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THE

OVERLAND MONTHLY.

DEVOTED TO

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY.

VOL. III. (SECOND SERIES.) — JANUARY, 1884.-No. I.

THE FUTURE OF GRAPE-GROWING IN CALIFORNIA.

During the last four or five years, the in- come too narrow for the expanding industry, crease of the vineyard area of California has and the oaks and chapparal of the mountain been so rapid as to give rise to considerable sides are giving way before the encroaching speculation regarding the final outcome of perennial green of the vine, both in the the movement, which stands in striking con- Coast Ranges and in the foothills of the Sitrast to the deep depression of the vineyard erras. Even the brown, dusty plains of interest that reached its lowest stage about Fresno and Tulare are changing their somthe year 1875. At that time, eight dollars bre summer garb, and are “wearing the per ton was the highest price paid for grapes, green” of the grapevine, where but a few with a slack demand ; and hogs, poultry, and years ago the bright but brief spring bloom even neat cattle were let into the vineyards of the wild flowers alone relieved the intense to gather the vintage, preparatory to the con- monotony. Even the supposed "barren templated pulling-up of the vines, and their mesas” of Southern California are being replacement by grain or fruit trees. The invaded by the vine, which seems only now recognition of the invasion of the phylloxera to have realized that what it has been doing added to the gloom, from which a heavy and for centuries in the droughty coast region

increasing indebtedness seemed to render of Mediterranean Spain, can be done again, | escape hopeless for those whose all had been and better, in the more fertile soils of Cali

staked on the success of viticulture. Wag- fornia. on loads of uprooted vines entered Sonoma, But is not grape-planting being overdone? and were corded up for sale as firewood Do we not hear of vineyards thousands of around the public square of that despondent acres in extent being established, one after

another, threatening to deluge the market How greatly changed is the picture to- with their products, and finally to leave at day! Not only have the abandoned vine- least the small grower, if not themselves, no yards been replanted in (oftentimes some better off than they were in 1875? what ill-considered) defiance of the phyllox

Such warnings have been repeatedly era and all its works; but the valley lands, sounded; and mingled as they are with alluwith a sixfold increase in value, have be- sions to incontrovertible facts that seem to

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town.

lol, III.-I.

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