Grapes: Santa Cruz Island

From Islapedia

Grapes: Santa Cruz Island

Grapes were grown for wine production were grown on Santa Cruz Island from the early 1880s, through Prohibition, and into the late 1930s. Records of the Santa Cruz Island Company for 1885 list statistics for selected vine stock from France: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Petit Sirah, Malbec, Cantal Mataro, Barbara, Hock, and in 1893, Zinfandel. Of the whites there were Muscat Frontignan, Chablis, and Riesling. The red wine, except Zinfandel and Hock were labeled Burgundy. After Prohibition, grapes continued to be sold in bulk to mainland markets. Many of the Italians in Santa Barbara made “illegal” wine in their basements.




In the News~

October 11, 1937 [SBNP]: “Island trip enjoyed by businessmen… Accompanying the U.S. Naval Reserve on one of its Sunday cruises aboard the patrol boat YP33, a party of Semana Nautica committeemen, headed by Maj. W. F. Kurtz, their chairman, cruised for 12 hours and visited points of interest on Santa Cruz, including Prisoners’ Harbor, the approach to the Santa Cruz ranch, recently purchased by the Stanton interests of Los Angeles. Here they saw, in addition to the nautical beauties of the island, one of the famous old brick wine warehouses built in 1887; the original adobe ranch house with its picturesque iron adornments and lightening rods. Also they saw a domesticated wild boar, sampled grapes from the famous vineyards, fished off the dock, ate Chef Ed Gourley’s appetizing mananda…”