Columbine Vineyards Grape Box

To make wine at home, Francesco Lee (Lia) purchased grapes at local markets, most of which arrived by rail from California. Typically, the grapes were red varietals like Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, and Zinfandel, fruit with tough skins that could survive the long shipment across the country. The marking on the box, “Columbine Vineyards,” indicates the probable source for some of the grapes used by the Lees. Columbine Vineyards was established in California’s San Joaquin Valley by Marin Caratan, an immigrant from Croatia. After harvesting his first crop of grapes in 1926, Caratan’s business expanded and continues into the 21st century. This box held grapes for the crusher and was probably used by the Lees many times over several years.
Object Name
grape box
overall: 47 in x 24 in; 119.38 cm x 60.96 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
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
Credit Line
John Lee

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