Last month, Frances Dinkelspiel's new book, Tangled Vines, cracked the New York Times' Best Seller list. It's a great read, since it mostly follows the events leading up to an arson-caused wine-warehouse fire in 2005, in which 4.5 million bottles of wine worth at least a quarter-billion dollars were lost.
Dinkelspiel's account of that inferno, as well as the man who sits in jail for causing it, is riveting, but I found myself even more interested in the author's numerous references to an organization called the California Wine Association, which controlled as much as 84 percent of the state's wine business from 1894 until 1920. That means the C.W.A., as it was called, was in charge of millions of gallons of California wine that were stored in almost two dozen San Francisco warehouses, most of which were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and the fires that followed.
Another two million [gallons of wine] were salvaged from the C.W.A.’s main headquarters, at Third and Bryant Streets, but not before “the wooden tanks and casks came apart in the fire storm,” as [wine historian Charles] Sullivan describes it. The spilled wine might have washed into the streets as it had at other warehouses, but a “plugged sewer line” and the building’s solid concrete walls and floor kept the sloshing wine within the structure. Suddenly, the building itself had become a wine cellar, which enabled the C.W.A. to pump the precious liquid through fire hoses to a small fleet of barges, which were towed to Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, where the wine was distilled into brandy.
View this post on Instagram Existential crisis? What do you mean? Could someone having an existential crisis tune 24 wine bottles to play music from the Legend of Zelda? Oh, they could? Well crap. #zelda #percussion #ocarinaoftime #quarantine #ProveTheMoonExists A post shared by nathan leigh (@nathanleighsays) on May 6, 2020 at 10:57am PDT When he’s […]
Murray Berrill Constructions in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia created this wonderful “easy access wine cellar” in the dead space under a stairway. With a few modifications to the design, it could be entirely secret storage! (via Laughing Squid)
Last week, red wine flowed from the household faucets in the northern Italy town of Castelvetro di Modena. A broken valve at a local winery caused 1,000 liters of wine to flow through the water supply to around 20 homes. Unfortunately the malfunction was resolved in a few hours. From CNN: The incident provided a […]
Call it retro. Call it a throwback. Even call it kitsch. But the 80s are still a singular time in pop culture history. From Ghostbusters and Back to the Future to your neighborhood arcade and the Atari 2600, artifacts of that seminal decade still resonate, evoking audible excitement and sighs of pleasant yesteryear remembrance. But […]
With millions out of work, the global economy in a sharp recession, and legitimate fears for the future abound, you might think this is absolutely the worst time to strike out on your own and be your own boss as a work-for-hire freelancer. But according to numbers compiled by financial services company Payoneer, the current […]
For years, dirty countertops, appliances, or bathroom fixtures were just kind of gross. But unkempt corners of your kitchen and bathroom aren’t just a sign of laziness anymore. Now, they’re a potential breeding ground for infectious disease. You can’t just limp through cleaning these days. You’ve gotta get rigorous about it, which means it’s no […]