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THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY.
VOL. III. (SECOND SERIES.)-JANUARY, 1884.-No. 1.
THE FUTURE OF GRAPE-GROWING IN CALIFORNIA. During the last four or five years, the increase of the vineyard area of California has been so rapid as to give rise to considerable speculation regarding the final outcome of the movement, which stands in striking contrast to the deep depression of the vineyard interest that reached its lowest stage about the year 1875. At that time, eight dollars per ton was the highest price paid for grapes, with a slack demand; and hogs, poultry, and even neat cattle were let into the vineyards to gather the vintage, preparatory to the contemplated pulling-up of the vines, and their replacement by grain or fruit trees. The recognition of the invasion of the phylloxera added to the gloom, from which a heavy and increasing indebtedness seemed to render escape hopeless for those whose all had been staked on the success of viticulture. Wag-fornia. on loads of uprooted vines entered Sonoma, and were corded up for sale as firewood Do we not hear of vineyards thousands of But is not grape-planting being overdone? around the public square of that despondent acres in extent being established, one after
come too narrow for the expanding industry, and the oaks and chapparal of the mountain sides are giving way before the encroaching perennial green of the vine, both in the Coast Ranges and in the foothills of the Sierras. Even the brown, dusty plains of Fresno and Tulare are changing their sombre summer garb, and are "wearing the green" of the grapevine, where but a few years ago the bright but brief spring bloom of the wild flowers alone relieved the intense monotony. Even the supposed "barren mesas" of Southern California are being invaded by the vine, which seems only now to have realized that what it has been doing for centuries in the droughty coast region of Mediterranean Spain, can be done again, and better, in the more fertile soils of Cali
How greatly changed is the picture today! Not only have the abandoned vineyards been replanted in (oftentimes some what ill-considered) defiance of the phyllox
another, threatening to deluge the market
with their products, and finally to leave at least the small grower, if not themselves, no better off than they were in 1875?
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