by Fred McMillin
for January 16, 1998
Prologue: In 1875, Santa Cruz county had 262,275 vines and produced 70,000 gallons of wine. However, far too many vines had been planted in other parts of the state, wine inventories were huge, and the California wine industry sank to an all-time low within two years. John Jarvis, founder of the Santa Cruz wine industry and proud of his "claret," had his winery repossessed by the Oddfellows Savings Bank.
...Michael Holland in "Late Harvest"
And were they ever dedicated. They left their engineering jobs, built the Roudon's home over a 800-square-foot basement winery, and crushed 20 tons of grapes downstairs. Their wives were enthusiastic participants. Commercial artist Annamarie Roudon designed the labels, etc. June Smith drew marketing, public relations, etc... And wrote, "Our goal is to produce wines which at maturity might achieve all the elegance and artistry of the ancient Roman amphora illustrated on our labels." It worked. They soon had to build a larger winery, including a shelf for the awards, which included a gold from the large Los Angeles Fair as early as 1979. Their 1978 Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are STILL winning awards ... at the American Classic Wine Competition for reds at least 10 years old. Not bad for bottles that were filled in that original Roudon basement two decades ago.
Just the Facts
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