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Rubino Estates Winery
May 28, 2021 | Rubino Estates Winery

A Taste of the Past

If we turned back the clock 136 years, what could we expect? In 1885, California had been a state for only 35 years. Its growth was finally beginning to take off, nearing one million people. The little town of Livermore, California was 16 years old and boasted a climate perfect for growing wine grapes. In a red clay knoll on the edge of town, a man named John Crellin planted a 200 acre vineyard. In many ways, 1885 was a different world. 

Presidents & Monuments

Early in 1885, incumbent President Chester A. Arthur dedicated the Washington Monument, which had taken nearly 40 years to complete due to funding, structural, and political issues. On March 4th of 1885, President Grover Cleveland was sworn in as the 22nd President (he would be elected again as the 24th President in 1892). In June of 1885, the French ship Isère arrived in New York Harbor, carrying the Statue of Liberty. 

Entertainment & Pastimes

In 1885, Johannes Brahms’ phenomenal Symphony No. 4 premiered in Meiningen, Germany, with Brahms himself conducting it. In America, the first patent for a roller coaster was granted and Good Housekeeping magazine went on sale for the first time. P. T. Barnum split from his business partner, James Bailey, but continued his wildly popular Circus show. 

Labor & Economy

After the gold rush, California was a place of relative wealth and growing population. In San Francisco, an average laborer could expect to make around $9 per week, while more specialized trades (like bookbinders and blacksmiths) made as much as $20 per week. A loaf of bread would cost about 7¢, while coffee cost an astonishing 30¢ per pound. In 1885, Charles Dow debuted the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. At the time, the index stood at a level of 62.76, representing the dollar average for stocks of 12 railroads and two leading American industries.

Inventions & Engineering

1885 was a monumental year for transportation. At that time, the train was king, but change was foreshadowed. That year the Daimler Reitwagen, regarded as the first modern motorcycle, was patented in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. Soon after, Karl Benz began production of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first automobile, which was patented the following year. Meanwhile, in the US, the Home Insurance Building in Chicago was completed, becoming the first skyscraper in the world, boasting 10 floors and a fireproof metal frame. 

Science & Medicine

Medical milestones in 1885 included the first successful treatment against rabies, which was considered a death sentence prior to this development. The rabies vaccine was developed in part by Louis Pasteur, the French scientist who invented pasteurization. Astronomers were also at work looking up into the stars. In 1885, they recorded the presence of a supernova, naming it S Andromedae, the first supernova to ever be identified outside of our own galaxy.

Food & Drink

In late 1885, Dr. Pepper was served for the first time, introduced in Waco, Texas by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton. Further West, California’s wine country was in its infancy. One New York based distributor included a small section in their wine price list for "California Wines" which ranged in price from 50-75 cents per bottle. Dessert wine from California was available in bulk for $1.50—per gallon (about 5 bottles).

It was into this world that John Crellin’s Estate vineyard grew. Today, Rubino Estates continues the legacy of viticulture, growing wine grapes in the Estate’s favorable climate and red clay soil. From our Founder in 1885 to present day, we are proud to continue this legacy. In honor of our Estate’s origin, we have proudly introduced a new wine to our Landmark Collection. Our Landmark 1885 Founder’s Blend is a delicious celebration of history and heritage. 


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