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Wine Industry

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It is interesting to note that, almost without exception, all the early settlers planted wine grapes, primarily for home consumption but later expanded into commercial production. The majority of the first inhabitants hailed from the eastern U.S., although in the 1860s they were joined by French and German farmers with long histories of wine grape production in their native lands. Beginning in the late 1880s and continuing through the 1930s, immigrants from Lucca, Italy, another European area known for wine production, moved into the valley, bringing with them their agricultural and cultural traditions.

Whether planted by Americans or Europeans, however, all weathered the same booms and busts in the wine industry, as drought, floods, disease, overplantings, and Prohibition wracked the industry. But they also shared in the banner years of wine production, when nature, a rapidly expanding market, and advances in winemaking techniques combined to produce some of the best vintages ever seen in California.

The first to be noted as a wine producer in the valley was Davenport Cozzens, listed in the wine industry census for 1860. However, no further information on Cozzens as a winemaker was  ever noted, so he may have just returned to vineyard production. As a context for the architectural development of Dry Creek Valley the following is presented as a brief overview of the wineries and wine history, and the reader is referred to Heintz (1985), Florence (1983), and other publications for further information.