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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pre-Internet Wine "App"

#wine #App #alcohol #estatesale #urbanarcheology
Sit down kids, when I was your age this was called an “App” for wine. No batteries needed, no visit to the App store, all you needed was faith in Christian Brothers.  There seems to be an abundance of Sherry coming from the The Christian Brothers and they have nicely covered every occasion even "between MEALS" so don't put that glass down.  If I was ever at a loss for rabbit holes to run down (Not often) I can always just begin researching the history of any California winery.

The Christian Brothers isn't just a name, it is actually a worldwide congregation of Catholic teachers whose 11,000 members taught in 1600 schools around the world - as of 1989. Today, their numbers are far fewer but their goals are just as fervent and Lasalle University is their most well-known and established school. The orders actual name is The De La Salle Christian Brothers.

Here us my abbreviated version of their History: Started in France in 1861 Jean Baptiste De La Salle moved the teacher order in 1868 to Martinez, California. There a vineyard was established and the selling of wine and other spirits became their main support for the schools and its teachers. They moved to the Napa Valley in 1932 building a retreat and expanding their operations. They survived the Prohibition Era by selling sacramental and medicinal wine.

They acquired other vintners and expanded again becoming a large distiller of Brandy. By the 1970's and 80's growing consolidation due to acquisitions in the wine and spirits markets raised the cost for labor and materials. That, and a softening in the distilled spirits market made the Brothers' dual mission for religious education and wine-making difficult despite stable profits. In 1989 they were acquired by the Heublein division of Grand Metropolitan PLC of Great Britain. 

If you feel the need to keep researching you'll have to go ...on...without me (sigh). The history of Heublein alone is fascinating as it involves my home state of CT and A-1 Steak Sauce - no kidding!

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