of Prohibition California’s grape growers scaled up production and began rebuilding their industry with the advantage of new scientific viticultural knowledge and techniques. It would be in the second half of the twentieth century that the wine industry would have, in the words of Henry Luce, editor-in-chief of Time publications, its “American ...

read more

Chapter 4. Santa Barbara Pioneers Plant Winegrapes

pdf iconDownload PDF (144.1 KB)
pp. 62-79

California premium winegrape shortages during the 1960s and1970s forced bay-area wineries to look elsewhere for fruit and encouraged independent agricultural entrepreneurs to plant vineyards in the central and south coast counties of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. The arrangement proved profitable for both factions as northern ...

read more

Chapter 5. Santa Barbara Develops Wineries: 1970s–1980s

pdf iconDownload PDF (153.8 KB)
pp. 80-99

By the 1970s California premium-wine production could not satisfy increased domestic and international consumer demand. As we have seen, Santa Barbara agricultural entrepreneurs responded by planting vineyards and exporting their fruit to northern wineries. Many of these grape-planting pioneers quickly learned a major business lesson of viticultural ...

read more

Chapter 6. Santa Barbara Gains Recognition

pdf iconDownload PDF (135.0 KB)
pp. 100-115

As we have seen, winegrapes and wine came to Santa Barbara County with the missions and flourished until Prohibition devastated the commercial wine trade. Upon repeal the industry slowly reappeared as local pioneers first planted vineyards in the 1960s and 1970s and subsequently developed two forms of wineries. By the 1980s Santa Barbara ...

read more

Chapter 7. The Business of Wine: 1990s

pdf iconDownload PDF (125.8 KB)
pp. 116-130

Overall the late 1980s and early 1990s were good years for the California wine industry. Wine as a business not only survived a flurry of neo-Prohibition government labeling, taxation, and advertising policies but continued to grow an average of 5 percent annually. As a result growers and wineries statewide could not keep up with the demand. Domestic ...

read more

Chapter 8. Santa Barbara Vintibusiness

pdf iconDownload PDF (127.4 KB)
pp. 131-143

As we have seen, California wineries could not keep pace with domestic and international consumer demands.1 Despite neo-Prohibition, consumption of premium wines increased and the industry continued to grow. Efforts to alleviate winegrape and wine shortages through science and efficient business practices failed to bridge the gap between consumer ...

read more

Chapter 9. Wine Is Here to Stay: Santa Barbara, California, and the United States

pdf iconDownload PDF (105.8 KB)
pp. 144-152

In the second half of the twentieth century American vintibusiness became a major player in the international wine trade. California wineries had been successful not only in recreating an American wine tradition but also in developing a new California style. Vintners aimed aggressive marketing programs at consumers with disposable incomes while educating ...

read more

Epilogue: A Backward Look Forward

pdf iconDownload PDF (159.9 KB)
pp. 153-178

According to the San Francisco Wine Institute the United States held its rank as the world’s fourth-largest producer and third-largest consumer of wine between 1998 and 1999. The institute based its findings on a report from the Paris office of International de la Vigne et du Vin, which had surveyed forty-five member nations and gathered additional ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (232.8 KB)
pp. 179-212

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (143.8 KB)
pp. 213-230


pdf iconDownload PDF (157.0 KB)
pp. 231-250

E-ISBN-13: 9780874176414
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874175431

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 15 b/w photos, 1 map
Publication Year: 2004

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Wine industry -- California -- Santa Barbara County -- History.
  • Wine and wine making -- California -- Santa Barbara County -- History.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access