San Gabriel Mission recently dedicated its historic Original Wine Grape Vineyard Project in the mission’s gardens. The project brought back one of the authentic vines that started the original grape vineyards of the California missions that supplied many missions with wine. The grape vine joins the historic orange tree grove planted in June 2006 in the mission’s gardens.
The grove is comprised of trees that were genetically traced to the mission’s original trees. It is the first original orange tree grove at the mission in decades. Likewise, it’s been decades since the mission has had a vineyard. Chuck Lyons from the mission co-directed the project along with local wine consultant Arthur Przebinda and with help from the University of California at Davis, which did the DNA testing of the mission’s original wine grape vines from which the new vines were propagated.
“The mission is also thankful to Carlos Galeazzi and John Zago for building and donating new sign holders in mission’s gardens in the past few years, and to Andrew Cordova, Jorge Del Rio, John McDonald, Jose Padron and Manuel Salcido for their assistance in the project,” Lyons said. After the brief vineyard dedication and blessing there was a short prayer service for Claretians, Gabrieleno Indians and other people buried in the cemetery in the mission’s gardens. The service was part of San Gabriel Mission’s seventh annual Candles for Claretians event.