Early California Wine Trade
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Dean Walters

Dean WaltersAbout this web site's creator:

For the past 30 years, Dean Walters has been an antiques dealer and agent specializing in wine and Champagne related antiques. His profession created an environment in which Dean became increasingly aware of a substantial California wine trade that existed before the onset of Prohibition in 1920.

The importance of material representing and produced by the wine trade became more and more apparent as Dean's antiques trade career evolved. Early period wine trade artifacts and ephemera are scarce, so collecting it seemed clearly important.

The archive has grown over the past thirty years producing a substantial cache of significant, informative and beautiful material. A small portion of the archive is illustrated here, where the images will give the viewer a more comprehensive vision of the early California wine trade, and the beauty and significance of the ephemera it produced.

Dean has contributed numerous illustrated articles about the early California wine trade to the quarterly publication of the Wayward Tendrils, a wine book collector's society. He was guest curator for Copia, a Museum for wine, food and the arts in Napa, assembling material for their 2004 exhibit, Grapes in the Golden West, which focused on California's early wine trade. In the fall of 2011 Dean created an exhibit for the Cloverdale Historical Society Museum, including material from pre-Prohibition wineries of northern Sonoma County, with a focus on Italian Swiss Colony of Asti.

Dean recently contributed a chapter of illustrations and text featuring the early California wine trade, for a soon to be released book, Wine Antiques & Collectibles, by Don Bull with Joe Paradi, to be published by Schiffer Books Inc.

Dean studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley in the early 1960s, then served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a language specialist. In the early 1970s he received a bachelor of arts in illustration photography from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, and practiced commercial photography in Portland, Oregon and the San Francisco Bay area. In 1983 Dean changed course. The wine antiques trade was a natural transition, having come
from a family of antiques collectors in the Sonoma County wine country, and developing an interest in the
California wine industry while studying at Berkeley.

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