Born in France, Jean-Louis Vignes (1780-1862) is an almost forgotten, important wine-growing pioneer of the USA, He is considered the first commercial winemaker California, He emigrated in 1827 from his homeland on the so-called James Cook Sandwich Island, which is now the island of Hawaii Kaua'i. His wife (who never followed him) and his five children (three of whom also immigrated much later) stayed behind in Cadillac. He was busy there with viticulture, the cultivation of sugarcane, from which he rum burned, as well as the cattle and turkey breeding. In the course of a by the local Protestant missionaries obtained alcohol ban and destruction of sugar cane fields, he immigrated to California in 1831 in the then Mexican era. Vignes bought 104 acres of land on the banks of the Los Angeles River and began viniculture on his named as "El Aliso" winery.
Initially, he made wine exclusively from the historic variety Mission (introduced by the Franciscans) Listán Prieto ), which produced large quantities of grapes or wine, but insufficient quality. That is why Vignes began importing European varieties, such as Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, So that the vines survived the long cruise without damage, they were wrapped in moist moss and potato slices. From 1840, he sold his wines throughout California. From 1850 he had 40,000 vines in the inventory and produced about 150,000 bottles of wine. Samples were sent to the 10th US President John Tyler (1790-1862) and to France. From the year 1851 Vignes also dealt with the cultivation of oranges, apricots, apples, figs and walnuts. In 1855, he sold his business to his nephews for $ 40,000. Now, he was socially active by co-financing a hospital and helping found the first public school in California. Los Angeles-based Vignes and Aliso Street today commemorate its significant achievements in Californian viticulture.