Winery Notebook

Description
This notebook contains documentation of winery operations at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (SLWC) in California’s Napa Valley, during its first seasons of activity in the early 1970s. It reflects the basic tasks that were faithfully recorded by founder Warren Winiarski and others as they built operations. The notes, made in ink on loose-leaf paper include technical information on crushing, pressing, fermenting, and racking of the SLV (Stag’s Leap Vineyards) Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes on grapes from other growers are included as well, including Birkmyer Pinot noir and Riesling.
When Smithsonian researchers discovered this notebook (that smelled strongly of the wine cellar!) among the papers in the Winiarskis’ family archive, they saw its value as a record of operations at the fledgling winery when it produced the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, the vintage that surprised the wine by placing first among reds at the Paris Tasting in 1976. The notebook also provides a stunning contrast to the highly organized, technical documentation the team observed at SLWC in the 1990s, when GPS and various computer programs had revolutionized the level of detail that could be more easily tracked from the vineyard to the bottle in modern wineries.
Object Name
book , early vintage information
Physical Description
handmade (overall production method/technique)
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 3.5 cm x 25.5 cm x 29.4 cm; 1 3/8 in x 10 1/32 in x 11 9/16 in
ID Number
1998.3058.47
nonaccession number
1998.3058
catalog number
1998.3058.47
subject
Wine
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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