wine history tours logo
Book Now

1848 — 1855 - The California Gold Rush took place

James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, on January 24, 1848, sparking the start of the California Gold Rush. About 300,000 people from other parts of the United States and abroad flocked to California after hearing about the discovery of gold. The unexpected growth in population permitted California to become a state in the Compromise of 1850, and the sudden influx of gold into the money supply revived the American economy.

Traveling west in search of greater opportunities, Americans brought with them a thirst for wealth and a love of wine. In addition to boosting the market for the wine already produced in California, the gold rushers also brought vines from the East coast, the majority of which were native to France, as well as Zinfandel, a grape for which California would later become famous and which originated in Croatia.

Read More: