Winemaking in the 1920s

58675662Well, there wasn’t much winemaking after 1920, since Prohibition caused most of the wineries to close. A few wineries in California (such as Beaulieu Vineyards, Christian Brothers) stayed in business to make legal sacramental wine for churches and synagogues, but the vast majority closed in 1920, suffering catastrophic losses that were not reimbursed by the government–an “illegal taking,” according to some. (I learned that Beaulieu Vineyards was producing over a million gallons of wine during Prohibition–all legal, all supposedly for religious purposes . . . ha!) 

Wine drinking was still largely a California kind of thing in those years. In the rest of the country, very generally speaking, it was mostly just immigrants (Italians, French, Greeks, and other southern Europeans) and the wealthy who drank wine. So as I write my current mystery, set in Chicago in 1924 with characters who are French Canadian and Italian plus one wealthy German family, I can have them drinking wine. Otherwise, my characters drink beer, spirits, or hard cider, all illegal, of course. 

Christian Brothers Winery

Christian Brothers Winery

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Published in: on October 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just read your “Renting Silence” book and it is TERRIFIC! Really, your plot within plot keeps you alive all the time. Could not put the book down . When is your next one?? — JDM

    • So glad you enjoyed it! Next one comes out next year.


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