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To become a contributor to the Wine History Project, please contact Heather Muran at or
805-458-9016. Please mail your contributions to: Wine History Project, 3592 Broad Street, Office 104, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

  Photo Courtesy of Heather Muran.  Photo of grapes in veraison at Piedra Creek Vineyard in Edna Valley

Harvest Coming Soon to 
San Luis Obispo County

With harvest just around the corner, we're seeing veraison in the vineyards, a term used to describe the grapevine’s annual lifecycle and onset of ripening. You can see in the photo above the grapes turning from green to red. The grapes naturally begin to sweeten and winemakers begin to count down the days until harvest.

With great weather all year long, San Luis Obispo County's wine industry is gearing up for a fantastic 2020 vintage. Winemakers report a cool and windy spring and summer, with very little heat until just this week.  Temperatures have remained cooler than average years, with winemakers reporting later ripening and veraison of grapes.

The SLO Coast wine region is seeing robust, large clusters and very good crop set. Paso Robles is seeing an average to slightly above average crop yield for this year.

In this week's feature we're showcasing our new website, as well as a special tribute wine to our longtime friend and supporter of the WIne History Project, Archie McLaren. 

Be sure to "like" us on Facebook and subscribe to our Vimeo channel so you will get updates on news and new articles as we follow the 2020 grape harvest.

We look forward to seeing you, and as always stay safe and well!

Photo Courtesy of James-Paul Brown

Toast to a Legend, Archie McLaren 

Few people exemplified the spirit of wine, food and art on the Central Coast more than philanthropist and bon vivant Archie McLaren. The Wine History Project helped to highlight the life of the late Archie McLaren through their recent book, Archie McLaren: The Journey from Memphis Blues to the Central Coast Wine RevolutionNow, as a tribute to the late Archie McLaren, Artiste Wines of Santa Barbara County has  created a limited production bottling in memory of Archie, as a toast to his legendary positivism, charm, charity and good will.

The wine is a blend of 29% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 29% Mourvèdre and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, all sourced in Santa Barbara County. Powerful aromas of cherries, blueberries and cassis are accented by classic black pepper, and a hint of toasty oak. Only 100 limited edition bottles were produced, each hand-labeled with canvas lithographs, signed and numbered by artist James-Paul Brown.  

Artiste has elected to donate 10% of of the sales of this wine to Southern Poverty Law Center. Read more about this wonderful organization at

You can still purchase this wine by visiting the Artiste Wines at  You can also find our book, Archie McLaren: The Journey from Memphis Blues to the Central Coast Wine Revolution, detailing Archie's life as spoken in his own words on our website at



Check Out Our Recent Updates to the 
 Wine History Project Website


Our team is excited to share our new updates to the Wine History Project website!  You will see our new films, 91 Harvests and Tom Myers: Made in Paso featured on the homepage.  We've also added new legends and articles organized under our "People" section.  Plus, we've added several new articles about objects in the Wine History Project's collection under the "Objects" section.  Don't forget to visit our "Wine" section to see an extensive timeline of news and events dating back to the 1700s.

Be sure to pick the upcoming August/September issue of SLO Life Magazine.

In this month's article, Libbie Agran from the Wine History Project of SLO County talks about the powerful connection between music and wine. Many musicians have become legendary winemakers during the last two hundred years.

The music we celebrate in the Central Coast may be as old as the Mission grape variety, Listan Prieto,  planted by the Spanish Franciscans two centuries ago. Catholics still sing hymns and prayers in the Spanish Chapels at local Missions once surrounded by prolific vineyards in San Luis Obispo, the Edna Valley and San Miguel.

The August/September issue will be posted to the SLO Life Magazine website soon.  You can find the article on pages 76-78.


Wine History Project Releases Documentaries 

The Wine History Project has released  two new documentaries that are now available to rent or own on our Vimeo Page:

91 Harvests features the legacy of the Dusi family, five generations of grape growers and winemakers in Paso Robles. 

The story of the Dusi Vineyard began in the early 1920s, when Sylvester and Caterina Dusi, emigrants from Northern Italy, moved to Paso Robles in the early 1920s. The Dusi Vineyard introduced some of the first Zinfandels to California’s Central Coast, and eventually bought an additional property on the west side of Highway 101. Three generations after Janell Dusi’s great-grandparents first planted the land with Zinfandel, she is continuing the legacy and this charming documentary tells their story. 

The Wine History Project's second documentary, Tom Myers: Made in Paso, is now available to rent or purchase on Vimeo.  This is the Wine History Project's "official" premier of this short film.  Tom Myers is recognized as the expert on the science of making wine in San Luis Obispo County.


Tom Myers, Winemaker, Castoro Cellars     
Photo Credit: Julia Perez     

As of 2019, he is also recognized as the man who has filled over 190 million bottles with San Luis Obispo County wine following his 42 harvests. Winemakers describe Tom as a problem solver, mild mannered and all talent without the ego.  Perhaps the best description of his talents, according to his colleagues and local winemakers: “Tom Myers is the awesome winemakers’ winemaker.”  Tom talks about his start in the wine industry and his scientific approach to crafting world class wines.

We encourage you to rent or buy and watch one of our documentaries in the comfort of your own home!
Check back often for more documentaries and short films coming soon to the Wine History Project Video Channel.

Stencil Wheel

Everyone has seen letters stenciled on objects, artwork, even architecture. The technique has been used by almost all cultures and may have been around since the 1400s, utilizing a variety of tools to create the cut for the stencil; knives, scissors, chisels, punches, and etching. But the word “stencil” didn’t become part of the vocabulary in the United States culture until the 1800s.

Beginning in the 1400s, there were ways of creating uniform symbols, letters, numbers, etc. The tools were used to cut into various materials which created an object, then used to produce letters (or design) on an underlying surface; the paint or ink was then applied through the cutout holes in the material. But these methods required sharpness of cutting tools and precision of the person using these tools. The creation of a stencil plate allowed for a tool that could be utilized for uniformity, versatility, and ease of use.
WINE HISTORY / Become a Contributor

Wine History Project Becomes
Non-Profit Organization

Benefits to contributors include invitations to two Wine History Project events each year, including educational lectures, guest speakers and wine tastings, invitation to previews of exhibits, access to archives and records obtained by Wine History Project, exclusive discounts to events, and educational opportunities along with docent-lead wine history tours throughout San Luis Obispo County. To become a contributor to the Wine History Project, please contact Heather Muran at or 805-458-9016. Please mail your contributions to: Wine History Project, 3592 Broad Street, Office 104, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

Contact Us

Libbie Agran

Aimee Armour-Avant
Information Designer

Cindy Lambert
Collections Manager
Heather Muran
Historian & Outreach

Karen Petersen
Events Manager​

The Wine History Project was established in 2015 to study the land, microclimates, grape varietals, growers and winemakers who have shaped the wine history of San Luis Obispo County. Today the Wine History Project is staffed by historians and museum professionals who collaborate with a diverse group of advisers and founders. We continue to document and preserve the unique wine and food history of San Luis Obispo County

Central to our research is the process of interviewing growers and winemakers who have shaped the wine history of SLO County. It is through these relationships that we build upon the story of wine in our county while collecting and archiving historical photographs, documents, videography and recordings to preserve their history.

Together We Can Preserve the Story of Central Coast Winemaking

Copyright © 2020 Wine History Project, All rights reserved.

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