The first winery in California is in San Jose. So much agricultural history is here and around here and still I was extremely surprised to learn that we had a historic winery in our city as well. The first winery…
Now, to be fair, there are several “first wineries” in California. For example, there are the first wine producing wineries created by Spanish missionaries, the first commercial wineries, the oldest and still producing winery, the oldest still producing that has continuously been producing winery, and so on. Lots of first wineries in this state and a lot of words on the internet declaring such firsts. So, where does this particular oldest winery in California fit in; the one with a plaque that you can go and visit as a city park called Almaden Winery Park here in San Jose, California?
This historic San Jose winery established in 1852 was, I gather, the first commercial winery in California to go into operation having planted French sourced grape vines that were praised for their qualities in making wine. This style of quality focused wine making in California would eventually become the norm and expand to make it a hub of some of the finest recognized wineries in the world. The missionaries who established vineyards before this in California had used a type of Spanish sourced grape vine that was known for being hearty but was not as impressive in wine making.
So there you have it. One of the several first wineries in California is right here in San Jose and you can enjoy a picnic, play on a swing, and admire some pretty old trees and structures while walking around the old property. Most of the old vineyard is now a neighborhood around the city park that centers around the wine cellar of the old Almaden Winery.