Did you ever taste” Criollo” grapes, they are also known as “Mission” grapes?
Did you ever taste” Criollo” grapes, they are also known as “Mission” grapes? Mission San Juan Capistrano as some of you are aware is only 45minutes drive from Los Angeles, CA. I wrote previously a post about it. If you missed it, here is a link to it.
I love good wine and I was surprised to discover that California’s first Vineyard was located on the Mission grounds. In 1779 the first vineyard was established by planting of the “Mission” or “Criollo” grape. Then came the first winery in Alta California built in San Juan Capistrano in 1783. They were producing white and red wines (sweet & dry as well). They also made brandy and port wines.
I am sure many of you thought that only Europe was producing wines during this time period, now you know that the viticulture is over 200 years old in the United States.
Needless to say the Mission started to prosper and grow. By 1794 there were over 70 structures to provide permanent housing for the Mission Indians and the growing population.
The construction of “The Great Stone Church” started in February 1797 a huge construction project, which could be seen miles and miles away. Then in the afternoon of November 22, 1800 a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the area also known as the San Diego Earthquake and cracked the walls of this great building. The builder unfortunately passed away a few years prior. Hence they lacked the proper skill for corrections that needed to be made.
Needless to say Tragedy struck again on the morning of December 8, 1812. Sadly the Wrightwood Earthquake jammed the doors of the church shut and forty worshipers perished. Here are a few pictures of the Ruins. The upside to this story is that even up to now the Church Bells survived as well as the Ruins.
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