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Finding aid to the California Wine Association records, 1894-1936, MS 300
MS 300  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Consists of bound records of the California Wine Association (1894-1936), a group of San Francisco Bay Area winemakers and dealers who combined interests to gain favorable financial control over the market. Volumes contain minutes of Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings; membership lists; and contract terms with grape growers and other winemakers, including Napa winemakers Frederick and Jacob Beringer. The records also shed light on the association's formation; the general state of the California wine market; competition with national and international markets; Prohibition; and the dissolution of the C.W.A., including lawsuits and member resignations. Significant association members represented in the collection include founders Charles Carpy of C. Carpy & Company; Charles Kohler and Henry Kohler of Napa Valley Wine Company, Kohler and Frohling, C. Carpy & Company, B. Dreyfus & Company, and Kohler and Van Bergen; Arpad Haraszthy of Arpad Haraszthy & Company; Albert Lachman, Henry Lachman, and Samuel Lachman of S. Lachman & Company and Lachman & Jacobi; winemaker John Frohling; Benjamin Dreyfus of B. Dreyfus & Company; and Nicholas Van Bergen of Kohler and Van Bergen. The firms Aguillon & Busatelli and C. Schilling & Company, both part of the association's combined holdings, are also represented.
Background
The California Wine Association was formed during the depression of 1894 from seven leading California wine firms in an effort to secure favorable options from grape growers and winemakers, and to raise prices and stimulate trade. In 1894 the wine industry was in a perilous state. California's 200,000 acres of vineyard were overproductive, and California wines were being sold for as little as ten cents a gallon. The country's financial depression also lingered, and both California winemakers and the dealers were in dire financial straits. On August 10, 1894, the California Wine Association was incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000, and with the intent to control eighty percent of the wine produced in the state. For the next two decades the uniform syndicate held substantial bargaining power over winegrowers. The combined firms would also set prices based on vintages and regional characteristics of the grapes they contracted to grow.
Extent
10 flat boxes (3 linear feet)
Restrictions
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
Availability
Collection is open for research.