The beginnings of enology (wine making) and viticulture (grape growing) in Redlands, California are attributed to the efforts of one man; Dr. Benjamin Barton. It was in 1859 that he planted 60,000 grape vines of the little known Spanish variety “Listan Prieto“ which are known to produce weak, low-acid wines, from cuttings he obtained from the San Gabriel Mission upon the land that he had purchased from the Later-day saints. This was the start of the Barton Winery and vineyard which ultimately evolved into and was absorbed by The Brookside Winery.



Even though the building still exists,

please respect the owners privacy

and stay off the property!

Brookside Winery
Redlands, San Bernardino County

The Brookside Winery is a large, brick two-story building constructed in 1888 in Redlands. The gambrel roof, broad proportions of the building itself, lunette window in the eaves, large central circular doorway at ground level, and brick arches over the windows are all reminiscent of French nineteenth-century wineries. Sheets of metal cover the roof.

Nearby is the Chinese bunkhouse, which housed Chinese American workers. The bunkhouse is a small, one-story building, made of vertical board and batten redwood. Two attachments have been added to the bunkhouse.

The Brookside Winery employed 30 Chinese Americans, who performed various services. They prepared and fired bricks as well as building the barns, wine cellars, and houses.

The Brookside Winery was founded by Theophile Vache, who immigrated to California from France in 1830. Within two years, he had established a winery in the Monterey County area. In 1882, the Vache family leased from Dr. Ben Barton the vineyards and winery he had established on his ranch west of Redlands. The Vaches then purchased from the Southern Pacific Railroad the land in lower San Timoteo Canyon.

There they planted their vineyard. On October 10, 1885, they harvested grapes, crushed them, and began to ferment their first wine on that property. The social climate, however, was hostile to wine production. Redlands was dominated by prohibitionists, and temperance was virtually a religious issue. The Vaches ceased to sell wine in 1914 and sold the property in 1916.