In 2015, Libbie Agran established the Wine History Project to create a timeline of the history of local viticulture and winemaking to share with the public.... to study the land, microclimates, grape varietals, growers, and winemakers who have shaped the wine history of San Luis Obispo County. Today, the Wine History Project continues to document and preserve the unique wine history of San Luis Obispo County and presently has a Wine History Gallery in the Paso Robles History Museum. This gallery features rotating exhibits along with a series of lectures, films, tours, tastings and events. The present exhibit, 6,000 Years of Winemaking in Clay Amphorae, focuses on the ancient archaeology and winemaking techniques that are being revived by 14 of our local winemakers.
San Luis Obispo's wine history began in the late 1700s when the Franciscans brought vines and winemaking from Spain to establish two of the most successful mission vineyards in California. Following the California gold rush, farmers from around the world settled here to plant grains, fruit trees, almonds, walnuts and hundreds of grape varietals in a diversity of microclimates and soils. Commercial winemaking was first established in the 1860s in San Luis Obispo by Pierre Hypolite Dallidet and Adolphe Siot was the first to plant vineyards and establish his own winery in the North County in the 1890s.
The WHP's website is an important resource for the public to access further information on the history of wine in San Luis Obispo County: https://winehistoryproject.org/. It contains a timeline of SLO County Wine History, legends of growers and winemakers, and numerous articles on their collections. The Wine History project is a collaborative and ongoing project with all those who are interested in the viticulture and wine history of our area! Thank you Libbie and the Wine History Project for your research, knowledge and your support!