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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

Enjoy the Wine History Project's new documentary
91 Harvests from the comfort of your home!


We understand this is an unprecedented and difficult time we are all experiencing together.  In the midst of the event cancellations and social distancing, the SLO International Film Festival in partnership with the Wine History Project have offered ticket holders and our followers a chance to see our new documentary, 91 Harvests, from the comfort of your own home.

Password:  91hSLOFF! 

You can view the film from Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday March 22, 2020. 

91 Harvests
91 Harvests, a documentary film produced by the Wine History Project in partnership with Partners2Media, takes a loving look at four generations of a Paso Robles farming family, the Dusi's. Famous for growing premium wine grapes which have been sought after by some of California's top winemakers for decades, their story spans more than 100 years and 91 harvests.


EXHIBITIONS Current Exhibitions

Deciduous Fruits Experimental Station in the Geneseo Settlement, 1889-1902

As agriculture in California developed, the California Legislature and the University of California worked to determine which dry farmed crops would thrive in various regions of the State. Paso Robles became an important area of study in 1889 thanks to the United States Congress voting to pass the Hatch Act of 1887 to provide funding for agricultural experiment stations.

The California Station was established in Berkeley at the University of California. There were four sub-stations created where land was donated and prepared for planting orchards and vineyards of table and wine grapes. The Paso Robles Experiment Station, located in the South Coast Range, was one of the first three created in California along with one in the Sierra Foothills and another in the San Joaquin Valley.

In the 1880s, promoters were dividing up large ranchos east of the town of Paso Robles and selling small parcels to farmers who were emigrating to the area from the Midwest and from Southern California where the Anaheim Blight had destroyed large numbers of vineyards in what is now Orange County. The area was promoted as a fruit-growing district. Several German Lutherans families purchased land in the area which soon was known as the Geneseo District when the first school was built. This area was located about five miles north of Creston. The descendants of the Klintworths, Ernsts, and Steinbecks, still live in Paso Robles in this area.

COLLECTIONS/ Featured Collection

Wood grape boxes and the
California Trademark Act of 1919

During Prohibition, fresh-packed grapes was the business to be in to boost sales for the wineries and vineyards across California. The grapes needed to get to markets across the nation. Fruit packing companies were financially successful for a time at this because one of the provisions in the National Prohibition (Volstead) Act allowed the male head of every household to produce up to 200 gallons of fermented beverage per household each year for personal consumption. Home winemaking caused grape sales to soar and grape growers planted more vines to keep up with the demand for grapes to make wine in the customers’ homes. So, winemakers transitioned to grape growers. Grapes were being shipped in fruit boxes (lug boxes) by railroad cattle car, refrigerated car, or by ship. Most called themselves “fruit growers” during these days of Prohibition.
Click Here to Read More

Tom Myers

Tom Myers is recognized as the expert on the science of making wine in San Luis Obispo County. 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. Perhaps the best description of his talents, according to his colleagues and local winemakers: “Tom Myers is the awesome winemakers’ winemaker.”

Tom is recognized as the expert on the science of making wine in San Luis Obispo County. In Tom’s own words: “Wines are a living biological system. They are dynamic and subject to changes both fast and slow, good and bad.”

Tom sees wine as one of the great foundations of western culture. His views have inspired local winemakers. In his own words: “Without diminishing the wonder, the winemaking process can be explained by the sciences. That appealed to me and played a large part in my decision to pursue a winemaking career. It was an idea that melded to the appeal of making something I feel is spiritually and physically beneficial to civilization, and I had discovered my ideal career.”

Click Here to Read Tom Myers Legend
WINE HISTORY / Become a Contributor

Wine History Project Becomes
Non-Profit Organization

The Wine History Project has applied for nonprofit status and is seeking donors to support research and educational projects:

  • Prohibition Exhibits highlighting San Luis Obispo County History to be shown in multiple locations throughout the County in 2020.

  • Exhibit on HMR Winery (Stanley Hoffman) and Andre Tchelishtchef impact on San Luis Obispo County in 1960s and 1970s.

  • Exhibit on the first Edna Valley wine growers and producers in the 1970s.

  • Research on the impact of home winemaking on the wine industry in San Luis Obispo County.

  • Research on the rise of wine competitions at California Fairs in the 1880s.

  • Research and writing of the book on the Wine History of San Luis Obispo County

  • Recording and archiving the oral histories of wine growers and producers in San Luis Obispo County

  • Preparing the legends and historic timelines of San Luis Obispo County featured on our website.

  • Expanding the database of archived photos, files and historical documents related to San Luis Obispo wine history.

  • Building our historic collections of wine tools, winemaking equipment, historic San Luis Obispo County wines, photographs, wine books and scientific instruments.

  • Filming documentaries on growers and winemakers in San Luis Obispo County.

  • Designing wine history tours in San Luis Obispo County. 

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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