All uses of this manuscript are covered by
a legal agreement between the Regents of the
University of California and Lucius Powers,
dated 18 May 1973. The manuscript is thereby
made available for research purposes . All
literary rights in the manuscript, including
the right to publish, are reserved to The
Bancroft Library of the University of Califor
nia at Berkeley. No part of the manuscript
may be quoted for publication without the
written permission of the Director of The
Bancroft Library of the University of Califor
nia at Berkeley.
Requests for permission to quote for
publication should be addressed to the Regional
Oral History Office, 486 Library, and should
include identification of the specific passages
to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages,
and identification of the user. The legal
agreement with Lucius Powers requires that he
be notified of the request and allowed thirty
days in which to respond.
The Bancroft Library University of California/Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office
California Wine History Series
THE FRESNO AREA AND THE CALIFORNIA WINE INDUSTRY
With an Introduction by
Maynard A. Amerine
An Interview Conducted by
Copy No .
1974 by The Regents of the University of California
TABLE OF CONTENTS -- Lucius Powers
INTRODUCTION by Maynard A. Amerine ill
INTERVIEW HISTORY i v
FAMILY HISTORY 1
THE POWERS RANCH 4
THE PROHIBITION YEARS 9
THE CALIFORNIA VINEYARDISTS ASSOCIATION 11
MT. TIVY WINERY 14
RETURN TO FRESNO 22
POST-REPEAL ORGANIZATIONS AND LEGISLATION 23
THE SET-ASIDE AND INDUSTRY STABILIZATION 27
CALIFORNIA WINERIES AND NATIONAL CORPORATIONS 28
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY WINERIES 30
EDUCATION AND LEGISLATIVE SERVICE 34
WINE INDUSTRY PROBLEMS OF THE 1930 s 37
CENTRAL VALLEY COOPERATIVE WINERY 42
RECENT WINE INDUSTRY TRENDS 47
THE POWERS SCHOOL 48
(For Wines and Grapes see page 54)
The California Wine Industry Oral History Series, a
project of the Regional Oral History Office, was initiated
in 1969, the year noted as the bicentenary of continuous
wine making in this state. It was undertaken through the
action and with the financing of the Wine Advisory Board,
and under the direction of University of California faculty
and staff advisors at Berkeley and Davis.
The purpose of the series is to record and preserve
information on California grape growing and wine making that
has existed only in the memories of wine men. In some cases
their recollections go back to the early years of this
century, before Prohibition. These recollections are of
particular value because the Prohibition period saw the
disruption of not only the industry itself but also the
orderly recording and preservation of records of its
activities. Little has been written about the industry from
late in the last century until Repeal. There is a real
paucity of information on the Prohibition years (1920-1933),
although some wine making did continue under supervision of
the Prohibition Department. The material in this series on
that period, as well as the discussion of the remarkable
development of the wine Industry in subsequent years (as
yet treated analytically in few writings) will be of aid to
historians. Of particular value is the fact that frequently
several individuals have discussed the same subjects and
events or expressed opinions on the same ideas, each from
his own point of view.
Research underlying the interviews has been conducted
principally in the University libraries at Berkeley and
Davis, the California State Library, and in the library of
the Wine Institute, which has made its collection of in
many cases unique materials readily available for the
Three master Indices for the entire series are being
prepared, one of general subjects, one of wines, one of
grapes by variety. These will be available to researchers
at the conclusion of the series in the Regional Oral History
Office and at the library of the Wine Institute.
The Regional Oral History Office was established to
tape record autobiographical interviews with persons who
have contributed significantly to recent California history,
The office is headed by Willa K. Baum and is under the
administrative supervision of James D. Hart, the Director
of The Bancroft Library.
California Wine Industry
Oral History Series
1 March 1971
Regional Oral History Office
^86 The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Mr. Powers interview contains many revealing details of agriculture
and viticulture in the Fresno area, of grape shipping during Prohibition,
of the organization of the California Vineyardists Association, and of the
history of the Mt. Tivy Winery. Some, but certainly not all, of the
conflicts that arose in the California Wine Association, Fruit Industries,
Ltd., the California Vineyardists Association, and the Central Valley
Cooperative Winery are touched upon.
There are some interesting sidelights. Was Mr. Powers recognition
in 1934 the first post-Prohibition idea that temperature control for
making table wines was necessary in the San Joaquin Valley? He was right,
of course, that quality in dessert wines was important to the future of the
industry. Too bad the quality route was not tried; that it was not is
possibly due to the fifteen to twenty tons per acre production that Mr.
Powers mentions elsewhere in the interview.
It is unfortunate too that Powers interview was not available to the
California wine industry in 1935. He tells us that already in that year
he could see the dominance of table wines coming- -this at a time when 75
per cent of the sales were in dessert wines I
The manipulation of grapes and brandy for legal profit is fully outlined.
The history of the Sweet Wine Producers Association is clearly delineated.
What is new is Powers relation to the early power struggle in Washington
involving the beer-whiskey-wine complex.
The arguments over the prorate are interesting but now largely forgotten.
The same is true of the details of Schenley s and Heublein s interest in
wines and brandies. The run-down on the history of the Fresno wineries is
also interesting. But on one point modern economic thinking varies from the
view Mr. Powers expressed when he said, "Of course, the rise and fall of
prices more or less should be borne, I feel, by the grower."
Perhaps more pertinent today is Mr. Powers conclusion from experience
that when any phase of the California agricultural industry becomes profit
able it soon becomes overloaded. That conclusion may offer some warning
to the present California grape industry.
One can find very few statements in the interview requiring correction:
Malaga is a table grape; the University, state colleges and junior colleges
were not "hired" to help the industrythey did their work because it was,
and is, their job.
Maynard A. Amerine
Professor, Viticulture and Enology
10 March 1974
101 Wickson Hall
University of California at Davis
Lucius Powers, a member of a prominent pioneer California family, was
born in Fresno on July 25, 1901. He has lived in the Fresno area, where
his father acquired extensive agricultural holdings, ever since, except
for a few years in the late 1930 "s. His career has been divided among
a number of related and sometimes overlapping interests: the practice of
law, fruit growing and shipping, winery operation, business management and
Mr. Powers attended the University of California at Berkeley and
graduated from Boalt Hall in 1926. From 1931 through 1934 he served in the
State Assembly. In 1933, shortly before the repeal of the Eighteenth
Amendment became effective, Mr. Powers organized in behalf of his father
the Mt. Tivy Winery. This marked the beginning of nearly two decades of
activities in the wine industry. He was active in the Wine Institute; in
1935, for example, he was serving on eight of its sixteen committees.
The interview was conducted in Fresno. There was a preliminary dis
cussion on May 19, 1969. The first session was held on May 20, 1969, in
Mr. Powers office in the Guarantee Savings (previously Mattel) Building.
The second session was held on January 20, 1972, in the Helm Building where
Mr. Powers had moved his office.
Mr. Powers was an interested and cooperative interviewee, although ho
was at times impatient with his own lack of memory of details of past events.
The transcript of the first part of the interview was sent to him on
December 20, 1971, to review before the second session. He made a number
of minor revisions and returned it to the interviewer the following spring.
The whole interview was then edited by the interviewer to improve continuity
and delete some repetitions, and sent to Mr. Powers on November 7, 1973.
He returned it with further minor revisions on December 28, 1973. Editing
was completed following clarification of several points in the interview
Inter viewer -Edit or
22 March 1974
486 The Bancroft Library
University of California at Berkeley
(Interview #1 - May 20, 1969)
Teiser: When we were having a preliminary discussion of this interview
yesterday, you mentioned that you had acted as attorney for
the California Vineyardists Association.
Powers: Yes, as counsel, doing collecting, one thing and another.*
It s interesting how these farm programs develop from one
stage into another. I ve seen so much that is helpful out
of it all, but growers are peculiar people. They re not too
well educated about economics and causes that enter into
economic results. But, peculiarly, you always come back to
the old axiom of supply and demand.
Teiser: Your family is an old one in California, I believe.
Powers: Yes. My grandfather was Aaron Powers- -sailed around the Horn
with his brother Lucius on the sailing vessel named the
Teiser: Is he in that picture you have of Sacramento pioneers, Aaron
Powers: Yes. And we have quite a bit there in the Bancroft Library.
My cousin, Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, did quite a bit of work
on our family history.
Teiser: Didn t she edit that book on--
*For further discussion of the California Vineyardists
Association, see pp. 11-12.
Powers: On Grunsky, the father. It s a lovely thing.* She sold me
a copy. My good friend Cort Majors** was very happy with that.
Of course we played football together at Berkeley. The great
days of Andy Smith. In 1920 I played center on the freshman
team against Cort. The freshman team had to help train the
varsity, so we all became well acquainted.
I then played at center in my sophomore year in 1921. I
never got my letter because I didn t play enough minutes in
the games combined in each season. By the end of my sophomore
year I was substitute, or runner-up, to George Latham who was
also team captain. 1921 was his last year. But anyway I
wanted to improve upon my speed and agility, and I had hammer-
toes on both feet then. So I had a very serious operation on
both feet. After this operation I thought I d be back in the
line in just a couple of months, but did not realize it d be
more like two years. So in my junior year I just practiced
with the team. I couldn t play. 1923 was my senior year with
the varsity. Cort Majors was captain of the first Wonder Team
in 1920, a very outstanding person.
Teiser: Well, you have a good deal of association with the University.***
And of course the early history of the state.
Powers: Oh, yes. The two Power brothers, Aaron Hubbard who was my
grandfather and Lucius who was my grand-uncle, arrived July 6,
1849, in San Francisco harbor. I have the letters of my
grandfather. He was in San Francisco for a while and was
sworn in as a deputy constable, way back in about 1859. The
first letters that I have were written while he lived in
Redwood City and Wood side. He helped log the redwoods and
floated the trees and cut fir trees and made the poles for the
first telegraph line, the continental telegraph line. They
also floated the logs in rafts up to San Francisco to provide
the piling for the wharves. And he addskind of cute--in a
letter to his mother and father back in New Hampshire, "I have
my oxen, a team of oxen I haul with. They are very slow but
*Stockton Boyhood. Being the Reminiscences of Carl ISwaUl
Grunsky. Berkeley: Friends of the Bancroft Library; 1947,
**01in Cortis Majors
***See also pp. 34-35.
Powers: they do a wonderful job." They were the tractors of our
pioneer fathers. Now, as to the horses, he said, "I anticipate
the horses might be stolen at any time." And in another
letter he described how the early settlers caught some horse
thieves and hung them on the spot, and all that sort of thing
[laughs]. He said, "Now, as to the oxen, I just allow them
to graze loose, and I will go to sleep maybe under a tree,
and the next morning they are just browsing nearby."
He subsequently married my grandmother, Lilian Sweasey.
She came across the plains with William Sweasey, who was her
father. He organized and led a wagon train from New Harmony,
Indiana. He developed Eureka, and he owned sailing vessels
that came from Eureka to San Francisco. He was quite a person.
And there was a brother, Tom Sweasey. They also had a stage
line; they ran that too.
They had a ranch at Woodside and that s where my grand
father Powers met Miss Lilian Sweasey, and they were married.
The Sweaseys had a large family. I think there were nine
children altogether. Anyway, there was a big lawsuit over the
land titles. It was one of those Mexican land title deals,
and the whole dispute went to court, and unfortunately or
otherwise they lost.
Many families in the Woodside district, south of San
Francisco, lost out, because they all had a common title
because of the Mexican land grants, which were usually on
This was in the early 50s, I think, when this was
announced. They [the William Sweasey family] just packed up
all their belongings and organized a second wagon train and
went north to Eureka, and helped settle that area. It was
the first wagon train that ever came into Eureka. It was
over a very rugged terrain, you know, going north by the coast
route, across the Eel River which was very precipitous and
dangerous. It was a very difficult undertaking because all of
that country was so very rugged and so many streams had to be
At first he was in the dairy and timber business and very
active. Later he organized his own steamship line which went
to San Francisico. He was a representative in the state
legislature. He was also elected as delegate to the state
Powers: constitutional convention, where he took a very active part.*
The Powers family sold out near Redwood City. They next
had a farm in Calaveras County, and my grandfather s brother
Lucius then went into the liquor business there. Grandfather,
Aaron Hubbard Powers, went into the general grocery business,
and that s where the family lived for a good portion of the
time when the children were young and the family coming of
age. Later my Aunt Kate [Martha Kate Powers] married Mr. Ewald
Grunsky, who was the first graduate of the Stockton High
Schoolas it is all set up there in Cousin Clotilde s book.
He and his brother, having finished high school, took a steamer
and went across the Isthmus and back to Germany and to college
at Stuttgart, and he graduated with honors there as a civil
engineer. And in his duties as state engineer he mapped all
of the streams flowing into the San Joaquin and Kings rivers
and many other streams in California. He prepared some very
excellent field notes as to what water rights landowners had
and how much water each of them took for the irrigation of
their respective lands.
In all of this study he saw some real good property that
he liked so well on the Kings River at Centerville, near
Fresno, so he bought it. This was about 1880. He held it
several years and then sold it to the family. Of course they
had always told him if he saw some good property to let them know,
which he did, so that was the way the Aaron Powers family came
to move to the Kings River at Centerville in 1885. We have
owned this property ever since.
THE POWERS RANCH
Powers: The property had several water rights from several streams.
Teiser: How large a parcel is it?
Powers: Over 450 acres. It was excellent land. There were some of
*According to the 1909 California Blue Book or State Roster,
William J. Sweasey was elected to the fifth session of the
California State legislature from San Francisco, and in 1878-1879
was a member of the second state constitutional convention.
Powers: the first oranges and persinmons in the U.S.A. on the property
when they bought it. It was one of the three persimmon
plantings made by the federal government in California about
1875. They had one planting in Orange County, near Santa Ana,
and ours and another at Cottonwood near Mount Shasta. The
Department of Agriculture wanted to know how persimmons would
grow and do in America. And they had some 60-odd different
varieties on each ten-acre plot.
Teiser: Any left there now?
Powers: The last of the original 1875 trees were just pulled out last
year. They usually have a life-span of 40 or 50 years.
Teiser: Have you planted more?
Powers: Oh yes, we have 26 acres. We are noted for persimmons. I ve
done quite a little work with persimmons. I believe the frozen
persimmon puree has great possibilities. The persimmon is one
of the most wonderful fruits that we grow. The American public
doesn t know anything about them. The cultivated persimmon is
oriental. Actually it started in China and migrated to Japan,
and, oh, there may be as many as 100 different varieties of
persimmons. They re an alkaline fruit and very high in
enzymes which are a great aid to digestion. They are three
or four times stronger than Alka-seltzer or any of these other
so-called antacid palliatives. Most varieties of persimmon
must first be allowed to become very soft before they are
sweet and delicious to eat.
Teiser: Have you actually frozen the puree?
Powers: Oh yes, and I have some in storage. I ve been experimenting
with this and working with the University of California. Dr.
M.A. Joslyn, who is a great wine man (I first met him in
connection with the wine industry), is also a great expert on
persimmons. The enzymes in the persimmon are what do the
trick. There are two main varieties, the astringent and the
non-astringent; and the astringent are the most common, and
the non-astringent you can eat just like an apple. And on
my trip to Europe in "66, I found that Italy, which I knew
was already a very big producer of persimmons, that their type
is all concentrated on that non-astringent type, and all the
fancy restaurants carried them. It s a beautiful persimmon
and you can eat it just like an apple.
Teiser: Do you also grow grapes on this property?
Powers: Oh yes, grapes have actually been our main crop, but the grape
industry has been so sicknothing but red ink and poor prices--
I pulled out a big portion of my grapes. I still have around
24 acres, which isn t much. It s just more or less to say
that we re still vineyardists.
Teiser: When was that that you pulled them out?
Powers: Let s see, six years ago, 1963. After the set-aside. The
growers voted that out.*
Teiser: Your father was interested in grape growing?
Powers: Yes. As a matter of fact, though, he got-- See, we had these
orange trees on our ranch. We had three varieties there. We
had what s known as the sweet orangeMediterranean sweet--it
belongs to the Valencia side of the family. It has many seeds,
came in from Florida. All the early settlers would carry
these Mediterranean sweet seeds just like Johnny Appleseed in
their vest pockets. As you go through the Mother Lode country,
you ll find orange trees, and they ll be Mediterranean sweet,
growing by a creek. And if you look around , you ll probably
find an old chimney, and there had been a home.
Teiser: Angel s Camp has a lot of them.
Powers: That s right. Well, again, this is Mediterranean sweet; we
had about three acres on this original planting. There s
about seven or eight orange groves that were planted in the
early 50s there in that Centerville area.
The most popular orange variety is the navel orange. In
the experimental persimmon plot of 1875, every other tree was
a navel orange.
Teiser: Were there grapes when you came there too?
Powers: My father had those. Principally Muscat variety, which was
planted for raisins. This was just before the Thompson Seedless
variety was coming into popularity because ic was seedless.
*For further discussion of the set-aside, see pp. 27 and 47.
Teiser: Were there grapes on the property when your family bought it?
Powers: Yes. About 120 acres of Muscat grapes. Later father planted
20 acres of Feher Szagos and some 40 acres of Emperor table
My grandfather was very active in the early days of Sun
Maid Raisin Association, when it was led by [M.] Theodore
Kearney, an Englishman who was a great pioneer. He planted
Kearney Park. Later he donated it to the University. He
planned this as a site for a branch of the University. And
of course, they re kicking themselves today that they didn t
develop it.* But you know hindsight oftentimes--
Our ranch was 15 miles from Fresno. In those early
days everything had to be hauled by wagon. Of course the
power was horses and mules. It took 60 head to run our ranch
there in those early days. And of course they also had a
My father was quite ingenious. As I say, we had one of
the original orange groves. In that orange grove were grape
fruit with a lot of seeds, and grapefruit seeds were used to
root stock; you would graft lemons and navel oranges on them.
So he got into the citrus nursery business, and he planted
over 100 acres of citrus nursery [stock]. And it was rather
ingenious the way he handled it. He d lease the land, two
to five acres, to Japanese, and they would build a little
house and live right on it there, on the property. And father
would loan them money to buy seed, and let them have their rent
and one thing and another. And then when, in the second year,
the trees were ready to be sold, my father would sell them
for them. A hundred acres of orange trees will producewell,
it s unbelievable- -anywhere from 7,000 to 14,000 trees to the
We also had walnuts, figs, apples, pomegranates and
everything else on the property. He believed in diversification,
Teiser: What kind of grapes did he plant?
Powers: Thompson Seedless, Alicante, Malaga; and then also Feher Szagos
and Emperors, as I say.
*It was sold.
Teiser: Did any go into wine?
Powers: Yes, Muscats and Alicante and Feher Szagos were popular wine
varieties which went to the winery.
Teiser: Did he make any wine himself?
Powers: No, father did not. With the orange deal he moved into fruit
shipping. From 1910 to 1932 he was one of the biggest fresh
grape packers in the Sanger district and could move about
500 carloads a year. He had three packing sheds all within
a radius of five miles.
He was very active working with Donald Conn as a grape
shipper. Now those were carload shipments that went on the
fruit auctions in all the big cities in the East, New York,
Boston, Chicago and Pittsburgh
Most of his citrus nursery stock was shipped to Southern
California, and some went to Tulare County. He played an
important part in developing the citrus industry of Southern
California. Because with that many trees, h2 was like a
manufacturer. He would sell them to the big nurseries in
Southern California, and they, in turn, would sell to the
This brought him into both the fruit shipping business
and banking, and so he had two banks in Sanger and then
came to Fresno, and he was manager of the Growers Bank here
and helped put that bank on its feet.
Teiser: He was a versatile man.
Powers: Yes, he was a hard worker. And he just loved to work and
was very successful.
He had several thousand acres of grapes, in the Sanger-
Clotho, Dinuba and Strathmore districts. In addition to
this, he bought other properties.
When I graduated from Boalt Hall, after taking the bar
examinations in September and October 1927, I went East and
spent two months covering all the big fruit auctions,
watching the sales of fresh grapes and tree fruits.
Powers Packing Sheds
Teiser: Was this during Prohibition?
Powers: This was all during Prohibition. That s right. Wine grapes
were sold in Kearny in New Jersey at the freight yards there
across the Hudson River from New York. But the table grapes
would be unloaded from the car and put on u lighter or a
barge and taken to piers #23, #24 and certain other designated
piers in New York City, where they were displayed, catalogued
and sold in different auctions. Of course, this was the
biggest fruit sale center in America. It had four auctions.
And that s the way the grapes were sold. The buyers would go
down and they d have the catalogue and they d first inspect
the fruit displayed on the piers, and then they d go back
and bid on the fruit which they wanted.
Teiser: They bought by the carload?
Powers: Yes, by carloads. Many times a car would then be closed and
trans-shipped to Boston or to other cities. It all depended
on what the market demand would be.
Teiser: We ve been told that some of the wine grapes were crushed
right at the yards.
Powers: Well, that could have- been. That could have been. They also
had a small freight yard in New York City .just outside the
central part. But of course they had these same sales of
wine grapes in Pittsburgh, which was quite a center, and Chicago
and Detroit, Boston, and Philadelphia.
Teiser: Were you aware of any amount of those grapes going into
organized crime groups hands?
Powers: Not intentionally, no. If it was, it wasn t anything that
anyone knew anything about.
Teiser: So far as you knew, they were going to people who were going
to make their legal allotment?
Powers: Well, we knew this, that a lot of those grapes were being
crushed and sold, and we presumed it was in a legal manner
because we had no knowledge otherwise.
Teiser: This was at a time when there was a very good market--
which then fell off, didn t it?
Powers: Well, the market didn t fall off, we just overproduced. And
this is typical of what goes on--I won t just say in the
grape industry, but all through every phase of our agriculture,
where, as I pointed out to you yesterday, I don t care whether
its almonds or oranges or what, as soon as you make it
profitable, why, before you know it, the industry is just
Teiser: What varieties were you shipping as wine grapes during
Powers: Well, Alicante was one of the very important ones. It s a red
grape and it makes a red wine. And of course the Muscat,
also, was another very important grape. And then of course
we had all the other varieties, Barbera, and Zinfandel.
Zinfandel was another very popular grape.
Teiser: Did they all ship well?
Powers: Oh, yes. And Zinfandel is a Light bunch, very like a cluster,
always, and of course, as I say, they ship well. And the
Alicantes ship well. Then Muscats, and then also some Malagas;
that s a wine grape for a white wine. And of course they had
some of the wine grapes like the Golden Chasselas and Burgers.
And then, of course, some of the very fine Chardonnay and
all--but those we never knew anything about.
The old vineyards that had, you know, excellent plantings,
more or less turned out sacramental wines before Repeal.
There was a very big business in sacramental wines for the
Jewish and the Catholic churches, especially.
Teiser: Were there people in this area producing for those...?
Powers: No, that was done further north, all around the Napa and
Sonoma country, and one vineyard or two around Livermore.
And there was one in Mission San Jose. As I say, these few
carried on. There was one plant in Madera where Mr. [K. ]
Arakelian made some sacramental wine too.
And then Andrew Mattei had one of the largest wine and
brandy plants in our area. He was a winemaker and a very
close friend, and he was part of our group in our co-op
that organized the Central Valley [Cooperative Winery, Inc.],
Teiser: Where did he make his wines?
Powers: Well, they had their own big plant about six or seven miles
southeast of Fresno. And this office building, the Mattei
Building, was one of the very finest buildings in Fresno. It
had its own electrical system, its own water system, and
everything needed. You should have seen my office. It was
up on the llth floor for over 20 years. And of course, we
loved it. It was all finished in Philippine mahogany.
THE CALIFORNIA VINEYARDISTS ASSOCIATION
Teiser: How did your father happen to get interested in the California
Powers: Well, father believed in seeing the grape industry organized.
It was the only way we could do things successfully. Everyone
in the industry had to work together and unite to be successful.
Teiser: Did Mr. Donald D. Conn then come to him?
Powers: Yes. Mr. Conn called this group, and father, together. And
father was very much sold on Mr. Conn. We all liked him.
He had a very nice personality.
Teiser: What was he like?
Powers: He was a big man, big man with a fine personality, and he had
a lot of public relations experience, and of course this was
what was required in getting people together, because it s
awful easy for people to become divided. It takes a real
personality to bring people together, don t you know.
Teiser: Some people said that his attempts to organize were immediately
directed by Mr. Hoover.* Were you aware of any such connection?
Powers: No, I never had any knowledge of such a rumor. Of course,
we saw Mr. Hoover and all.
Teiser: How did you happen to see him?
Powers: You see, Mr. Hoover was concerned about the farm program, and
we ve had farm problems from time immemorial, and Mr. Hoover
himself owned several large properties 2,000 to 3,000 acres.
*Herbert Clark Hoover
Powers: He had a large holding down in the Kern district, the
Bakersfield area around Delano, somewhere there near the
Di Giorgio properties, and then had another large holding
at Minturn, which is just north of the town of Chowchilla.
And his son, Allan Hoover I believe it was, farmed in Madera
County. The Hoover Farms. And of course we appreciated
seeing him give us some leadership.
Teiser: And this was all during the 20 s?
Powers: Yes, but in the late 20 s.
Teiser: During the time the California Vineyardists Association was
Powers: That s right. And it was organized to help stabilize the
program of selling and handling and distributing our products.
Teiser: Did it succeed?
Powers: It was rather successful at first, but time caught up with
us, and as I say, we had some very good years, and then things
began to drift apart. Can t say just what broke it up at
this point; I wasn t active. I was pretty young at that time.
Teiser: I ve been told that Fruit Industries Inc. developed from the
organization. Does that sound familiar to you?
Powers: That s right. They took over some of the functions and
expanded. That was another phase of it, and that was the
property ownership. In other words, growers and shippers
would work with Mr. Conn as part of the organization, and
then out of that certain segments bought and owned their
own properties, and out of that came the wine group that
Teiser: Fruit Industries?
Powers: Fruit Industries, yes.
Teiser: Do you know Walter Taylor?
Powers: Oh yes.
Teiser: He was active both in the California Vineyardists and then
in the Fruit Industries, was he not?
Powers: That s right. And then of course that very beloved person,
Mr. [Almond R.] Morrow. Everybody loved him. And a wonderful
leader, very fine person, from the standpoint of working with
the industry and giving considered outstanding advice and
Teiser: But they went their way, the Fruit Industries people, and you
Powers: They were primarily interested in wine.
Teiser: And you were still grape people?
Powers: Table grapes, yes.
Teiser: And some wine grapes?
Powers: And some wine grapes, that s right.
Teiser: So it was not really until Repeal that your family interests
turned to wine?
Powers: That s right. That s when we started.
Teiser: You told yesterdayand would you again today for the tape-
about your father s association with the Traungs?
Powers: Yes, Louis Traung and Charlie Traung.
Teiser: You remember them yourself?
Powers: Oh, very definitely. Yes, I came to know them quite well
because they were very generous and invited me to their duck
club in the 1920 s when I was in college, and so once or
twice a year, I enjoyed shooting ducks with them, and you
know, got quite well acquainted with them. And they were
just outstanding people.
Father had purchased a half section of land, and he
developed and planted it as vineyard. This was around 1918
near Sanger, on .Belmont Avenue. This turned into a very
profitable project because grapes in World War I were very
profitable. Also had some peaches that r.hey planted. But
anyway, then, after World War I, conditions continued to get
worse and worse and they wanted to sell the property, and
anyway they still carried it on and even lost money with it,
but then along came Repeal and they [the Traungs] were very
much interested and saw a great future in the wine industry
and very glad to join with my father, buying a half interest
in the Belmont property.
How did your father happen to know the Traung brothers? They
were San Francisco label suppliers, lithographers.
Yes, but you see, they had come down to Fresno to sell the
Oh, box labels.
Labels for boxes, that s right. And then he, Charlie Traung,
was an Elk and a Mason, and they became very close friends.
Father was one of their big customers in those days.
What brands did he ship under?
Mt . Tivy was his main label.
MT. TIVY* WINERY
Powers: That was the reason we used the same label for the new
winery, you see.
In the spring of 1933, my father asked me to look into
a winery. And I found this plant over near Parlier, just
between Parlier and Reed ley, on the S.P. and Santa Fe. Both
lines crossed right there at the property, where they had
over 3,600 feet of trackage on the two railroads. And we
bought it for virtually nothing. In the early days, the
Samuels owned the property. They were living in San Francisco.
The property had been standing still, so to speak. I liked
its location, and it was a very natural winery site.
Teiser: You said "Mt. Tivy" was named after a mountain?
Powers: It s right where the Kings River emerges from the mountains.
And then there s a little valley right next to it called
Tivy Valley. Father always enjoyed it.
Teiser: In 1933 I would have thought there would have been much
competition for purchase of winery properties.
*Sometimes spelled Mount Tivy
Well, it takes people a while to shake the dust off and look
around. It all sounds very simple, but to go into a business
that is absolutely foreign to you. And then, you see, there
were about two generations of people that came and went during
Prohibition. Let s see, when did Prohibition come?
1918. There was a period there, 15 years. It seemed longer
than that to me [laughs], but 1918 to 1933, a period of 15
years. . .
Was there much bootlegging around here of wine?
No. Very little. You see, the problem of bootlegging with
wine is difficult, because it s so much easier to bootleg
alcohol, which is a very small package, compared. But if
you had to get a wine barrel out, immediately it s quite
obvious. Whereas alcohol is the main thing, and bathtub gin
was the main thing that was distributed. Of course, we knew
that anybody could get a permit to make 200 gallons of wine
legally, so we had a presumption that that was... in your big
cities something that had been worked out and didn t bother
to look into what was going on. But of course as you look
back on the record now, this man Al Capone was one of the
richest men in the United States. This I never knew. I only
learned this a couple of months ago.
I have been told that there were people In California involved
Oh there would be, no doubt,
was just fantastic.
I mean, the extent of his operation
In any case, when commercial wine making became legal again,
you bought a winery.
Yes, as I say, I bought it from the Paul Samuel estate, and
the widow was still living in San Francisco and she was so
happy to sell it. And I couldn t believe we were getting
all this trackage and 40 acres of land. It was laid out, as
I say, in an excellent area because it s right in the center
of the entire grape industry and of course, you sec, in those
early days they didn t know what trucks were. Everything had
to go by horse and wagon. Well, a horse and wagon--how far
are you going to haul grapes with a horse and wagon? And if
Powers: they had to go 20 miles or so, they were loaded on a freight
car. So therefore the railroad trackage in the early days
was a must.
Teiser: Was there any equipment in the winery?
Powers: No. There was a boiler there and a chimney, and everything
else had been taken. You know how people will take things.
Teiser: What was the history of the winery as you know it?
Powers: Well, the Samuels were essentially a brandy producer. They
did a tremendous business in brandy. It was called the
Samuels Winery. Sanford Samuel was in the liquor business
in New York City and we sold him a quarter of a million
gallons of brandy in the first year. And of course, this
started us off with a bang, and so we had basically a big
brandy operation right from the beginning.
Teiser: Was Paul Samuel the earlier owner and Sanford Samuel his son?
Interesting, I looked up, tried to find some old files,
and I found an agreement between Mt. Tivy and my mother. My
mother wanted to get out of the wine business. We had to
borrow as much as a half million dollars, you know, for our
annual grape crush. Well, she hadn t been accustomed to
anything like this, and father had always handled the banking,
so she was unacquainted with this altogether. Of course
with father, this was old shoe. He would borrow money from
the banks and loan it out to good people and make 2 per cent
or 3 per cent profit, you know.
Teiser: So she sold soon after your father s death?
We started the winery up in August of 33. And you
mentioned the stills. The old Parlier winery, which was just
two miles away, had stills. So we bought their stills, and
we had to add a lot more equipment to them. They were
Teiser: Who had owned the Parlier winery?
From California Wine and Spirits Review
Lucius Powers, Sr.
Lucius Powers, Sr., 61, head of the Mt.
Tivy Winery at Lacjac, Fresno County,
and a pioneer San Joaquin Valley vine-
yardisl and fruit packer, died in a Fresno
sanitariuin December At\i a few hours
after he was injured in an automobile
Powers, the father of Assemblyman
Lucius Powers, Jr., of Fresno, settled
with his father, the late Aaron Hr.bbard
Powers, at Ccntcrvillc, Fresno CYunty,
when he was 15 years old. and wi h In-
father extended the family holdings to
several hundred acres of vineyard and
orchard land. For years he ha s been a
dominant figure in the valley fruit indus
\Yilli probable repeal, I owers acc|in re<l
the Mt Tivy Winery and bcuaii produc
tion on a lar^e scale. The winery -ip-
erates one of the largest plants for forti
ficalion hrandy in the valley district.
Lucius I owers, Jr., is manager. Another
son. Aaron Powers, manages the vine
yard and orchard property. Powers also
headed i he Powers Fruit Company, fruit
shippers. He also was prominent in "lank-
iiiK and financial circles and look a lead
ing part in civic affairs.
In addition to his sons, his widow and
two daughters, Mary Louise Powers of
I Vesn., and Martha Kate Harrington of
His father, the late Aaron Huhhard
Powers, came lo California hy way of
Cape Hum in 1849 and after mining and
business ventures in Northern California
came to I resno County in 1837 t;i es
tablish the original Powers ranch near
Centerville, Fresno County.
Powers: Well, Mr. .William Parlier (The town of Parlier was named
after him; built Parlier, and a very wonderful person.) and
Mr. William J. Lohman, who was another very fine person.
He was a banker in Parlier. They owned the Parlier bank.
They were the surviving directors, officers, of the old
Parlier Winery. So we bought the stills from them just as
they sat for $10,000. And then we had Krens , Oscar Krenz,
of San Francisco, completely rebuild the stills. We wanted
the very best.
One thing that we demanded was quality, and this was
what we started out with. We were going to make the best
wine and the best brandy. Nobody was going to make anything
any better. And I hired the very best men I could find. I
was very fortunate in getting Mr. Carlo Cetti as our winemaker.
He had been with Italian Swiss Colony at Asti for many many
years. This was during the pre-Prohibition era we call the
"old days." I ve learned things here in this article* I didn t
even know about him [Cetti]. I knew he was one of the very
best, and of course his production was the best. We learned
to appreciate it later because I was able to get as much as
5i to 10j! a gallon more for our wines than the trade because
of our quality. When we started out we had prices of 80^, and
then this market went down to where 60^ was hard to get. And
a lot of people had to sell at 50-55^ because their quality
wasn t there. But you can understand dealing in a wine or
brandy product, you have got to be reliable so they can count
on it, that s all.
But anyway, this agreement here related to the contract
I made with Lohman and Parlier, to buy the equipment. Of
course I had also Mr. Cetti at my elbow; I took him on over
there because, you see, we had to have the scales and all the
other necessary equipment to do a high quality job.
Teiser: Where did you get your cooperage?
Powers: That all came in from San Francisco, and we bought all new
cooperage because cooperage deteriorates. Again in order not
to fool around with anything second-rate, we went ahead and
got the best. And then, as I say, the second year we expanded
*"Parlier Vintner is Growing New Grape Varieties," Fresno Bee,
September 9, 1934.
From Fresno Bee, September 9, 1934
BY M. J. KETES
(Country Life Editor)
The variety and the quality of
wines that can be made in the San
Joaquin Valley have by no means
reached their limit, according to
Carlo Cetti, veteran valley vintner,
who is now the superintendent of
the Mt. Tivey Winery at Las Jac
Last year Cetti, obtained nig
plants at Healdsburg, set twelxv
acres near the winery to the Golden
Shaala variety of vine, which pro
duces a grape for the manufacture
of a dry wine.
"The Idea that dry wines can not
bo produced In the San Joaqui
Pasteurization, also, he says, has
been resorted to in Italy since 1882.
This process, he points out, al.io
has a clarifying effect and removes
substances that would continue to
is the last to which the Mt. Tivey,
Valley in preposterous." .says Otll. , w |,,e | a mihjeclcj. according to Oe
"All that is required is tho proper |||, hn.n a final ofniiiylng mid xtahliz-
rqulpment and cureful attention to ing nffrrl. on the product.
tho exigencies of climate. 1 have Tho Mt. Tivcy Winery produced
made excnilont dry wines in this , loan to 1,000,000,000 gallons cf wine:
valley and plan to do so again." ,| a st season and la planning to in-!
Studies Foreign Vines crease that figure this ye;vr, hav-1
C,ettl also has small planting of ing atarted the crushing season
thej Chianti, Pinonero, Moscato, earl/ in the -week, with a force of
Cafelli, Sargnon, Barbera and Grig- thii y-five workers employed at thci
noHno vaiieties of black grapes, P | r >,t and scores of others
with which he plans to experiment , r picking and hauling grapes from!
when they start bearing. ( > corporation s 23O-acre vineyard I
The Mt. Tivey superintendent and
wine maker obtained his education
in his chosen calling 1 In the Unlver-
,.arby and from other neighboring!
Plans are now afoot. Cetti r-
sity of Milan, Itaty. He was active caled, to build an addhion to il.e
in his profession. for Mveral years winery with a capacity of 1<KX).000
after coming to America at the more gallons
Swiss-Italian Colony in Astl. So- Two Still* Operated
noma County. Two stills will b operated this
In, 1907 he came to the San Joa- season f<jr the manufacture of com-
quin Valley and built the Las Pal- jmerrial *andy. each still having a
mas Winery near Fresno and was
engaged in the wine making in
dustry until prohibition, when he
capacity *f 4,000 proof gallo-is daily.
Last year the plant produced 3.000
brnels of brandy.
went Into the grocery business in Both the Santa "Fe and th^ .iouth-
Fresno. With the repeal of prohibl- ern } :irgflc Railroads have spur
Jon he became connected with the track:! il the plant, one tr;.. i on
Mt. Tivey Winery Corporation, of [each fldi of the main building,
which Lucius Powers, Jr., of Fresno Recently thn <j.iriu>rnti<m flmtti-<l]
is the president, and superintended
tho remodeling of tho old plant,
having hail experience along that
lino before coming to America, his
father having been an architect in
Tines Modern Methods
Cetti ia n firm believer in the
use of modern methods In the
.manufacture of wine. He says the
employment of refrigeration for the
purpose of clarifying and stabilizing
new wino in no new idea and that
it has been in use in Italy and crush^ grape^
other European countries for more mixed with five
than thirty years. Tho chief result nmke f rti
of refrigeration, he says, is that to be as offer
,tho wine does not cloud up or color t|,,, o (ons
I in transit or because of violent j manure
lehangos in temperature, or altitude.. 1
the oon^ructioa oX a ecw h> -o
cooking hou.-ie, with n capacity of
110.000 gallons of wine.
Ccttl points -with pride to tin In
vention of bin
Tivey plant, n
chine for loading barrels on freight
oars, which eliminates th,j back-
brenking manual labor attached to
He Rtso calls the attention of the
visitor to the system through which
own at tho
residue oC the
Is salvaged and
per cent lime to
which lie declarer.
Ive hy Iho ton a. 1 :
From Fresno Bee , "California Country Life"
VALLEY GRAPES FILLING GIANT WINERY VATS
Once again a considerable part of the San J oaquin Valley s huge gpe erop is finding its way to the Valley wineries. Crushing was in full swing
in practically all tin- wineries in the valley during the week, including the Mt. Tivey Winery near Parlier. The pictures, taken at the Mt. Tivey Win
ery l>y Lew Hero, The Uee staff cameraman, show: The barreling department, with A. Paselli (left) and A. DiQuirico ; the two giant brandy stills,
which have a capacity of 8,000 proof gallons a day; workmen unloading grapes from truck onto crusher conveyor; Carlo Cetti, the superintendent of
the^ winery, showing some of his Golden .Shas la vines, which he intends to experiment^ with in the manufacture of white dry wines; the new sherry
cooking house, which lias a capacity of 110,000 gallons, and Lucius Powers, Jr., of Fresno, the president of the Mt. Tivey Winery Corporation.
Powers: some more because we really had a fine operation going. We
were always in the black and always making money. And this
is something the other folks couldn t speak for. To me, there s
just no short-cut. I mean, everybody wants quality, and when
you go to buy something, you want something good.
Our production was in two parts. It was our sweet wines
and sherries that s port and muscat, and of course angelica,
and then we used to make a blend we d call a tokay. And then
our commercial brandy. And we made good muscat brandy--and then
there are two varieties, the neutral grape brandy and the
muscat brandy, and of course in grape brandy, you can t use
any muscat because muscat has such a strong flavor all of its
own. On the other hand, in the early days, muscat brandy
was one of the favorite of all brandies, and we did quite a
little business with muscat brandy, and I personally like it.
It has a character, but it s got to be old. In other words,
a minimum of five years. Because again, the muscat is so
strong, unless it s ameliorated by aging, it detracts from it.
Teiser: There s a mention in this 1934 article that Mr. Cetti said
that dry wines could be made in this area, and he was planting
some Golden Chasselas, which I guess could be used for either
dry or sweet wines, couldn t they?
Powers: Yes, that s right. They make a good table wine, by picking them
before they get too sweet, when they re about 19 sugar. And
of course it will go up to 25, 26 degrees alcohol, but it s
not as palatable then. On the other hand, if you want to make
a sherry out of them, that is all right.
Teiser: Did you make table wines?
Powers: We made some, but not too much in the beginning.
Teiser: Why not?
Powers: Well, it requires a lot of refrigeration and a lot of other
processes. You ve got to have cellars that are cool. You
see, we had our hands full. And we didn t want to make
anything that wasn t tops, and that again is another reason
we didn t go into the table wines. As I say, we had all we
could do to keep up with our demand for our sweet wines. And
we more or less allowed the people up north- -you see, as
you ve been up there, they have caves and hillsides. Of course
Northern California is an entirely different climate. Our
Powers: weather gets so hot here. And until we had better refrigeration
and insulation we were just asking for trouble with table
Teiser: Did you do any wine bottling at Mt. Tivy Winery?
Powers: Not at first. But we did with our brandy. Mr. Cetti s
brandy was in great demand because of excellent quality, and
it was a real pleasure to sell it. And we oottled that under
the Royal Banquet label. And frankly it could have been the
biggest business of all because there was no limit to where
good brandy goes because many people learned to enjoy it.
Again, you ve got different kinds of brandy. There were
brandies that weren t worth pouring out into the sink, they
were so distasteful. But where you have something that s
really lovely and pure, with a lovely flavorand after the
second year, brandy gets rather smooth and enjoyable. Many
places have to use special water and all, but there at Mt.
Tivy we could use the water right out of our wells. You
see, your brandy comes off of the still about 170 proof and
then you add water and caramel coloring. Most of our brandy
was cut then to around 100 proof.
We didn t store the brandy there til later. Later they
enlarged our plant and had, as you know, storage warehouses
for the brandy like Christian Brothers have now* But we
first brought it in barrels into the warehouses here in Fresno
and stored it. That was one of the places, and some were
stored in other towns, always on rail sites and then they
could be reloaded you see. Because most of our brandies would
go to the east coast, the biggest percentage of the production.
We would sell brandy ahead. I sold a half million gallons to a
big drug chain, McKesson-Robbins , which is an international
group, and the same thing on wines. They came and bought ,
about a half million gallons of wine they liked very much,
and they wanted it aged and we held it for them. I made a
trip east in 1935 to help them on their labelling and bottling
Teiser: Did they use their own labels?
Powers: Oh yes, they had their own labels, you see.
Teiser: What were your wine labels?
Powers: Well, as I recall, primarily Mt. Tivy. As I say, we did very
little bottling as such, because this runs into an entirely
*Christian Brothers bought the Mt. Tivy winery in 1945.
From California Grape Grower , December 1.93k
ROYAL BANQUET BRANDY is guaranu-od by us
lo h.ive been nindc only from a fully fermented Musca
tel Grape Wine; to have been distilled in the fall of
1933, properly aged in wood and is bcinj; bottled now
;is it is being sold; contains no artificial flavoring and
it is ... A SURE REPEATER; CONSUMER TESTS
Order Thru Your Jobber
MOUNT TIVY WINERY, INC.
San Francisco: 558 Sacramento St.
Los Angeles: 802 Hollywood Storage Bldg.
From Sacramento Bee, September 1, 1934
Mount Tivey Adds Uu
The storage capacity at tho
Mount Tivey Winery, established
as the old Sanford Winery in 1901
and located at the intersection of
the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific
railroad lines at Parlier and Reed-
ley Avenues near Freano, is being
increased this season from 1,000.000
gallons to 1,500,000 gallons to care
for the greater production of sweet
wines and brandy. Work la pro
gressing rapidly on the construction
of the additional tanks.
M9.MM Gall,...., Form Output.
At present the cooperage com
prise* tbirty-elx tanks, ranging in
size from 3,000 to 42,000 gallons.
There are eighteen fermenting
tank* of 12,000 gallons each. The
1033 production of the Mount Tivey
Winery totaled 740,000 gallons of
win* and 200,000 gallons of com-
irclal fresh grape brandy.
. Two modern stills, with a daily
capacity of 7,000 gallons, distill the
high grade brandies for which
Mount Tivey is famed. A recently
installed . up-to-date refrigeration
| plant treats 7,500 gallons of wine
; every twenty-four hours, while a
i modern sherry, cooker treats 110,-
000 gallons of sherry at a time.
The grape crusher handles 400 tons
ot grumes per dny,
Vineyard Is .Operated.
Tha 1 Mount Tivey Winery, situ
ated in the heart of the muscat
raisin, belt, operates 1,200 acres of
choice vineyards, producing wine,
table . and raisin grapes, and a
1 number of orchards. The Mount
Jtyey brand of packed fruits has
i> . >n favorably known for more
than thirty years. Its 3,600-foot
loading platform on a spur track
can handle seventy cars at a time.
AH equipment is new and modern.
Powers Is President.
Lucius Powers, Jr., is president
trf-the Mount Tivey Winery, while
Charles Traung is vice president
and Louis Strong Is manager. Some
years after the Sanford Winery
was established, it was acquired by
the Lackman and Jacoby Interests,
and became known as the Lac-Jac
Winery. Later the California Wine
Ansoclation controlled It. Powers
and his associates took over the
winery in September, 1933, and
made many improvements.
Tho featured wine brands are
the Mount Tivey and Royal Ban-
Iquet, while the commercial brandy
U marketed under the Two Stripes
name. Large quantities of brandy
! are produced for the fortification .
(of the wines.
Teiser: Did you continue then producing in full scale until you sold
Powers: Yes. My mother, as I say, wanted to sell out. It bothered
her to borrow half a million dollars annually. And, as I
say, even though she had a head for bargains, you know,
[laughs] she just couldn t take it. In the meantime, we d
moved our office to San Francisco and I bought my home in
St. Francis Woods there and raised my family and completely
enjoyed San Francisco, and I dropped out of the wine industry.
Went into the practice of law again, in San Francisco.
Teiser: Who was managing the winery then?
Powers: Well, there was Mr. Fred Vieth. He had come into the
organization as a friend of the Traungs and he was an experienced
accountant. Then there was Mr. Sam Riddell, who was my plant
manager. He was of the old school here and had been in the
industry prior to the Prohibition days. His son James L.
Riddell has the Vie-Del plant now; he s a big operator, one
of the leaders of the entire industry.
They make grape concentrates, do they?
Concentrates and brandy and wines, too. And Mr. Riddell first
started with us at our plant and subsequently went with
Italian Swiss Colony and gained experience there, and then
when they sold out he and Mr. Vieth formed Vie-Del. That s
the way Vie-Del winery developed.
Teiser: So that s where that name came from
I think an earlier name of your Mt. Tivy winery was--
Powers: Well, there s some that called it Lac-Jac, because Lac Jac
Avenue serves the winery. I think at one time it was known
as the Lac-Jac winery.
Teiser: I believe that Lachman & Jacobi, the wine merchants, owned
Powers: Oh, yes. That was what that was from the early days. They
were big wine merchants.
Teiser: After you went to San Francisco and ceased direct operation
of Mt. Tivy, your mother then sold her interest?
Powers: Yes, she sold it to the Traungs in 1937.
Teiser: Did that end the Powers family association with it?
Teiser: Had the Traungs been in it from the beginning?
Powers: Well, father first took title in his name because we had to
put the whole thing together before we had comething to talk
to the Traungs about, you know. They came in, oh, I would say
a couple of months after we acquired the Samuels property.
Teiser: And then they later acquired additional interest when your
mother went out?
Powers: That s right. See, we owned a half interest, father did,
with the Traungs. It was incorporated but basically, as I
say, it was half and half.
Teiser: So the Traungs continued operating until the sale in 1943?
Powers: Yes. And that s when they sold to Seagram s.
Teiser: How did they decide to sell?
Powers: Well, I don t know. This is something I wasn t in on and
have no knowledge about.
Teiser: Did you have any personal interest in it after your mother
sold her interest?
Powers: No. No.
Teiser: And just the Traungs owned it then?
Powers: Yes. Well, there was someone elsecan t recall this man s
name, he s an old-timer... I think another thing that
happened... Charlie Traung died in the meantime and Louie-
was the only one left of the Traung group.
Teiser: What were the years that you were living in San Francisco?
Powers: I guess I first went there in about 1935.
From Fresno Bee, February 5, 1943
Price Not Disclosed As
Another Distillery Enters
Othera J-:.iU-r Ft. 14 - -,,
Oth>r recent California winery
Seals have included purchase t
the. Schenley Distilleries Corpora
Uon of the Roma plants in Freifin.
.~-~, Healdsburg and Manteca, the
Umtrai Winery, Inc., holdings ii,
Jvinssburg and. St. Helena, tH* 1
Orasta Blanca Wina. Company tlv-
^-nore plant, and a part t-.to
U.iomal Grape Products Companj
r"* 4 ^ V"
and a deal was completed 4a
j month in *rtiic the Lj N\ Reauv..!
Inc., firm f J^ew Jrs
Entry of another major eastern
distillery concern into the California
j wins industry was disclosed today
^ith the filing of a document in the
Fresno County recor
showing the Joseph, E. 8<>agiaj:>
Sons, Inc., concern ha*
the Mount Tivy Winery^, Ihjc..,
jerty at Lac Jac 4n, the Reedley dis
The transaction, pending for the
past several weeks, was completed
in New York and the .consideration
has not been .disclosed. A certKi-i
cats of fictitious name, signed- r>y|
James E. Friel, vice president of the I
Seagram corporation, says the plant] Wdings in the El Grove district. "
will continue operations as they ^ *h e National Distillers Prodacti
Mount Tivy. ,. Corporation bought the.- Italur
Owned By Bay Men j?wiss Colony wineries ^.near Fre.?n<!
Louis Traung is president of thv I JfJ 1 t Astl, in the latter part of
Mount Tivy corporation, T" W.
Vieth is vice president and geiwtil
manager, H. H. Kattleman is *ecr-
tary and A. C. McCrary t ron*\irer. | < M"- - na.i^a/ n? t=-t <ieprR.W>ir. ,-.->
All are residents of San Francisco, on TiUare. Avaiue ^eat Fresrjo.
fieadquarters of the Traung Invest
Located 22 miles southwest of
Fresno, the. winery has storage-.ca
pacity for 2,600,000 gallons of wine,
5,000 barrels of brandy, presses foi
450 tons daily, and sherry tanks
with S30.000 gallons capacity. Prod
ucts include botn sweet and dry
Operated Before Prohibition
Originally established as the Lac
lac Winery, the plant was operated
for several years before prohibition.
It was purchased In September,
1933, from the Paul Samuels Estate
by the late Lucius Powers and as
sociates and operations were re
sumed after completion of an ex
tensive remodeling project.
Prior to prohibition, the winery
was operated by the Larkman &
Jaroby wine merchandising concern
of San Frnnclsco, producing about
500,000 pallons of wine and brandy
annually. Lucius Powers, Jr., later
was president 6T the "Mount Tivy
corporation- and In tfofganOMtion
programs the holdings were as-
qaired by the Traun? interest*..
RETURN TO FRESNO
Teiser: When did you come back to Fresno?
Powers: 1939. What had happened, my brothers and sisters were down
here and we had a flood in 37- 38. Our whole ranch was
under water. Consolidated Irrigation District had one of
their big canals that was about 15 feet higher than our
property and it followed along this ridge. Our land
was all underlaid with cobbles and sand and wonderful drainage.
This canal was originally laid on hardpan, but the water
would take a rock and turn it and it would act as a hammer
and just create big caverns in the handpan. And then just
below this, the bottom was sand and cobbles. The irrigation
district went in and broke up all these big caverns and
hardpan, and they thought they were going to make a nice
smooth channel, and when they did, they just had a porous
bottom. And the water would just come out the sides like
springs. This went on for two years, 1937 and 1938, and our
ranch property was just under water for two years.
Teiser: This was the original family property?
Powers: Yes. And so my brother and sister, who were running the
property, threw up their hands and said, "You come and take
it. We don t want any part of it." Well. Mr. Christopher
Bradley was my law associate. We filed this big lawsuit
against the Consolidated Irrigation District and got a judgment
in the lower court. Their geologist who was the head geologist
at Stanford University told the irrigation directors, "You
folks, every year that you have any high water are going to
have lawsuits right back again in your lap. And P.W.A. are
advancing money right now to line canals and you can get it
done for about 5Qi on the dollar." And so they did, and as
a result of that action, that canal is lined with concrete,
and we now have a stable water table. And with all the
water we had this year, for example, we were sitting high and
Teiser: So you came back to take care of that. That was about the time
the prorate was in effect. Did you have any winery interests
at that time?
Powers: No. There was a prorate in 38, and I did a little buying
of grapes and, oh I helped--! got into it because I had
helped Mr. Parlier, who sold us our stills. He had some bad
Powers: frost damage and he couldn t sell his grape crop. So I
bought his whole crop. I went to him and contracted for all
of his tonnage. I paid Mt. Tivy for distilling the brandy,
and Mr. Vieth was tickled to death to get the business, and
then I subsequently sold the brandy for a nice profit. I
offered him [Mr. Parlier] $10 a ton, and he was thrilled to
death. It helped save his neck. [Laughs] So I was doing
this brandy contracting on the side. I d buy the grapes
and contract with a winery to do the distilling, and that s
why I had some association with the California Wineries and
Distilleries. That was actually owned by the Arthur Tarpey
family. This was in 1937 and 38. I contracted with them
and I furnished the barrels and the grapes, and all they did
was the crushing and distilling, you see. Paul Tarpey s
brother Arthur Tarpey had died. Paul was quite active in
the Wine Institute.
It was known locally as the Tarpey Winery. It was one
of the largest layouts here in this whole district. Their
plant is still a big operation, now. National Distillers
bought it and they sold it to Italian Swiss Colony, and
Louis Petri. And Louis Petri has now sold it to Heublein.
Now it works this way: Heublein came in and bought the
plant. I think they wanted a big tax write-off. They made
wine for Allied Grape Growers, which is all one big co-op.
And of course this is where they made their brandy and sweet
wines and later dry wines.
Teiser: Where is the Tarpey winery located?
Powers: It s about eight miles from Fresno.
Teiser: So you did a little work with that group on the prorate?
POST -REPEAL ORGANIZATIONS AND LEGISLATION
Teiser: You spoke of the Sweet Wine Producers Association.
Powers: The Sweet Wine Producers Association was an industry group.
Teiser: When did that come into being?
Powers: Organized in 1933. And we were a very strong organization.
We sent Harry Harbour, our former congressman, to Washington.
Arthur Tarpey was our first president, and then I was in the
chain there, I forget just where. I was also attorney for
the group. We organized, naturally, as a non-profit
association. And it was to bring a uniforminstead of going
out and cutting each other s throats, working together on a
price that we could live with, and more or less trying to
maintain a stable operation. And also we operated for the
benefit of the grower as well because virtually all of us
were growers. As I say, Mr. Arakelian was one of the big
operators, and then Louis Martini down at Kingsburg, who
subsequently sold out and moved up to St. Helena.
Teiser: He was here for quite a few years, wasn t he?
Powers: Kingsburg was where he first started. He had a big modern
plant down at Kingsburg, and he sold out to Schenley* and
they expanded his plant some more, added considerable more
gallonage to it.
Teiser: Was he making sweet wines here?
Powers: Oh yes. Because this was a sweet wine area. The main thing
was to get people who would produce something good.
Teiser: Was he making very good wines?
Powers: Oh yes. He had a good reputation. But he was also active
industry -wise. He was a very fine leader and I admired him
Teiser: Was Mr. A. Setrakian in your association?
Teiser: Did he cooperate in sending Barbour east?
Powers: Yes. That was unanimous. We sent Harry Barbour to Washington
and paid all of his expenses, some seven or eight thousand
dollars. He was a New Yorker originally, and he was our
congressman who had been defeated for re-election. Mr.
Barbour practiced law here with Judge Kellas--he was later
a Superior Court judge in Barbour and Kellas. I was in their
office a few years later. He stood in very high esteem with
both Democrats and Republicans. He was a Republican.
*Later owned by Schenley, the winery was sold by Louis M. Martini
and his associates to Central California Wineries, Inc. in 1940.
See Louis M. Martini, Wine Making in the Napa Valley, an inter
view in this series completed in 1973.
Powers: This was the day when we were drafting the provisions
of the Wine Control Act, and we were in Washington fighting
to keep the whiskey people and the beer people out of our
hair because in the old days, before Prohibition, the
whiskey people and the beer people had a monopoly on every
thing. Both state and federal legislation. You couldn t
operate unless they said yes. And you can understand: they
owned bars, they owned wholesale liquor houses, they were it.
So the wine industry was just little boys in short pants. We
weren t about to see this situation happen again. And so, as
I say, this all started in 33, and we were deeply indebted
to Harry Barbour, because he knew his way around in Washington
as he had handled the War Department appropriation bills for
years as our congressman. Well, you had to be a top man in
Congress to have that responsibility.
Of course, he was well acquainted with the Treasury
Department, and again it s who you know that s very important.
So we were right on the ground floor in drafting the Wine
Control Act. We definitely wanted to have our own wine code,
and this is what we now have.
You see, there was no Wine Institute at that time, I
must remind you. People from the Bay Area came down to
Fresno and wanted us to help them form a state -wide
organization. We said no, we want to help and we will, but
give us just another year to get on our feet because we are,
you might call it, a new organization ourselves. We ve got
a great mixture of races and creeds and we would prefer to
see our own organization successfully established before we
start working on another. We re having a hard time keeping
our group working together as a volunteer organization for
the good of the industry. Arakelian, you know, was accustomed
to working by himself; he was a very capable man, but he was
more of a loner. We made him a vice president, and he had
many good ideas. We wanted to have a substantial part of
the industry with us. So we had [Antonio] Perelli-Minetti
down in Delano, and as I say we had Louis Martini,* and the
Matteis and the Tarpeys, and Sam Harkleroad. He had been the
manager of the Mattei winery and was a very outstanding man
in our area. We had darned near 90 per cent of the industry.
Anyway, the boys around the Bay became very much admirers
of our organizational activities and wanted us to come up and
help them. So at the end of 33, or early 34, Louis Martini
and all of us who were leaders of this group in Fresno went to
San Francisco and we put together the Wine Institute. Everybody
*Louis M. Martini
Powers: was afraid of the boys who had a part of the old California
Wine Association, like Mr. Morrow. Now our boys were afraid
of them because the Wine Association in the early days were
tough opposition, and they didn t want a repeat performance
of that. So, anyway we met with them and we put this thing
together, and of course, we all held important offices in
the Institute.* Mr. Morrow was the head of it. He was a
real fine person. And Jeff Peyser was there. And we had
Mr. Barbour again representing the Institute. And we got
this Wine Control bill drafted on the basis that we wanted.
There were many provisions relative to wine making- -wine
storage, tax payments, that sort of thing.
One of the important things that you may think is
funny, but over east, they made wine using cane sugar, and
we wouldn t have any part of that because we thought it was
so much better to have just straight pure wine.** The eastern
people had been so accustomed to taking sugar, adding it--
this was in order to make sweet wines. But basically, though,
and I could see this coming even in the early days, table
wine was going to outdo the sweet wine industry some day.
Because the peculiar thing--! noticed it even in my own family
when Repeal first came--at first everybody liked the very
sweet wines like muscatel and angelica. Well, it was no time
at all before nobody would touch those wines and they were
interested in a nice port or a sherry, something that wasn t
so sweet, and the trend has continued to go that way on a
large scale, and it s still going. Of course, your natural
wines are so much better for you, from a digestive standpoint.
So then I think it was 35 that President Roosevelt signed
this Wine Control bill, and there was about seven or eight of
us. I had to go east anyway, so I took my wife Geraldine
and--oh yes, I was helping McKesson-Robbins with their bottling.
Anyway, President Roosevelt had us come to the White House
and he signed the bill in our presence. There was Lee Jones
of Shewan-Jones, who had been very active as one of the leaders
up in the Lodi district in the north. And Judge [Marion]
De Vries, an ex -congressman who had been very active as a
representative of the folks up north during all his time
in Congress. And as I say, there were seven or eight of us
who went to the White House.
Teiser: That must have been quite an event.***
*For other accounts of the inception of the Wine Institute,
see other interviews in this series.
**See also p. 40.
***See also pp. 37-40.
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Sweet Wine Producers
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CAUK CIOWIM WIMKRIES
THE SET-ASIDE AND INDUSTRY STABILIZATION
You said before we started taping that the Gallo organization
in itself has been a great-
And strengthening factor?
Oh yes, very definitely. Ernest Gallo s been, what I call,
most forward. And I admire him very much bacause he realizes,
well, first that we ve got to have a quality product. But
he s a man that stays put, and he s not given to histrionics
and all this sort of thing that our friend Setrakian is.
For example, here Ernie had--this is talking out of school,
but it ll just show you the type of person compared with
Setrakian--Setrakian was presiding at our set-aside group
of advisers. It was in September and because the set-aside
had been voted and was in effect, nevertheless a lot of
people did not make raisins because they didn t know how to
look upon it. They figured the money was going to be made
in going to the winery. But anyway, so Mr. Gallo came out
with a $35 price, which was $10 or more than what the market
had been paying.
But at this meeting Mr. Setrakian jumped on Ernie Gallo.
Setrakian was also head of the raisin prorate group, which
operated under a federal marketing order. And they didn t
have a full cropthey didn t have the surplus, put it that
way that they previously had had. And as a result the surplus
went into the wine picture. But we also kept it in balance
with the set-aside. But I thought it was unnecessary on
Setrakian s part to jump on Ernie Gallo. He said, well, if
it hadn t have been for Mr. Gallo and some of these boys that
offered $35 just at the time when they were making raisins,
why, we would have had plenty of raisins mada this year.
Well, Ernie never forgot that because it didn t show any
love on Setrakian s part for someone who had helped him put
this thing over. So Ernie had his chance a year or two later
and he took him on. That was one of the reasons the thing
was voted out. But again, as I say, I blame Setrakian for
not being big enough to try to understand and work together
as an industry, don t you know.*
*See also p. 47.
Teiser: I suppose you always are going to have loners.
Powers: Oh, yes. That s par for the course.
Teiser: However, it seems to me that on the whole, the California
wine industry has--
Powers: They have worked together. And that s one reason I feel the
Institute-- Or you take our local organization. It still
exists, but it isn t the organization it was because the
Institute is covering the field.
Teiser: Your sweet wine organization still does exist?
Powers: Oh yes. But as I say, we only meet if and when there s
Teiser: And that only takes in the immediate Fresno area?
Powers: Well, no, part of the membership goes south, on down as far
as Delano. As I say, I haven t been active, so I don t
know just who s who or what they re doing.
Teiser: Will you go back in the wine industry if there s stability
in it, do you think?
Powers: Well. I want to sell my properties now because I ve reached
that age in life where most people are retiring.
CALIFORNIA WINERIES AND NATIONAL CORPORATIONS
Teiser: There s another general trend that took placeor that has
taken place that I wonder if you couldn t throw some light on.
There was an earlier round of purchases of California
wineries by national companies, then they got out, and now
they re getting back in. Can you explain how that has come
Powers: Well, again, a lot of this depends on the inner workings of
an organization. Now you take Schenley. Schenley, as you
know, is a big hard liquor company, and they re very much
interested in the grape picture, but I hear rumors that
they re anxious to sell.
Teiser: I think it s known that their Roma and Cresta Blanca
properties are up for sale, isn t it?
Teiser: But at one time, for example, Italian Swiss Colony was bought
by a national company...
Powers: It was National Distillers.
Teiser: ...Which then sold it back to local interests. Why did the
companies come in and then sell again at that point?
Powers: Well, I think this, you ve got the situation within a company.
The whole situation of national distribution is a very big
undertaking, and you ve got to have the manpower and the
capital and the outlets and all of that to handle it. And
you can buy up more than you can handle and not have something
that is profitable. Now, Heublein is back today in a very
big way, and Heublein was aggressive right at the beginning
of Repeal. They were in the brandy business, producing
brandy. But I think they lost their shirt. And so here
they arc, how long ago lias this been? Thirty-six years later.
It s only in the last year or so. They came in last year.
They bought a big tomato cannery down in Southern California
to produce this special Bloody Mary drink, don t you know.
And I m toying with a product for them now with
persimmons. The persimmon makes a marvelous drink, that is,
my frozen persimmon, with rum or gin or brandy. It is very
fruity, flavorsome, and ladies like it because you are not
conscious of any alcohol, and most ladies don t like the
taste of alcohol or anything near that. But they can t use
the persimmon unless I can turn the persimmon into just a
clear juice. Now this is a difficult problem because the
persimmon in a puree form is very satisfactory. I can see,
people might complain because it was cloudy but then [laugh]
that plays no part in its taste or anything else. But as I
say, Heublein--! give this as an example of how companies
will go through various changes, in answer to your question.
And I think there are too many problems involved there for
most of them to solve them.
Teiser: Well, maybe they think they can now by better management.
Powers: That s right, and different ideas.
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY WINERIES
Let me ask you just a little bit, if I may, about each of
these other Fresno area wineries on this list of members of
the Central California Wineries, Inc. of the late 1930 s.
There s Bisceglia Brothers.
Yes; they re back in business. They ve been in and out, oh,
the last 36 years. They were originally canners over in
San Jose. That was the first generation. They re dead now.
This is the second generation. They ve got a winery over
here. It was a co-op near Madera, and they ve got a very
nice plant there. They re making wine--this Hawaiian wine-
over there with pineapple juice and one thing and another.
This Bruno Bisceglia, the manager, outspoken manager, he s
Crest View Winery, Inc.?
Yes, Mr. Joe Gazzara was the owner of that, and Joe passed
away.* He just came up the line. He started in a very nice
planl. That s located on one of my father s ranches. Ho
had a packing house there. The packing house is still Lhere.
About four miles this side of Sanger.
Did he build that winery?
No, Mr. [J.B.] Perenchio first built it. Mr. Perenchio
bought the property from my father, and Mr. Perenchio built
it. Mr. Gazzara, though, installed a lot of new equipment
and modernized it. He was very successful.
Fresno Winery, Inc. What was that?
Oh, that isn t in operation now. Mr. Coleman Caine had that.
That s over by the state college. It is on Shaw and Winery
Avenue, which is right adjoining the Fresno State University.**
West of Clovis?
Yes, it s just between Clovis and the state college,
since been dismantled.
*July 9, 1968.
**Later California State University, Fresno.
Teiser: St. George Winery?
Powers: That was one of the very early wineries. Mr. George Malter
owned it and he was a terrific person, very fascinating and
interesting. He was a Viennese and he was an engineer of
great ability. He came down into the San Joaquin Valley
many years ago. He was a very close friend of my father s
and we visited with him a great deal. He married late in
life and had one son, but he never liked the wine business.
And so Mr. Malter sold. He was an elderly man anyway, by
that time Prohibition was voted out and Repeal became
effective. And he sold his interest to Mr. [Beverly W.]
Goldthwaite, who is now deceased. But Mr. Goldthwaite was
a very fine business man and he developed a very fine
business in the St. George Winery.
He likewise acquired the Cameo Vineyards winery from
Mr. Harry Hitzl. And Mr. Hitzl had built the Cameo Winery,
he and his partner had built that up into a fine business,
but they wanted to retire and Mr. Goldthwaite bought them
out, too, and operated that and the St. George Winery. I
don t know what s going on with St. George now. It was one
of the very oldest plants we have here.
Teiser: Was it started by Mr. Malter?
Powers: Yes, he started it. And he planted all the palm trees out
through the place, which was the thing to do in those days.
Teiser: What kind of grapes did he grow?
Powers: He didn t grow any grapes at all. He was just a processor,
brandy and wine.
Teiser: I think I ve asked you about all of them in this area on
this list. Were there any other outstanding wineries
Powers: No, you ve pretty well covered them. There s been a few
new ones. There s the Del Key Co-op; it s operated on a
co-op basis. That s a very nice plant.
Teiser: The co-op system seems to be one that the wineries find
Powers: Yes. Of course the rise and fall of prices more or less
should be borne, I feel, by the grower. And then the grower
Powers: has the potential in his hand by organizing and by showing
good judgment to make it very profitable.* The vintner,
of course, like Gallo--Gallo has developed, of course and
this again is very very important --he has developed a good
merchandising organization. That s where they make their
big money, actually, in the volume and plus the profits
when you deal on a large scale, which they do.
Of course, as I look back on these things now, I was
kind of stupid to pull out of the wine business and not
continue on with it, you know, but I found myself in too
many fields, ranching, law and all, and as a result, these
things can be confusing. I d like to produce some wine
grapes today because the new varieties of wine grapes that
we can grow here, oh, it s like falling out of the window.
It s just that easy because you can grow all the way from
15 to 20 tons an acre, whatever you want. Of course, with
certain varieties you don t want the tonnage so much as the
quality. But most of those varieties are better adapted to
the cooler climates. And you re going to see a tremendous
amount of acreage planted over on the coast because over on
the other side of this coast range, your climate changes
very materially, and your temperatures, you know, are in the
60 "s and 70 "s the year round. The heat here is wonderful
for producing sugar, but when you want a good table wine,
you want the flavor rather than the sugar. And those certain
varieties that demand that, like the Chardonnay and all the
other very fancy varieties, you know you don t get good
tonnages but you get real quality.
Teiser: The wine grapes that you can grow here now that you couldn t
before, were they varieties developed by the University?
Powers: Yes. That s right. Everything would indicate that they re
going to be successful here, but right now it s difficult to
get rootstock and all, because naturally this is the
limiting factor. And as a result they can t produce enough
I get an awful kick out of Europe. Good wines over
there are very scarce in spite of all the grapes they have.
Of course, again, they don t have a climate like ours. As
you probably know if you ve traveled there, they have
*See also pp. 42-44.
Powers: tremendous winters. And the thing that bothers them most
is the fact that just when they re ready for the maturing
period, the last couple of months before the grapes are
finally ripe, is when they have all those darned storms
come whipping through. And that s one reason some seasons,
like the 65 season, there just isn t any production at all
for that season. Well, that s terrible, don t you know,
because here you have the crop and the next week it s gone.
So, as I say, we in California are blessed with this
wonderful climate condition you just don t see anywhere
(Interview #2 - January 20, 1972)
EDUCATION AND LEGISLATIVE SERVICE
Would you tell a little more about your student days at
Well, I enrolled in Berkeley in the fall of 1920.
How many students there then, about?
Just a guess, graduates, and all, it was around ten or
twelve thousand. I was in Kappa Sigma fraternity, and as
I mentioned, I was a good friend of Cort Majors in football,
I also mentioned previously having been more or less
injured, so to speak, by virtue of an operation that I had
at the end of my sophomore year, which necessitated me more
or less sitting it out during my junior year. When I went
back in my senior year, I trained again with the varsity.
Of course by that time Cort Majors had graduated.
Did you have time to study?
Oh, sure. Studies came first because I majored in law, you
see. I was pre-legal. And then after graduation, we just
went right on through with our regular courses through
What year did you get your law degree?
1926. Six years.
Have you been active in the Alumni Association?
Powers: Not too much. We re at a disadvantage here in the Valley.
I ve helped organize a fraternity at Fresno State. We had
a chapter here, the original fraternity, but it just kind
of petered out, so to speak, after about eight or ten years,
which is unfortunate. In Berkeley, I was active in Skull
and Keys and also the other honor society.
Did you enjoy going to college?
Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Tremendously, as you might well suspect.
Did you come back to Fresno reluctantly, then?
Oh, yes. But that s what you have to expect, don t you know.
I always enjoyed Fresno.
When were you in the legislature?
I went to the legislature in the days of Jatnes Rolph. His
son and I were very close friends in college. Paul Jordan
was also a very close friend of Mr. Rolph and myself. And
Arthur Carlson; he was state president of the Republican
party organization. He unfortunately died, I guess it must
be about ten years ago. Mr. Jordan was one of the trial
lawyers in San Francisco.
Teiser: What years did you serve in the legislature?
Powers: I was elected in 30, but then your term actually starts the
1st of January, so it was 31, 32, 33, and then 34.
Teiser: You were a very young legislator, weren t you?
Powers: Well, as legislators go. We had many younger than myself.
Ray Robinson from Merced, who is very outstanding. He and
I were very good friends. He was a couple of years younger
than I am. He s still alive, but his health is bad. I ve
always been indebted to him, because he and his dear wife
introduced me to my wife.* She was Judge [E.M] Rector s
daughter. A pioneer family, the Rector family. He was a
very fine Superior Court judge, with forty years on the bench.
*Born Geraldine Rector.
Powers: The Rector family were early pioneers in Merced. They
settled before there was any town of Merced, on the river,
which was to be expected, don t you know, in pioneer times.
Teiser: What was the immediate cause of your standing for the
Powers: Well, I was interested in politics. My father was likewise
very much interested in politics. Public service is some
thing that appeals to me.
My father was killed three days before Repeal. This
man ran into him. My father was coming back from the winery,
and I had gone to Sacramento to attend a State Board of
Equalization meeting. So he was driving his car, a Cadillac.
He was about six miles, mid -way between Fowler and Fresno,
on the main highway, and it looked like this car in front of
him was going to be hit by this oncoming car. So he put on
his brakes and was virtually dead still in the road. And
this man yanked his wheel very viciously to the right and
went off onto the railroad right of way. There was no fence.
And this man just came back and caught my father dead still
there in the road. Then his car turned over and his car
started to burn, and this other man, who turned out to be a
druggist from Orange Cove, who was in the front car, came
back and he and my father--my father gets out and helps
take this man out of the burning car. Which is something he
never should have done, because he had punctured his arteries,
and he bled to death. Anyway, he got this man out, and his
brothers took my father in to the emergency hospital and saw
it was a serious case, and moved him to the community hospital,
I got home and got this message, and I dashed to the
hospital. All he was doing was breathing his last. He
never became conscious.
Teiser: That was 1933?
Powers: Yes, 1933.
Teiser: He lived to see you in the legislature.
Powers: Oh yes. He greatly enjoyed it. He attended the legislature,
and we had grand balls and social events. Of course he was
quite an admirer of James Rolph.
Then you were in the legislature just at the time of
Repeal. Were you active at all in any wine legislation?
Well, there wasn t very much in the works at the moment.
Everybody was more or less sitting back waiting to see what
WINE INDUSTRY PROBLEMS OF THE 1930 s
Teiser: Would you give an account of your meeting with President
Roosevelt that you mentioned?*
Powers: Well, it was in the White House, of course, in what you
might call the "sun room." Have you got the date there?
Teiser: It must have been early in 35.
Powers: That s what I thought it was. Early 35.** My wife and I
both went east together.
Roosevelt was quite solicitous. [Laughing] He had
described a situation somewhat similar that he d been
interested in, when his law firm was called to organize
an industry meeting in New York State. He had the big
task of hauling some of the law books to the meeting.
[Laughter] The way he described it! But he turned to me
personally, later on, after it broke up, and said, "Mr.
Powers, very happy to meet you. We like to have more young
people like yourself interested in government. Like to see
you back here." Of course he was an ardent Democrat, and I
was an ardent Republican. [Laughter] It was a very pleasant
We had a problem that was behind the scenes in this whole
operation of organizing. We had the independents, who were
like myself. And then there was the old California Wine
Association group. And they had dictated and run the wine
industry. We were not aouut to hand the reins of governing
this industry over to them.
Powers: This was one of the issues that was quite obvious in
Teiser: You said that the California Wine Association was
Powers: Well, it had been. This was the carryover from the old
days. Was it fifteen years or so that the wine industry
was "outlawed" you might say? [Laughter]
Teiser: Yes. But you still remembered?
Powers: Oh, yes. And this was obvious to our people, because the
California Wine Association as such was pretty much of a
closed organization. And they took care of themselves, which
was to be expected, but they also brought upon themselves
certain problems because they were somewhat dictatorial.
This was what independent people like Arthur Tarpey and others
in the industry remembered from the old days. Arthur
Tarpey and Lee Jones. Arakelian was another.
As far as I can see, we had nothing to really be alarmed
about, because this was a new game altogether. The biggest
majority were all new to the industry, and there was no
particular group there that was trying to crack the whip
or dictate, or run things. So our fears were somewhat
groundless. Nevertheless, you can imagine that it was more
or less natural to keep in mind the way the California Wine
Association had run things in their day.
Teiser: Fruit Industries, Limited, was organized partly on the basis
of the old California Wine Association.
Powers: Yes. They had people that still had their vineyards. Some
of them still had their wineries. As a result it was only
natural that they endeavored to put their organization in
Teiser: So you recognized that Fruit Industries was somewhat the
same as the California Wine Association?
Powers: Yes, because of their early-day association together.
Teiser: On this occasion that you called on President Roosevelt, 1
see that Walter Taylor was with you, as a representative of
Powers: That s right. A very fine person, too. Mr. Walter Taylor
was a fine businessman and very cooperative.
Teiser: By then had your differences disappeared, or had your fears
Powers: Well, you might put it this way: they were a large
organization, and they had been well established, and more
or less, you might say, in the saddle in their day. We
always looked twice at everything they participated in for
that reason. Which was only natural. But, as I say, as I
look back on it, I don t think we had anything to be fearful
of. But nevertheless, it was just human nature to anticipate
problems. In the main, I would say, they never gave us any
trouble. And they likewise gave us good men, and good
Teiser: Did you ask anything specific of President Roosevelt? Did
you say, "Will you help us to get this, or will you back us
in our efforts to get that?"
Powers: Well, there were matters that were discussed with him,
naturally, which he indicated he was anxious to see that
were properly cared for. He was quite cooperative.
Teiser: What sort of matters were they?
Powers: Well. Of course, in an industry which is regulated by
regulation on top of regulation, there are many things that
could be well given proper attention, don t you know, in
favor of the industry. That is, without putting undue burdens
on the industry.
Teiser: I suppose the question of taxes, and paperwork?
Powers: Regulations. You see, we have regulations regarding how
grapes would be crushed, how they d be distilled, how the
wine would be made. Of course, a lot of it was for the sake
of protection of the government, tax problems and security
problems, all of which are terribly important. You ve always
got somebody that wants to shortcut the legal routine.
One of the very serious early day lawsuits involved
Mr. Bert Turner who had married Mr. [J.B.] Cella s daughter*
and was operating a distillery. They had a certain amount
of brandy that wasn t tax paid. And of course the government
Powers: was naturally trying to close any loopholes of that type.
This is typical of what you can expect. People want to try
and take advantage of regulations that have loopholes in
them. Of course that in the end hurts the industry as well
as the government.
Teiser: Well, were you asking Roosevelt for help in maintaining high
Powers: Yes. That s what we wanted and expected.
Teiser: But not oppressively high?
Powers: That s right. Oh, no. What we wanted was wine that was made
out of complete juice of the grape, for one thing. This
sugar situation was something we were not going to have
any part of. But the people over east, New York and Ohio,
and other areas, wanted the right to use sugar. Well, we
said, "We re not going to tell you how to run your business,
but any wine made in California has got to be made strictly
from the grape." So that s the way that was handled.
We went all out for quality. This was one thing our
sweet wine group, and not only that but the Wine Institute,
wanted, to improve on wine and brandy. We set up a fund,
and charged ourselves so much a gallon, to police this and
to regulate it, and to run it. This is where we hired the
services of the University of California at Davis, and then
subsequently the state colleges and junior colleges to help
us in producing better wines and better brandies as time went
And of course we also had an appropriation, something
like two cents a gallon,* I remember, to advertise wine and
the good features of wine, and to bring people like doctors
and others into our trade promotion program. All of which
has gone a long way toward bringing the industry into focus.
Now you take other industries I ll mention: the almond
industry has done the same thing. They ve taken a leaf out
of our book, so to speak. Every farm industry has got to do
this. That s the reason why I mentioned persimmons. I
wanted the persimmon people to do the same thing.
*0n dessert wines, and one cent on table wines.
Teiser: Back to this period of the beginning of legislation after
Repeal. Were there any regulations you weire afraid the
government might put on the industry that you didn t want?
Powers: Oh, yes, there were, from time to time, you know, regulations
that we felt were unfair to the industry.
Teiser: What kind of things would they be?
Powers: Oh, that you had to make wine a certain way, and do certain
things, and all this and that. After all, you re working
with bureaucrats, and they re looking at things from their
viewpoint. We, being, you might say, wine men, interested
in wine and brandy, had very definite ideas of what couldn t
be done, or shouldn t be done for the good of the industry.
Teiser: There were not federal regulations about how wine was to be
sold or served?
Powers: Well, to a certain extent. This was naturally a big part of
the problem in setting up our regulations so we could live
with them. And also the government was naturally interested
in collecting their revenue. But by the same token, we
didn t want any member of the industry to ba shortcutting,
because it would only hurt the industry in the long run.
Teiser: I suppose you wanted to keep prices level but without price-
fixing, and that s a ticklish thing, isn t it?
Powers: Oh, yes. Quite right.
Teiser: How do you do it?
Powers: Well, the industry endeavored to agree on a mode of approach
to it. This was worked out so that everybody was happy and
got along. But we found that, basically, the trade were
quick to catch on to whether a winemaker was doing a good
job, and it wasn t long before they were willing to pay you,
actually, a premium for the quality. When you get a reward
like that, it s something you can appreciate. This took
place at first. The first few years, a lot of people thought,
well, anybody that had wine just had it made. That wasn t
true, because it was just a few months before it became
very obvious that the buying trade was very critical of
quality. Many wine people went out of business, because
poor wines or brandies just wouldn t sell, and the next
thing they knew they were in the hands of their creditors.
So unless you were quality-minded, as well as a good
businessman, this was something you had to live with.
I guess there was a lot of competition, wasn t there?
Oh, yes. Of course at first there was a shortage, naturally,
of any wine that had any age to it, you know. Some of the
people like Arakelian and Cribari and others had been making
sacramental wines, and they had a start on us, don t you
know. So this was where we had to separate the men from the
I forget how many companies there were in the "30 s. They
certainly have narrowed down.
Oh, yes. Well, they went out of business very fast, because,
well, competition just made it necessary.
There were two other associations that I came across. One
was the San Joaquin Valley Wine Association.
Well, that didn t last very long.
And the other was the Muscat Growers Winery Association.
Well, both of those were actually private companies. The
Muscat co-op, Mr. Barr was one of the early day organizers
of that. Ted Barr at Sanger. The Muscat co-op was a
cooperative. It s still going today, but it s not going
under the name of Muscat. It s now part of the wine co-op
up north in Lodi, the Guild group.
CENTRAL VALLEY COOPERATIVE WINERY
Teiser: You mentioned the Central Valley Cooperative Winery that
you said you put together. What was the immediate impetus
Powers: Well, first we wanted to help try and stabilize the wine
picture. We also felt that there was a profit that as
growers we could capture in putting our wine into a good
CALIFORNIA WINE AND SPIRITS REVIEW
The wineries of San Joaquin
" i ">i" iiiiiHiniM.il ii I,,, i ,n
and Sam Kaplan, Alta Winery; G. Mas-
elli. Jr., Maselli Winery; E. Creberi, Lag
Palmas Winery; P. J. Otto, M. Bruno
and Dr. M. P. Bowen, Bruno Brothers
Winery; E. P. Cain, Henrietta Rancho
Products Company; Joseph Allegretti,
M,, Kearney Winery; N. D. Naman. Santa
Lucia Winery; A. M. Paul, California
P.-oducts Company, and M. P. Lohse, in
dustrial secretary. Fresno I ounty ( hani-
ber of C ommcrce.
A. B. Tarpey
of San Joaquin
in San Joaquin Valley
Providing a set-up to attack wine mak
ers and grape growers problems through
collective bargaining, the San Joaquin
Valley Wine Association has been formed
by industry leaders in the interior Cali
fornia region with practically every win
ery in the district represented.
Leading wine and juice grape growers
are to be included in the association as
affiliated members without voting power
to give the members of the association
virtual control of many phases () f the in
dustry in the territory represented.
A. B. Tarpey, prominent grape grower
and head of the La Paloma Winery of
Fresno, is president and State Assembly
man Lucius Powers, Jr., manager of the
Mt. Tivy Winery, heads the directors.
K. Arakclian, of the Madera Winery, is
Taxation, warehousing and federal reg
ulation are the chief problems the group
is interested in at present, according to
Paul K. Holland, secretary-treasurer.
Holland has opened headquarters for the
association in the T. \V. Patterson Build
ing, l ; resm>.
The board includes Frank Goldthwaite,
St. George Winery, Fresno; Harry Hitzl,
California Growers Winery Corporation;
Charles Dubbs, Alta Winery, Delano:
Sam Harkleroad, Mattie Winery, Fresno;
A. Perelli-Monetti, Wallace Winery,
Delano; L. M. Martini, Kingsburg Win
ery, Arakclian and Tarpey.
"Strict federal regulation is \\ burden
on the industry," Holland said. "All but
about thirty pages of regulations con
tained in two volumes concern the sweet
nine industry of which this group draws
practically a <>0 per cent membership. \Ve
feel that these regulations can be loosened
considerably now that prohibition has
been done away with."
Powers said tin- i-roup stands lor "lair
and equitable luxation if it i- <|i-,-j ( K-,| i,,
tax the wine industry," while nllier mem
bers expressed opinions that tin indns|r\
slnuild not In- laxeil a! llii- ihm- Viiln.il
embargo on Inrei^n wines ,\ lavon-d.
Problems nf wan-In. iisini . U.lli m ,,-
l"it in i .in||.-,| -, v in, .,!,,) m, .,., ,.,(
braiidv. v. ill I" tlin-sli, ,| :, I., ,| m , t,,,,
It HI i .ill, IIM, lui,-
lliii.si uln. aii, mini id,- n .. in ,.i >; .iii
I/all. HI Illl-l I lin; 1,1 III, l-|..|||i. II, .,,j,|i| i, ,,,
I" "lie "Hi,, i - .,n S. |. K.isv Pacilu
Coast Winery, l- re-n-.. llnc.o Malter, Si.
George Winery. A. Sutraki.ui. California
Growers Winery Corpor.i mn : C.irl Hit/l
Powers: winery, a good operation. We could make part of the profit
that the vintner was putting into his pocket. So, as
growers, we found that we could make from ten to twenty
dollars a ton profit for ourselves by going through the
cooperative channels. Now we at the same time didn t want
to run the winery. So we went to people like Eddie
Arakelian--this was the son of K. Arakelian--and Mr. Vas
Gunner. They had taken over Frank Giannini s plant at Tulare.
And so we delivered our grapes to them, and then they
charged so much for crushing and managing, and then so much
again for selling it, and all. So we had all the services,
just as if we had our own winery. But we did not have any
money involved in the plant. We paid a processing charge
which gave them a nice profit on their plant. They likewise
were very happy because they were also making a profit on
their sales. In other words, we paid them a profit on
selling, and also a profit on crushing and distilling.
Teiser: They warehoused it for you?
Powers: Yes. And they would follow our directions on how we wanted
to sell, and when we wanted to sell, and all that sort of
Teiser: Who in your organization was in immediate charge then, of
Powers: I was, at the inception, because of all the growers, I was
the only one who had had any winery experience.
Teiser: So you knew when to tell them to sell?
Powers: That s right. We had some of the very top grape growers
here in the valley in our membership.
Teiser: Who were they? Do you remember?
Powers: Well, Chauncey Bianchi. He was the president of our group.
He was from Lodi and also around Manteca. He s one of the
very large grape growers up there. I had signed all these
people up, and being a lawyer, drafted Lheir agreement, how
we would operate with, .say, Arakelian. We first started with
Henry Krum, and Mr. N. D. Namen. They hail the- Santa Lucia
I / \ V
.. ..J -A L_j. J,__ _.<
, . 43a
r ., 3 n Tv/^n^? A n
TK C* V / i /:VU
u y UU/LJ v u ij L-~ \i^
V.. -/ .. I M "!
\ / f ,
Our negoviaiions for the purcnase and operation of tlie Kings burg Winery,
ownoc by Roma, means - hal our organization will be belrer able lo serve yo -J i" A!.L
v/,iys, especially NOW when crushing facilities ai - rngny plants are crov/o ec!. !v viii
,-i!r,o nive many NEW GROWERS an opportunity to ov/n or acquire, wiJ-houv any c. s-
<!t!ciion, a HONXE for -i- icir grape crops, in good weather or bad. It v/ifl help 5AVE
vnvr orape crop VALUES when market, prices are only a fraction, of the COST ov
production and harvest, as at the present time.
Our ! 952 crushing operations have ALREADY COMMENCED at the T-J I a re-
Winery owned by Eddie Arakelian and Vas Gunner. Here over 48,000 tons vrerc
very satisfactorily crushed and sold in the last 3 seasons.
!t is anticipated the total crush ev both v/incries in 1952 micht exceed 40,000
vons. V/e have a proven and t ->n established sales program v/hich makes it pcjr/kio
for CVC vo pay its members the highest possible returns in keeping v/ith the prevail
ing v/ine market.
The officers and directors of Ino Central Valley Cooperative Winery, Inc.,
arc as follov/s:
President C. G. Siancrii, 265! Kensington Drive, Stockton
Vice-Presio enl David Pinlcham, Box 157, Exeter
Treasurer VVil!i-m Psrlier, 667 Home Avenue, Fresno
Secretary-Manager Lucius Powers, 1104 Fulton-Fresno Bla g., Fresno
North C. G. Blanch!, Stockton
Freino William Parlier, Fro .no
L.iv/rrnco Lindgren, "t. I, Box 59,
Tul.ire Jo!m N. Dungnn, 125 Portolfl Avo.,
Frrd Ligomarsino, P.O. Box 9CI,
Jack Sisler, 1607 Beverly Drive, Visa ia
Kings-Kern-Tu srs David Pinltham, Exeter
North Joe Bianchi, 115 Veach, M.Tnvoca
i Fresno Andrew Mattel, 401 Franklin Avc.,
K. Kitahflra, Rt. I, Box 96, KinciSurg
Tulnre Chnrles Davidion, P.O. Cox Til,
C. M. Trembley, Security Bonk Bldg.,
Don Pinkham, Box 456, Exeter
Kings-Kern-Tulflre O. L. Gaither, Strcithmoro
Grape Growers, Strathmcra
Mew membcrsliip applications ore WOW being accepted. Cell
ANY of the following numbers:
Tl LARr 6-2C07
KINGS BURG 2072
Teiser: They did your first processing?
Powers: Yes. Then we subsequently went with Mr. Arakelian, Eddie
Arakelian and Gunner. Then both of them died, and we went
with the people who bought Mr. Arakelian and Gunner s plant
at Tulare. We delivered our grapes to Tulare. And then he
sold out to someone from Bakersfield who came up. I can t
recall his name now. He had it for a couple of years.
Then he in turn sold out. The organization has lately gone
with Mr. Riddell.
Teiser: It still operates now?
Powers: Oh, yes. It has a lot of fine growers.
Teiser: Was the Argun Wine Company involved at any time?
Teiser: Was that one of your members, or was it one of your processors?
Powers: It was one of our processors. That was Eddie Arakelian and
Teiser: That was their company. I see. Was Argun the name under
which they were operating the Tulare winery that had earlier
been owned by Frank Giannini?
Powers: Yes--that was the history of that plant.
Teiser: Your organization was legally a cooperative, that status?
Powers: That s right, an incorporated cooperative.
Teiser: As a cooperative you had then access to funding that you
wouldn t have had as a private corporation?
Powers: Well, we could have, but we ve never used it. And of course,
you can get cheaper money that way. Just like they do with
the Home Loan Bank. People there borrow on their ranches,
get loans on their ranches, and as you say, again, it s
Teiser: But you didn t require it?
Powers: No. We could have gone to the Agricultural Production Credit
Association if we had wanted to.
Teiser: Did you have any dealings directly with J.E. Cella?
Powers: No. J.B. Cella was quite a leader. He had organized and
bought out quite a few vineyards up in the Lodi district.
We had a winery over in the Sanger district, near our ranches
there it was an old wineryand he bought that and converted
it into a very fine plant. His daughter married Louis Petri.
Of course the Petri people have always been in the wine
business. There are quite a few operators in Lodi and San
Teiser: I should think that Roma might at one time have been a
threat to all the rest of you the way the California Wine
Association had been.
Powers: Yes, they were. That s right. But basically our wineries
were well managed and well organized, so that they were
profitable and were likewise a great credit to the industry.
Teiser: So by then you didn t have to be afraid?
Powers: That s right. They got to producing a poorer product, and
they went the way of any industry that isn t just out ihuru
in front, don t you know. You re either a frontrunner or
Teiser: Why would any wine man allow that to happen?
Powers: Well, you develop certain standards, which in my opinion are
just asking for a downfall. You ve got to be constantly on
the alert. In other words, things keep changing, and the
wine industry has changed considerably in the way of
production. You ve got to stay with the latest techniques.
Otherwise your product is such that, competitively, you re
at a disadvantage.
Teiser: Do you think they became complacent?
Powers: Well, in some ways they got too big. They weren t taking
proper care of their product. This is where competition
very quickly catches up with you. Before you know It, you
don t have any customers. What do you do when you re in ill
graces? In other words, you re just asking for it. So this
is what happened to Roma. They started out fine. Mr. Cella s
son-in-law, Bert Turner, was their manager here, running the
show and going great guns, and expanding. But somewhere along
the line things began to fall to pieces. Just lately,
they ve gone out of the business here. So, as I say,
these things can happen.
This is true of everything, though, in our competitive
system, don t you know? In other words, what you see here is
true in automobiles, and other things as well. It s the
free enterprise system manifesting itself.
The way we packed
What is this photograph?
Oh, [laughing] it s a fruit packing house,
fruit in the early days.
This was your father s fruit company.
Now, these are some pictures of the vineyards. You were
asking about that. This is part of the Powers Ranch out at
Centerville. My father was a great person fcr pictures; he
liked pictures. 1 There he is again.
Who are the other people in that picture?
Oh, I think my mother and his foreman. I can t see this
other person too well. They re at a distance. This was
taken from a water tower or something. This is out at our
ranch. These, we ve got covered here, are raisins. They re
raisin trays. They stack them and they go through a process
About when was this series taken, do you think?
Oh, this was taken about forty years ago.
Yes. Here s one packing house here. He had five altogether.
You can see the age of the pictures [laughing] by the
Automobiles and still some teams,
What were the barrel-
Those were chests, they called them, and they would pack
grapes in those with sawdust, and then they d ship the
grapes to the Orient, or to the East, or elsewhere. Of
Powers: course, they were frozen. They were kept in refrigeration
all the time. They would hold about forty pounds each.
This is another picture of our ranch. This is the ranch
headquarters over here, with these buildings; you see the
Teiser: I can see your father must have enjoyed ranching and taken
great pride in it.
Powers: Oh, yes. He was shipping cars of grapes, mostly grapes. A
few persimmons and a few plums, but the grapes of course were
his big interest.
RECENT WINE INDUSTRY TRENDS
Teiser: Were there other things that you thought should be added to
this discussion? I think we discussed the 1961 set-aside
when there was a conflict between A. Setrakian and Ernest
Powers: Yes. Mr. Gallo had come to the meeting. It was at the
Californian Hotel. Mr. Setrakian was quite a fiery
personage by nature [laughing], and very capable and
learned and bright and smart. But he would step on other
people s toes any time he felt like it. He happened to have
quite a few grapes processed at this particular time. Mr.
Setrakian was taking Gallo to task for having paid too high
a price for grapes. As a result the raisin crop had been
considerably shortened, because the growers went after the
quick dollar. That left a shortage of raisins.
Of course, the set-aside was for the purpose of trying
to maintain a good grape price. The following year, after
this, we had just the reverse, because we had too many
people anxious to sell to the wineries, and as a result, we
had a very low grape price.
Anyway, Mr. Gallo was very decent about it. I ve come
to be quite an admirer of Mr. Gallo. To me it s just
unbelievable the foresight of that man. Anybody that will
continue to increase his crushing and processing at the rate
of over twenty million gallons of wine a year! Twenty
million gallons is a tremendous amount of wine. But the
planting of vineyards today almost scares you. I do think
Powers: that Gallo is going to see some good years here before this
thing is overproduced, because they re producing wine today
that people enjoy, and they re producing better wine than
we produced in our day. It s a wine that is healthful, and
it s very appealing, and they re likewise coming up with new
varieties that are in my opinion very popular, and going to
be popular. We in America have never been a wine drinking
nation but now the health values of wine, and the
niceties of good wine, are all contributing to a very heavy
Of course, when you stop and look at that, you can
begin to understand. When you compare the amount of wine we
drink in America to what they drink in Europe, why, we ve
still got a tremendous long way to go. And of course this
is what Ernie Gallo is looking at. Because you ll see this
country drinking more and more wine, year after year. And
this is going to continue to increase.
Teiser: Where s the land going to come from?
Powers: Well, of course, at this point we ve got plenty of land.
But actually this expansion and great increase just scares
people, don t you know? Because everything is relative,
after all is said and done. I definitely feel, because of
the good foundation that was laid at the beginning, this is
paying off now. We re getting the dividends now.
THE POWERS SCHOOL
Teiser: You have a photograph there of the Powers School.
Powers: Yes. I m fortunate in having it named after me.
Teiser: Here in Fresno?
Powers: Yes. I m very proud of it, because if you can believe it,
they put these youngsters through a regular course, starting
right out in kindergarten, and the first grade and the
second grade, on reading, and they re being evaluated and
graded. The part that they re deficient on they go right
back and train them on their deficiencies. I m very proud
of them. It s got an outstanding principal, Leonard Ross.
He s just unbelievable.
Teiser: They re lucky to have a good school.
Powers: Well, I was instrumental in the legislature in putting
certain legislation through for educational purposes.
The state would loan us money to build schools. And we
would have to levy a tax to pay off the loan, of course.
But it was a way that was done much more cheaply than the
old system. It hadn t existed previously.
Transcriber: Jane West
Final Typist: Keiko Sugimoto
Excerpts from Wine Institute Report, February 19, 1935
"A delegation representing the wine industry called upon President
Roosevelt on February 13th. This delegation included Lucius Powers,
Jr., First Vice-President of the Wine Institute; Walter E. Taylor of
Fruit Industries, Ltd.; Secretary Harry A. Caddow of the Wine Institute;
Congressman Frank H. Buck of California; Judge Marion De Vries,
counsel for the Institute; and Mr. Underbill, who represents the upper
New York wine interests. Mr. Caddow reports as follows:
Meeting with the President decidedly successful and satisfactory.
President has decidedly sympathetic understanding of all industry
problems. ...we have a friend in the President.... 1
"The presentation to the President was upon the present economic
status of the wine industry and what the industry is doing to clean
its own house in order to produce quality wines and protect the
consumer. Congressman Buck specifically asked the President s support
to lower the federal taxes on wine. Judge De Vries pointed out the
necessity of maintaining the present tariff on wine in the face of
proposed reciprocal trade agreements, to prevent the United States from
becoming a dumping ground for the European surplus... Mr. Caddow
pointed out the highly significant part the Wine Institute is playing
in cleaning the industry s own house, and it is believed that the
President is fully conscious of the Wine Institute s work. Mr. Powers
pointed out the injustice of many individual states tax and license
treatment of wine. Mr. Taylor outlined the situation confronting the
growers. . . .
"Mr. Critchfield and Gerald Pearce report that Mr. Powers, Lee
Jones, Mr. Cella and Walter Taylor have been doing splendid work for
the wine industry in the East and Middle West."
INDEX -- Lucius Powers
Agricultural Production Credit Association, 44
Allied Grape Growers, 23
almond industry, 40
Arakelian, Eddie, 43, 44
Arakelian, K. , 10, 24, 25, 38, 42, 43
Argun Wine Company, 44
Bancroft Library, 1, 2
Barbour, Harry, 24, 25, 26
Barr, Ted, 42
Bianchi, Chauncey, 43
Bisceglia Brothers (Wine Co.), 30
Bisceglia, Bruno, 30
Boalt Hall (University of California), 8
Bradley, Christopher, 22
brandy, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 29, 31, 39, 40
brandy, muscat, 18
Buck, Frank H. , 50
Caddow, Harry A. , 50
Caine, Coleman, 30
California State University, Fresno, 30
California Vineyardists Association, iii, 1, 11, 12
California Wine Association, iii, 26, 37, 38, 45
California Wineries and Distilleries, 23
Cameo Vineyards Winery, 31
Capone, Al, 15
Carlson, Arthur, 35
Cella, Ebe. See Turner, Mrs. Bert
Cella, J.B. [John Battista] , 39, 45, 50
Central California Wineries , Inc., 30
Central Valley Cooperative Winery, Inc., iii, 10, 42, 43
Cetti, Carlo, 17, 18, 19
Christian Brothers, 19
citrus nursery [stock], 7, 8
Conn, Donald, 8, 11, 12
Consolidated Irrigation District, 22
Crest View Winery, Inc., 30
Cresta Blanca (Winery), 29
Cribari, , 42
Critchfield (Burke), 50
Del Key Co-op (winery) , 31
dessert wines, iii, iv, 40
De Vries, Marion, 26, 50
Fresno State University. See California State University, Fresno
Fresno Winery, Inc., 30
Fruit Industries, Inc., iii, 12, 13, 38, 50
Gallo, Ernest, 27, 32, 47-48
Gazzara, Joe , 30
Giannini, Frank, 43, 44
Goldthwaite, Beverly W., 31
grapes, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 32, 43, 46-47
Growers Bank, Fresno, 8
Grunsky, Carl Ewald , 2, 4
Grunsky, Mrs. Carl Ewald (Martha Kate Powers), 4
Guild [Wine Company] , 42
Gunner, Vas, 43, 44
Harkleroad, Sam, 25
Heublein, Inc., iii, 23, 29
Hitzl, Harry, 31
Hoover, Allan, 12
Hoover Farms, 12
Hoover, Herbert Clark, 11-12
Hubbard, Mrs. Aaron (Lilian Sweasey) , 3
Italian Swiss Colony, 17, 23, 29
Jones, Lee, 26, 38, 50
Jordan, Paul, 35
Joslyn, Maynard A., 5
Kappa Sigma Fraternity, 34
Kearney Park (Fresno) , 7
Kearney, [M.] Theodore, 7
Kellas, Judge , 24
Krenz, Oscar, 17
Krum, Henry, 43
Lachman & Jacob i, 20
Lac-Jac winery, 20
Latham, George, 2
Lehman, William J., 17
Majors, Cort (Olin Cortis), 2, 34
Malter, George, 31
Martini, Louis M. , 24, 25
Mattei, Andrew, 10, 11, 25
Mattei Building, Fresno, 11
Mattei winery, 25
Morrow, Almond R., 13, 26
Mt. Tivy (label), 14, 19
Mt. Tivy Winery, iii, 14-21, 23
Muscat Growers Winery Association, 42
Namen, N.D., 43
National Distillers, 23, 29
oranges, 5, 6, 7
Parlier, William, 17, 22, 23
Parlier winery, 16-17
Perelli-Minetti, Antonio, 25
Perenchio, J.B., 30
persimmons, 5, 6, 29, 40, 47
Petri, Flori Cella (Mrs. Louis), 45
Petri, Louis, 23, 45
Peyser, Jef ferson [E. ] , 26
Powers, Aaron Hubbard, 1, 2-3, 4, 7
Powers, Martha Kate. See Grunsky, Mrs. Carl Ewald
Powers, Lucius (great-uncle), 1, 4
Powers, Mrs. Lucius, Jr. (Geraldine Rector), 26, 35
Powers, Lucius, Sr., 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 21, 20, 31, 36, 46-47
Powers Ranch, Centerville, 46-47
Powers School, Fresno, 48-49
Prohibition, 9, 19, 15, 20, 25, 31
prorate, 22, 23, 27
raisins, 6, 27, 46, 47
Rector, Judge E.M., 35-36
Rector, Geraldine. See Powers, Mrs. Lucius, Jr.
Repeal, 10, 26, 29, 31, 37, 41
Riddell, Jim (James L.), ii, 20, 43, 44
Riddell, Sam, 20
Robinson, Ray, 35
Rolph, James, 35, 36
Roma (Wine Company), 29, 45
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 26, 37-40, 50
Ross, Leonard, 48
Royal Banquet label, 19
sacramental wines, 10, 42
St. George Winery, 31
Samuel, Paul, 16
Samuel, Paul, estate, 15
Samuel, Sanf ord , 16
Samuels Winery, 14, 16
Schenley (Distilleries, Inc.), iii, 24, 28-29
San Joaquin Valley Wine Association, 42
Santa Lucia Winery, 43
Seagram s, 21
set-aside, 6, 27, 47
Setrakian, A. [Arpaxat], 24, 27, 47
Shewan-Jones , 26
Smith, Andy, 2
Stockton Boyhood. Being the Reminiscenses of Carl Ewald Grunsky. 2, 4
sugar, 26, 32, 40
Sun Maid Raisin Association, 7
Sweasey, Lilian. See Mrs. Aaron Hubbard .
Sweasey, Tom, 3
Sweasey, William J., 3, 4
Sweet Wine Producers Association, iii, 23, 28
table wines, iv, 18, 26, 32, 40
Tarpey, Arthur, 23, 24, 25, 38
Tarpey, Paul, 23, 25
Tarpey Winery, 23
Taylor, Clotilde Grunsky, 1, 4
Taylor, Walter, 12, 38-39, 50
Traung brothers, 20, 21
Traung, Charlie, 13, 14, 21
Traung, Louis, 13, 14, 21
Turner, Bert, 39, 45
Turner, Mrs. Bert (Ebe Cella), 39
University of California, Berkeley, 2, 32, 34-35
University of California, Davis, 40
Vie-Del winery, 20, 43
Vieth, Fred, 20, 23
Wine Control Act, 25, 26
Wine Institute, i v , 23, 25, 26, 28, 40, 50
Wines Mentioned in the Interview
angelica, 18, 26
muscat (muscatel), 18, 26
port, 18, 26
sherry, 18, 26
Grapes Varieties Mentioned in the Interview
Alicante, 7, 8, 10
Chardonnay, 10, 32
Feher Szagos, 7, 8
Golden Chasselas, 10, 18
Malaga, ill, iv, 7, 10
Muscat, 6, 7, 8, 10
Thompson Seedless, 6, 7
Born in Portland, Oregon; came to the Bay Area
in 1932 and has lived here ever since.
Stanford, B. A., M. A. in English; further graduate
work in Western history.
Newspaper and magazine writer in San Francisco since
1943, writing on local history and business and
social life of the Bay Area. ,
Book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle