San Gabriel Mission dedicated its historic Original Wine Grape Vineyard Project on Thursday, Oct. 23, in mission’s gardens from one of the original vines that started the original wine grape vineyards of the missions in California and supplied many missions with wine in the early mission era.
“Like the historic orange tree grove planted in June 2006 in mission’s gardens that came from original trees and is the first original orange tree grove at the mission in decades, this is the first working original wine grape vineyard at the mission in decades,” announced mission Public Relations Director Chuck Lyons.
“There is a sign with lots of valuable educational information about our vineyard,” continued Lyons, who co-directed the project along with local wine consultant Arthur Przebinda with help from University of California at Davis for DNA testing mission’s original wine grape vines from which the new vines are 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,” said Lyons.
After the brief vineyard dedication and blessing there was a brief prayer service at 5:30 p.m. for Claretians, Gabrieleno Indians and other people buried in the cemetery in mission’s gardens as part of San Gabriel Mission’s Seventh Annual Candles for Claretians event. The three-day candles are lit each year on Oct. 23, so they are burning the whole day on Oct. 24, St. Anthony Mary Claret Feast Day. St. Claret’s clergy order is the Claretian Missionaries who serve world wide and have served at San Gabriel Mission since February 1908.