Luminarias Features Thomas Pinney, Author of The City of Vines
Raise a glass to literature and wine historian and author Thomas Pinney, winner of the 2016 California Historical Society Book Award, in the continuation of the Healdsburg Literary Guild’s Luminarias series.
Pinney will read selections from his latest book, The City of Vines, which recounts the beginnings of California’s world-renowned wine trade in the isolated pueblo now called Los Angeles. With incisive analysis and a touch of dry humor, The City of Vines chronicles winemaking in Los Angeles from its beginnings in the late eighteenth century through its decline in the 1950s. Thomas Pinney returns the megalopolis to the prickly pear-studded lands upon which Mission grapes grew for the production of claret, port, sherry, angelica, and hock. From these rural beginnings Pinney reconstructs the entire course of winemaking in a sweeping narrative and shows Los Angeles’s wine industry to be beholden to the forces that shaped all California under the flags of Spain, Mexico, and the United States: colonial expansion dependent on labor of indigenous peoples; the Gold Rush population boom; transcontinental railroads; rapid urbanization; and Prohibition.