San Francisco and NY: Payot, Upham & Co. and D. Van Nostrand, 1883. First edition. (xxiv), 240 pp., 57 engraved illustrations in the text; original slate blue cloth with gilt and blind-stamped cover title and ornaments. Covers moderately stained, pencil underlining in first chapter else very good. Item #23625
San Francisco attorney Emmett Rixford (1841-1928) planted his 40-acre “La Questa Vineyard” in the Santa Cruz mountains near Woodside in 1884 and in 1915 his cabernet won the Gold Medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Today, 1 acre of his original vineyard remains within the 17-acre Woodside Vineyards. His book is considered the first California imprint devoted solely to wine making as distinct from grape growing. This the working copy of Sonoma County's "Fountaingrove Vineyards." Fountaingrove was a winery owned and managed by a free-love spiritual commune called "the Brotherhood of the New Life." The group's spiritual leader and financial manager, In 1875 Thomas Lake Harris (1823-1906), brought his disciples from their Brocton, New York colony (where grape-growing and wine-making was among their endeavors) to Santa Rosa, California. By 1878 400 acres (of an eventual 2000) were planted in grapes. By 1882 a massive stone winery with a capacity of 600,000 gallons was completed. By 1890 Harris' protogé, Japanese national Kanaye Nagasawa (1852-1934), was in charge of operations. In 1896, Nagasawa's nephew Tomoki Ijichi joined his uncle at Fountaingrove to work in the winery.The winery grew to be one of the 10 largest producers in the state before its slow demise and dissolution in the 1940s. The last remnant of Fountaingrove, the massive Round Barn, a local landmark built by Nagasawa in 1899, was immolated in the devastating Tubbs Fire of 2017. A scarce book with a compelling provenance. Gabler (2nd ed.) 36200, Amerine & Borg #2895, Crahan sale #701. See also LeBaron, Gaye and Bart Casey, "The Wonder Seekers of Fountaingrove," n.p., Historia II Publication, 2018.