San Francisco: Spaulding, Barto & Co., 1878. First edition. , 143 pp.; original printed wrappers, with engraved illustration of the Mechanics' Pavilion on rear wrapper. Mild soiling to wrappers, else very good. Item #22644
Following the preliminary material (opening exercises, names of exhibitors and exhibits, catalogue of the art gallery), pages 48-114 contain the "Report of the Jury of Wine Experts" under the management of Institute Secretary and Reporter Rev. John Ignatius Bleasdale. The jury was convened to sample and judge the merits of wines entered in to the Exhibition. Bleasdale's report, however, goes much farther. Besides his reportage on the wine producers and the wines they submitted, information is presented on the types of grapes grown in the different growing regions in the state, the yields of different varieties in different regions, etc. Bleasdale also brings the benefit of his experiences in Portugal with long quotations drawn from the writing of Viscount Villa Maior as well as his own translation from the Portuguese of a wine report by Portuguese Royal Commissioner Joao Ignacio Ferraria Lapa. The Rev. John Ignatius Bleasdale (1822-1884), a Catholic priest, chemist, mineralogist, and oenologist, was born in England, emigrated to Australia in 1850, then migrated to California in 1877, having also lived in Portugal for seven years. He died in San Francisco. Bleasdale was struck by the similarities in climate and soil between Portugal and California, and recognized the two regions' common goal of competing with the French in production of quality red wines. (See Pinney, Thomas. "John Ignatius Bleasdale: A Friend of Wine in New Worlds." San Francisco: Book Club of California, 2006 for Bleasdale's biography and a checklist of his writings on wine). Pinney checklist p. 65; not in Amerine & Borg; this publication not in Gabler, though G9564 seems to make reference to part of this report being included in the following year's report.