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California Wine Association. OAC

 
 

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Biographical History

The California Wine Association was formed during the depression of 1894 (1892, according to Carosso) from seven leading California wine firms, in order to raise prices and stimulate trade. As Peninou and Greenleaf remark, "From that time until the coming of Prohibition, the history of winemaking in California is largely the history of the California Wine Association." The C.W.A. became a syndicate or cartel, the single buyer for ripe grapes from winegrowers. The wine wars of the 1890s, between growers and distributors, helped stabilize the quality of California wine.

By 1914 the Association controlled 84% of the wine manufactured in California. The drive that lead to Prohibition -- in the first two decades of the 20th century -- caused a depression in the wine industry. Ensuing disorganization lead to the demise of the California Wine Association.

From the finding aid for California Wine Association Records, 1894-1936 (California Historical Society, North Baker Library)

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