Winemaking in Oregon began more than 150 years ago when Peter Britt of Jacksonville brought grapevine cuttings from California to create his Valley View Vineyard. By 1890, the Southern Oregon State Board of Agriculture forecast a vineyard-dotted Rogue Valley to rival “the castled Rhine . . . the classical vales of Italy and the sunny slopes of France.” But prohibition, which became law in Oregon four years before the rest of the country, killed the nascent industry. Not until the 1970s, when Americans discovered a passion for wine, was winegrowing and winemaking in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley reestablished. Pear orchards were converted to vineyards, and winemaking – not on a California scale, but rather in boutique wineries tucked away along scenic country roads–began anew and thrived.
Freelance writer MJ Daspit resides in Ashland, Oregon, and pens articles on its past and present for periodicals. This volume’s photographs come from the Southern Oregon Historical society and the people of the Rogue Valley wine industry. The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.
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