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OLD BOTTLE ART - ENO-NOSTALGIA  Page 7

 

 


PAUL MASSON WINERY

Paul Masson came from Burgundy to California to work for Charles LeFranc, who owned what became Almaden Vineyards.  Masson started his own business in the 1880s, purchasing property in the Santa Cruz Mountains' area of Saratoga.  It was the La Cresta property and Masson imported cuttings from France and started a vineyard.  He later married LeFranc's daughter and was instrumental in marketing LeFranc's wines

Paul Masson was a viable brand of, at least, "decent" quality wine back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Napa Valley was prominent, of course, with brands such as Christian Brothers, Charles Krug, Beaulieu Vineyard and Inglenook.  Beringer Brothers was a long time producer, but its wines had slipped in quality until its purchase by the Swiss company called "Nestle."
Meanwhile, Sonoma had Sebastiani as a major winemaking entity, along with the huge Italian Swiss Colony brand.
In the Santa Clara Valley, the Almaden winery and Paul Masson were major players.  Mirassou was just getting started in those days and there were some lovely fortified wines coming from the Richert winery in Morgan Hill and Llords and Elwood over in Fremont (of all places!).  Southern Santa Clara County had a modest wine industry with the San Martin Winery cranking out nice fruit wines and the Hecker Pass Highway had some old and new little wineries.  Mountain View was home to the Gemello Winery, a small cellar run with great skill by Mario Gemello.
There was also a modest winery run by the Jesuit Brothers at the old Novitiate Winery in Saratoga.

Paul Masson, though, was a very large California wine company and we pay tribute to it here in our own small way.

*************************

 

Orson Welles, who had done an ad for a Spanish Sherry, was enlisted by the Paul Masson winery to be its spokesman.  Welles would intone "We will sell no wine before its time," which became extremely popular as an advertising "moment."

To See Mr. Welles' ad for Paul Masson "Champagne," Click Here

To See Outakes of Mr. Welles' ad where he's drunk, 
Click here.

To See The Finished Ad Where He's Not Loaded, Click Here.

To See Orson Welles "Beethoven" Ad for Paul Masson, Click Here.

An Ad for Paul Masson Burgundy from 1980
Click Here

 


Since you'll only have dinner once tonight, why not do it right the first time?


Paul Masson made wines from some U.C. Davis hybrid varieties.  Rubion was made of Ruby Cabernet, a cross of the prolific Carignane with the lower yielding and more complex grape, Cabernet Sauvignon.


An old pamphlet featuring uses for wine...

Another version of the same...


A guide to Paul Masson's sparkling wines.


A magazine ad from 1973.


An ad for sparkling wine from 1970.


An old postcard showing a tour group at the old Paul Masson winery in Saratoga.

Here's an old letterhead from a New York-based wine company which sold California wines...

The caption of the vineyard scene notes "3000 acre vineyard at Wineville, California."
Anybody have a clue where "Wineville" is or was?




To help sell these wines, many producers in Portugal would "bottle" their ros wines in clay or stone flagons...some people thought these were a crock...


The Cribari winery offered a range of "fortified" wines, including Vermouth.


Black Pearl wine from Missouri...



Anaheim had a bottler of "Port" way back when!


From a French sparkling wine...
An early "critter" label!


Here's a ballsy label.


The Larkmead label still exists, but they no longer make "Sauterne."


An old label of the Rocche Costamagna winery in the Barolo town of La Morra.

 




An old ad for "sherry" wines from Almaden.


Back in the 1980s, Souverain had a winery in Sonoma (originally called "Chateau Souverain) and one in the Napa Valley.
Today the Sonoma facility is owned by Francis Ford Coppola and the Napa winery is "Rutherford Hill."

 


A postcard from the early 1900s....the only Inglenook winery in Rutherford.


I wonder if this Arco Claret tasted anything like gasoline?
Bottled in San Francisco...


Nice old Brandy...


Here's an ad in a the "program" for the Golden Gate Bridge "Fiesta"...the opening of the bridge in 1937.
Italian Swiss Colony took out an ad to invite people to cross the bridge and visit their winery in Sonoma.



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