The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953

Book Reviews

inadequate, but this is not a book that requires such aids for
enjoyment.
FRANK D. REEVE
University of New Mexico
The California Wine Industry, 183o0-895. By Vincent P. Carosso.
Berkeley and Los Angeles (University of California Press),
1951. Pp. ix+241. $3.75.
Along about the second act of Shakespeare's Othello we find
Iago admonishing Cassio: "Come, come, good wine is a good
familiar creature, if it be well used." In this study of the Cali-
fornia wine industry, the author has made of wine a good
familiar creature and has used it well to bring out a volume that
contributes solidly to the agricultural and business history of a
major western industry. By the turn of the twentieth century,
as Carosso points out, California was rapidly becoming the wine-
land of America, and in the ensuing half-century it has clinched
its position in the forefront of both viticulture and viniculture
in the United States. In this volume is told the story of how
California, beginning with a handful of Spanish padres growing
grapes for mission needs, has established an industry which in
the year ending June 30, 1949, witnessed 25,000 California farm-
ers producing grapes for more than one hundred million gallons
of wine, or 90 per cent of the total commercial wine production
of the United States.
Except for sketches to round out the picture at either end,
Carosso devotes himself almost entirely to the growth of the
California wine industry between 1830, when real commercial
production began, and 1895, when modern production and dis-
tribution processes became firmly established. When in 1839
Alexander Forbes wrote in his history of California that "Noth-,
ing is wanting but intelligent persons, to make wine of a superior
quality," he overlooked the fact that "intelligent persons" were
already at work in the area, nor could he know the high caliber
of many vineyardists and manufacturers of the future. On the
other hand, men of lesser quality were also at work in the indus-
try, and others of their type would likewise follow, so that the
admixture of get-rich-quick wine makers with such men of

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed August 27, 2014.