The collection is divided into six series. It includes mostly printed materials and interviews, and dates from approximately 1976 to 2005. There are wine-related event materials, interview transcripts and audiotapes, printed material and histories from people and institutions representing a wide spectrum of the wine business. Wine-related objects, such vineyard and winery tools, are stored with the Museum's artifact collections; documentary materials are held in the Archives Center.
Materials from each special event are organized into separate series, which contain records generated at the events and interviews. Series one contains the "Red, White and American Records," series two the "Collectors Event," and series three the "Wine Writers Event." Interviews conducted independently of these events are included in series four. All of the interviews have been partially transcribed and include an abstract and various forms of audiotapes and discs. Series five is composed of printed materials that relate to both specific individuals in the wine business and to more general American wine topics. Most of this material consists of photocopies of original articles. There are also files with materials by and about specific wine writers, such as Anthony Dias Blue, William Heinz, and Dick Rosano. Series five also contains an original telex of George Taber's article about the 1976 Paris Tasting. Series six consists of visual materials, including two landscape photographs of an vineyard in Oregon and two videotaped documentaries on Napa.
The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1: Red, White, and American : Wine in American History and Culture Records, 1976-1996
Series 2: Collections Event, 2001
Series 3: Reflections: A Day in the Life of a Wine Writer Event, 2002
Series 4: Interviews, 1997-2001
Series 5: Printed Materials, 1997-2001
Series 6: Visual Materials, undated
Series 7; Interviews, 2013
Biographical / Historical:
The American Wine History Project began in 1996 with the intention to document the history of American winemaking, mainly for the post-1950 period. While the project includes winemaking areas around the country, the focus has been on northern and central California. The Project explores the convergence of craft, culture, science, technology, and the environment in modern American winemaking. In conjunction with the project, the Smithsonian held a 2-day symposium, "Red, White and American," with a small accompanying exhibition, entitled, "Doubtless as Good: Jefferson's Dream for American Wine Fulfilled," in 1996 and began gathering objects and other documentation.
Since 1997, National Museum of American History staff members have traveled to California to conduct interviews, take photographs and video footage, and gather materials for the Smithsonian collection from grape growers, winemakers, winery owners, and others important to the business, including wine writers and chefs. Some of the materials were generated from events in Napa, such as the collectors and wine writers events, that were held specifically for the purpose of adding documentation to the Smithsonian project. The documentation project is on-going so materials will continue to be added to the collection.
Some of the materials were generated by the Smithsonian Institution, such as those in series 1 through 3. Others were given by separate donors between 1996 and 2002.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.