Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Celebrate California Wine Month!

“Rustic Courtship," Tipo Wine, Italian Swiss Colony Winery, Asti, California, c. 1910
California Historical Society

Rustic. Hearty. Bright. These are only some of the commonly used descriptive words that evoke our state’s love affair with wine—a romance that began even before California achieved statehood in 1850.

Every September, when California wineries are busy harvesting their grapes, we celebrate California Wine Month. This September is the 12th annual California Wine Month, when wineries all over the state welcome visitors and stage numerous events—from tastings, to classes, to tours.

Grape Cluster Carried by Children, c. 1898
California Historical Society Collections at University of Southern California

Created by the Wine Institute in honor of the country’s foremost wine-producing state, the month-long celebration “recognizes the contributions of vintners and growers to our state economy, culture and lifestyle,” explains said Robert Koch, Wine Institute president and CEO.

Portrait of Grape Pickers on Hastings Ranch, near Pasadena, c. 1898
California Historical Society Collections at University of Southern California

The California Historical Society is pleased to whet your appetite with the following selection of wine labels. They were created during the 1930s by anonymous artists and designer employed by CHS’s collection of the Lehmann Printing and Lithographing Company in San Francisco, one of the country’s largest label plants of that era.

More examples of these labels are in our book, VINTAGE: California Wine Labels of the 1930s, edited by Christopher Miya and Ashley Ingram and published in collaboration with Heyday, available this Fall.


Shelly Kale
Publications and Strategic Projects Manager


More about the history of wine in California from the California Historical Society:

·        CHS is the repository for the California Wine Association Records, 1894–1936. Read about this collection on our blog, and at the Online Archive of California

·        Save the date! California Wine Month, September 2017, brings the publication of our 2016 California Historical Society Book Award, The City of Vines: A History of Wine in Los Angeles, by Thomas Pinney, the author of the definitive, two-volume account of winemaking in the United States, A History of Wine in America. The City of Vines is a rediscovery of where California’s wine industry began and its 100-year role as leader of our state’s viticulture industry. Read more about the CHS Book Award at


For a full listing of statewide events listing during California Wine Month, visit

or visit: 


For more information on VINTAGE: California Wine Labels of the 1930s, see


See more wine labels from CHS’s Lehmann collection on our Flickr Commons page, 
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