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Weaverville Chinese family
Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California



Early Contacts

Historic Sites
Selected References


A History of Chinese Americans in California:

Brookside Winery
Redlands, San Bernardino County

The Brookside Winery is a large, brick two-story building constructed in 1888 in Redlands. The gambrel roof, broad proportions of the building itself, lunette window in the eaves, large central circular doorway at ground level, and brick arches over the windows are all reminiscent of French nineteenth-century wineries. Sheets of metal cover the roof. Inside, the building has been renovated. It is surrounded by orchards.

Nearby is the Chinese bunkhouse, which housed Chinese American workers. The bunkhouse is a small, one-story building, made of vertical board and batten redwood. Two attachments have been added to the bunkhouse.

The Brookside Winery employed 30 Chinese Americans, who performed various services. They prepared and fired bricks as well as building the barns, wine cellars, and houses.

The Brookside Winery was founded by Theophile Vache, who immigrated to California from France in 1830. Within two years, he had established a winery in the Monterey County area. In 1882, the Vache family leased from Dr. Ben Barton the vineyards and winery he had established on his ranch west of Redlands. The Vaches then purchased from the Southern Pacific Railroad the land in lower San Timoteo Canyon. There they planted their vineyard. On October 10, 1885, they harvested grapes, crushed them, and began to ferment their first wine on that property. The Vaches produced ordinary wine because the climate at Redlands does not favor premium varieties of grapes. The social climate, however, was hostile to wine production. Redlands was dominated by prohibitionists, and temperance was virtually a religious issue. The Vaches ceased to sell wine in 1914 and sold the property in 1916.

The building has been restored and currently serves as a learning center for young girls.

Brookside Winery
Brookside Winery, Redlands, San Bernardino County

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