Cucamonga was the first true home to the earliest vineyards planted by the Spanish missionaries moving northward from Mexico into California.  Long before Napa, Sonoma, the Central Coast and other well-known and respected appellations, Cucamonga vineyards were home to thousands of acres of working vineyards, winemaking families and winemaking industry.  Prior to the 1900’s, Cucamonga boasted more than 35,000 acres of working vineyards and over 40 wineries.

Now Cucamonga is home to less than 400 acres of vines, mostly vines older than 50 years, a few new plantings and others nearly a hundred or more years old!  Cucamonga vineyards and winemaking is a rich and proud hertiage nearly lost, but still surviving due to the Filippis, Galleanos, Bianes and a few other long-time wine families.  Norm and I went to these old wineries several years ago, as part of our “research” before beginning our project here in Ramona.

The Cucamonga Vineyard Heritage Society is rescuing old vines that are in excess of 50 years old, from local Cucamonga vineyards that are either currently abandoned or are scheduled for removal due to sale and commercial/residential development.  These living pieces of Cucamonga history are knarley and thriving with still lots of life left in them and still fruit producing.

You can ADOPT one of these vines for just $50, two or more for $45 each, or a half wine barrel with a wonderful old vine in it for a donation of $115.  These are entirely tax deductible donations to the Cucamonga Vineyard Heritage Society. 

We adopted one of these vines that now resides just outside the fence near the entryway into our property.  He is old, twisted and has a lot of character.  We call him Curly.  His picture is included with this Blog.