Interesting history of Mendocino Grape Growers Co-op Winery
on 31/10/10 at 9:19 amIndustry
INTERESTING HISTORY. What of the history of Mendocino Grape Growers, Inc? Why did these grape growers organize? When did they organize? And what is the story behind the story that they did organize?
With repeal of the 18th amendment, the prohibition amendment, several groups considered building a co-op winery, but nothing came to a head, because the crisis requiring action had not been reached.
The turning point
was in 1938, when the U. S. department of agriculture, in action that many Ukiah valley grape growers considered absolutely unscrupulous, put into effect the pro rate act on grapes for the whole state of California, including dry wine grapes. The reason the growers considered the department’s action unscrupulous was because the pro rate act was intended to cover all types of grapes combined, thereby creating an over supply, whereas there was no surplus of dry wine grapes.
What was the pro rate act, and how did it affect the grape growers of the entire state, particularly the dry wine grape growers?
Under it, 55 per cent of the grape crop tonnage was free tonnage, that is, the grower could sell it as he pleased. Thirty per cent was set-aside tonnage, and 15 per cent was surplus tonnage.
The 30 per cent and the 15 per cent could only be sold through certain, controlled channels. Their returns as to the amount and time were questionable — also how they were to be utilized.