Thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Southern California Wine and Wine Industry Collection added to the University Library’s collection that was started in 1998.

The grant allowed the library to process material that was donated “years ago” but had not been processed, according to project archivist Rob Strauss who was hired as part of the grant project.

Zinfandel grape vines can be seen growing adjacent to the farm store. (Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

Former Special Collections librarian Danette Cook Adamson started the wine collection in 1998. The current head of Special Collections Katie Richardson said the library was able to process 600 linear feet of material that included material for the wine collection.

The Cal Poly Pomona Horsehill Vineyards is a joint wine production between the wine industry on campus, including the Collins College of Hospitality Management and the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture, and South Coast Winery, located in Temecula.

The CPP Library Special Collections describes the wine and wine industry addition as “a special collection which documents and honors the Southern California wine industry, including wine-related organization and events …. Although urban development has made an impact, Southern California remains a significant winemaking area in addition to being home to many important wine competitions, organizations and events.”

More than 200 CPP students take part in the campus’ wine production from growing and harvesting the grapes on campus to be served, sold and marketed by students.

Students involved in wine production are from both the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture and the Collins College of Hospitality Management.

The Wine and Wine Industry History collected in the University Library Special Collections contains information on wine competitions and events, archival records for wine businesses, organizations and festivals, and documents on the history of grapevine fields and winemaking in Southern California.

Margie Ferree Jones, a professor at the Colllins College of Hospitality Management, is one of the instructors for the Wines, Beer and Spirits class offered to all students over the age of 21 and supports the new addition to the Library Special Collections.

“We hope someday that we will be a campus that is known for viniculture and viniculture education as well,” Jones said.

The majority of the grapes grown at CPP are zinfandel grapes, which are dark black and purple wine grapes and that are very popular in California for making red or pink wines, according to cooksinfo.com.

Zinfandel grape vines can be seen growing adjacent to the farm store. (Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

The zinfandel grapes on campus were donated from De Ambrogio Ranch in Rancho Cucamonga, before it was torn down in 2001 for development.

The grapes are then crushed to be fermented, with yeast converting sugar into alcohol. Higher sugar levels in grapes means there will be a higher alcohol level in the wine.

“A lot of winemaking is not done in the winery, it’s done in the vineyard,” said Don Galleano, current patriarch of Galleano Winery in Mira Loma.

After students harvest the grapes, the grapes are then sent to South Coast Winery to be processed and bottled.

Different selections of the Horsehill Vineyard wine are served at the Restaurant in Kellogg Ranch and Innovation Brew Works and are also available for purchase at the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch.

The Horsehill Vineyards last earned a gold medal in the Los Angeles Wine Competition in 2017 for its production of the 2016 Zinfandel Rosé.

The Horsehill Vineyards has also been consistently featured in the media for its wine perfection, including the “Wine Pick of the Week” by Taste California Travel Online Magazine in August 2013, the Inland Daily Bulletin on multiple occasions, the OC Weekly’s “Drink of the Week” in April 2013 and many other media outlets.

The Horsehill Vineyards are a separate project from the wine collection at the library.

For more information and access to the history of wine and wine industry at CPP, visit the University Library Special Collections on the fourth floor of the library (Building 15, room 4434).

Dec. 3, 2018, 5:52 p.m.: This article was updated with new information.

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