UC Davis Wine Historian to Tell Wine’s Story Through Vintage Labels

Labels like this will be featured in a March 15 presentation on the history of California wine. (California Historical Society)

Davis, Calif., (March 9, 2017) – UC Davis wine historian James Lapsley will use vintage wine labels to share the colorful history of California wine at a public event at the California Historical Society in San Francisco on March 15.

His talk — illustrated by 20 vintage labels from the collections of the historical society and the UC Davis Library — is featured during the historical society’s exhibit Vintage: Wine, Beer, and Spirits Labels from the Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing, continuing through April 16.

​Lapsley, an internationally known author and winemaker, will tell the story of how California wine — and its place in our lives — have been transformed. His presentation will trace its history from the days when the Gold Rush drove a new thirst for domestic wine, to its rebirth following Prohibition, to today’s world of seemingly endless consumer choice.

Attendees will be able to explore the historical society’s exhibit featuring hundreds of wine, beer, and spirits labels as well as ephemera and stock label catalogue books from the now-forgotten Lehmann Printing and Lithographing Company of San Francisco.

The exhibit includes an interactive display of Label This, a web application through which the UC Davis Library is inviting the public to help transcribe historic wine labels.

Wine will be poured by winemaker Chris Kajani of Bouchaine Vineyards, a member of the UC Davis Alumni Wine Program.The event, for those 21 and older, will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the historical society, 678 Mission St. Tickets are $10 for general admission and free for historical society members, and UC Davis alumni, students, faculty and staff. Reservations are strongly recommended; tickets are available online.

 

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