Our Legacy Project

Effective immediately (as of January 13, 2023): It is with great sadness that we are closing our organization and in the process of dissolution of our nonprofit 501c3 Early California Wine Trade Museum as we have been unable to secure a permanent home nor major sponsors. We incorporated as a California nonprofit in 2015, and have created a number of displays and exhibitions in the north bay, yet, unfortunately, have not found the support we had hoped for.

We will keep our website intact, at least for awhile. The archive collections which have been curated since the late 1980s will remain intact in private collections until we decide how to disburse them into the hands of those who will lovingly preserve them.

We will also keep our Facebook page active for awhile. Any inquiries can be addressed to me by Facebook Messenger, or by contacting me at the email address below. We hope you have enjoyed our posts, and thank you for your support.

All the best for the New Year!

Dean Walters, Managing Director, ECWTM  Dean.w@EarlyCalWineTrade.org

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“For some forty-five years I have been an avid fan of California’s wine history and have collected and studied the immense wealth of printed material relating to this grand story: books, pamphlets, and ephemeral treasures (postcards, labels, letterheads, brochures, to name a few).”

“Considering the breadth and depth, and rarity, of the images selected by Dean to introduce pre-Prohibition wine material to visitors of the website, one can sincerely hope that his mission of an archival museum comes to fruition!”

“I raise a hearty, vintage toast to Dean Walters and his Wine Trade Museum!”

“I have been good friends with Dean for over 35 years. Between us, we have done a lot of buying, selling, and trading of corkscrews and related ephemera. We stumbled through the youth of computer communications talking frequently about how the day would come when we could send each other quality photos via our computers. And it happened… the quality improved.”

“Dean’s “Early California Wine Trade Museum” has gone far beyond our dreams of computer communication. The images in the archive are truly stunning, and the information Dean brings to us is very, very special. This beautiful website is a must visit for anyone with an interest in wine history.”

“Dean ….. I applaud you!”

“Dean Walters’s enthusiasm for California wine history is evident in every beautiful image of The Early California Wine Trade Archive.”

“Dean’s willingness to share the treasures in his truly wonderful collection has been of great help to me in my wine researches. If this Archive helps lead the way to the long hoped for museum of the early California wine trade and industry, lovers of wine and wine history everywhere will be the beneficiaries.”

“Your proposed wine museum is a wonderful idea. I am more than happy to support the plan, and would consider it a privilege to help out in any way I can to advance its success.”

“A museum devoted to the early California wine trade would be an important and fascinating resource for current and future wine researchers and enthusiasts. Dean’s collection of ephemera, which will hopefully attract other donors, is visually and historically deep, rich and vibrant.”

“I hope your museum dream soon becomes a reality Dean!”

“I strongly believe that a museum devoted to the collection and preservation, indexing and dissemination of paper and real objects associated with California’s vibrant, engrossing, surprising and enriching wine history is a noble and worthy endeavor.”

“I say bravo and cheers to Dean Walters! As an entrant to the California wine industry in 1981, opening the now iconic Wine Cask Restaurant, I was one of early wine producers and an avid promoter of the wines from Santa Barbara County.”

“We started with a handful of producers and now Santa Barbara County wines are a force in the wine world. This era of the early Santa Barbara wine trade, the iconic images and the magic of wine will be well documented and tastefully achieved by the efforts of Mr. Walters.”

“I heartily support a museum devoted to the early California wine trade.”


“I think your idea is a good one. Few people realize just how extensive, busy, varied, and interesting the early California wine trade was. A museum and archive devoted to the subject would help to change that, a thing very much worth doing.”

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