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by Fred McMillin
for July 14, 1997

The Price of Wine

Prologue: Jackson, Cal., Nov. 18,1865, Newspaper Ad

J. Pitois' White Wine!!
J. Pitois offers to sell his wine, the present season, at the following rates:
$0.75 per gallon...Over 30 gallons
$2.50...For dozen Bottles
Orders sent from nny (sic) part of the county promptly attended to.

...from Eric Costa's "Old Vines"

The Rest of the Story: So, the first Jackson-area wine advertized was the 1865 Pitois White. It was well received and the next year he increased production to 1,500 gallons. Now, let's fast forward to one of the newest, well-received, Jackson whites, the 1996 Clos du Lac dessert Muscat. Winemaker Francoise Cordesse used his best French touch on this one. It's headed for medals, and hopefully, for your dinner table.

1996 Vin Doux Naturel Muscat, Sierra Foothills
Clos du Lac Cellars
Hwy. 88, Ione, CA
Contact—Jill Murphy, (209)274-2238
$12 (375 ml.)

Postscript: Nine years before the Pitois ad, digging started at the historic Kennedy Gold Mine. It's near the winery's picnic grounds, and will add an exciting feel for the Gold Rush that jump-started the area's wine industry...guided tours on weekends.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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