This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
" California Brandy, distilled from the native grape, can now be bought in the market, and of a quality equal to the average brands of Cognac, and greatly superior to the Rochelle. James T. McDougall & Co., the pioneers of California grape Brandy, have for months been making regular sales to the trade from their distillation of last season, which amounted to the very respectable quantity of 500 octaves. Some of their brandy was shipped to New York, where it met with favor, and realized, for a first consignment, a high figure. From the grape crop this year, it is estimated 50,000 gallons will be made, or 300 to 400 per cent more than last year. At this ratio, three years hence, fine Brandy will be one of our exportable products".
For two years past, various classes of Wine, made from the native grape of Los Angeles, have been growing upon popular notice and favor. The Alta California says, it is estimated that 150,000 gallons of Wine were made in the State last year; and, from the grape crop this year, it is expected 350,000 gallons will be manufactured. A great number of new vineyards have been planted in the vicinity of Los Angeles since 1853, and the annual grape crop must have increased enormously.
The Alta says: " The grape chiefly grown in California, for making Wine, is of Spanish stock, and was introduced by the priests, between the years 1769 and 1780. The vine is hardy and healthy, and the berry juicy and strong. An acre of vines is calculated to yield 1,000 gallons of Wine, and never less than 800, although 400 Is considered an average yield in Ohio and Europe." Almost every variety of grape known is, however, being cultivated at various points throughout the State.