Our Legacy Project

Preserving & sharing the legacy of California’s early wine trade.
“Today is part of yesterday, and the foundation of tomorrow.” André Tchelistcheff, 1975

We are a treasure house of artifacts representing California’s wine history before Prohibition brought the vast industry to a halt. The seeds of today’s stellar industry are reflected in its formative years with its rich commercial art. We collect, conserve, and exhibit period material including photographs, advertising, ephemera, correspondence, wine bottles, and more, sharing this legacy with all who are interested.

In 2015 the ECWTM incorporated in California as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We operate with an all volunteer board of directors: Dean Walters, Managing Director & President of the Board; Stephanie Blythe, Chief Financial Officer; Graeme MacDonald, Vice President; Bo Simons, Secretary; Andrea Miller; Justinian Brock; & John O’Neill.

We are looking for a permanent home in Northern California where we can bring to life the Golden Age of Wine in California with displays and lectures, host events, and preserve our historic artifacts. We see Napa Valley or Sonoma County as desirable for a home due to their standing in wine tourism and wine production.

In the meantime, we will continue to present short term displays where venues are available. Up to date announcements for these displays will be made of our Facebook page…just click on the Museum Events button in the menu bar.

Please consider supporting our legacy project, its exhibitions, collection care, and education programs with a gift or contribution to our Museum Fund. Your much appreciated tax-deductible gift will make a difference, and will assist us with all of the museum’s essential work.

Dean Walters, Managing Director, ECWTM

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The Golden Age of Wine

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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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Questions, comments, or suggestions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch by using any of the following:

Snail Mail:
Early California Wine Trade Museum™
c/o Dean Walters
PO Box 717, San Anselmo, CA 94979

Dean Walters

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