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Los Angeles, the City of Wine

Taught vines tightly tied with view of sky through green leaves

Did you know that Angelenos were drinking LA-made wine as far back as 200+ years ago? History of winemaking started in California in Los Angeles and dates back to the late 1700s. The rest of the wine growing regions in California exist because of LA including Napa. LA was the first wine capital of California!

The City of Los Angeles was once THE main source of California wine. If you go to the City of LA website you will note the city’s coat of arms in the upper left-hand corner - look closer! The coat of arms are surrounded by images of olives, oranges, and GRAPES! representing the three major crops of the city of LA, historically. Thomas Pinney writes in his book “The City of Vines”, which we absolutely recommend reading to learn about history of wine in LA in detail, “The most striking facts about the history of winemaking in Los Angeles, city and county, is the completeness with which it has been forgotten. The trade has left hardly any material traces”.

Here are some interesting facts about wine in the city and county of Los Angeles to get you started on your quest to learn more about this fascinating and mainly-forgotten history:

  • The area in and around downtown LA was once the location of over 50 vineyards and nearly every home in LA had its patch of vines growing. Angelenos still grow vines in their front or backyards to this day, you may have passed a vine without even realizing it. Historic Avila Adobe on Olvera Street in Downtown LA has the original Mission grape still growing there (over 150 year old vines). LA is actually a great climate to grow grapes, take it from winemaker Adam Huss at Centralas Wine - follow his Instagram to see the progress of his recently planted vines right here in LA!
  • The drive from LA to the Port of San Pedro was once called Vineyard Lane due to the number of vineyards which were planted along the road.
  • There are a number of LA county winemakers with us today - two of which we carry on our website here and here (Adam Huss at Centralas Wine and Ben Sposato at Acri Wine Co)!