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Paul Masson

The native Frenchman Paul Masson (1859-1940) is considered one of the most important pioneers of Californian viticulture. He emigrated in 1878 from Burgundy California where he is for Charles Lefranc in his winery Almaden Vineyards worked as marketing manager. Masson returned to France in 1880, but later emigrated due to the Phylloxera disaster finally moved to California and married after the death of Lefranc in 1887, his daughter Louise. After a short-lived partnership with his brother-in-law Henry Lefranc, he founded his own winery in Almaden. There he produced his first sparkling wine in 1892, which earned him the title "Champagne King of California" as a result of the great success. After the accidental death of his brother in 1909, he also led Almaden Vineyards until 1930.

In 1901, Masson founded a winery called Paul Masson Mountain Winery in Saratoga, where he outsourced part of the production and produced sparkling wine. Built on a hill above the winery in 1905, the "Château" overlooks the Santa Clara Valley. The winery was destroyed during the great earthquake in 1906 and rebuilt afterwards. A special feature is the built in the course of this renovation church portal of the also badly damaged St. Patrick's Church in San Jose, which dates from the 12th century. During the prohibition (1920-1933) Masson got a license for the production of "sacramental and medicinal wines". In 1936, the Paul Masson Mountain Winery was acquired by Martin Ray. Finally, in 1952, the winery and thus the wine production were shut down.

The elaborately adapted winery is operated since 1958 as an event center under the name Historic Mountain Winery for weddings, meetings, etc. There are also regular concerts with well-known artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Ringo Starr, Ray Charles, Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder, as well as chess tournaments. The Château is also used for events. From the neighboring winery "Mount Eden" wines are produced under the label "Mountain Winery". The grapes are not from their own vineyards, but are purchased. The new owners since 2004 (including an ex-vice president of INTEL and one of the founders of HotMail) but now put on a small vineyard, the first wine (since 1952) was marketed in 2008.

In 1990, the vineyards and the brand name Paul Masson were purchased by Vintners International, which in turn from 1993 Constellation Brands were taken over. This multi sold the wineries in 2008 Almaden Vineyards. Inglenook Winery and Paul Masson to the Wine Group, There is no connection to the former Paul Masson Mountain Winery. Paul Masson is one of the most successful US brands (see below GAMIT ). She is also known for a 1970s commercial with Orson Welles (1915-1985), in which the actor promises: "We will sell wine before its time" (We will not sell wine before its time (= maturity) ) . The Internet (YouTube) features a notorious "outtake" of the commercial showing Welles in a lumbering, drunk state. The head office is in the city of Gonzales Monterey County, The total vineyard area is around 2,300 hectares. Under the label "Paul Masson" a wide range of alcoholic beverages is produced. These include liqueurs, brandies, fortified dessert wines in Marsala, Madeira, sherry, and port wine style, sparkling wines, as well as table wines in larger glass bottles and Bag-in-Boxes, Here are also wines under the label Taylor (Taylor California Cellars) produced.

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