A Day at Yountville

This article is excerpted from an article that appeared in the Napa Daily Register, Friday, October 3, 1873

Groezinger’s Wine Cellar, Vineyard, Orchard, Nursery, Dwelling, etc. Wine and Wheat Shipments – Caymus Dairy – …Etc. Etc.

We have had the pleasure, this week, of spending a day at Yountville, and noting the large and growing business interests of which that place is the center.

Groezinger’s Wine Cellar
Was the first to claim our attention. We were fortunate enough to find its proprietor at home, and to his courtesy we are indebted for a pleasant tour of the immense establishment, with its extensive vineyards, and much interesting and valuable information. The cellar itself – largest, best made and most complete and elaborate in all its appointments, of any that we have seen – has been often described. It cost, with its casks, upwards of $40,000, and is capable of storing 400,000 gallons of wine. The grapes are crushed on the second floor, being hauled up there on a car and inclined plane, by horsepower. The car takes, at a load, 24 boxes of 60 lbs. each. The juice from the crusher runs down into the fermenting tanks on the first floor. Connected with the wine cellar is a large distillery, with a steam engine and the most complete apparatus for all the branches of the business. The product of the cellar last year was 85,000 gallons – this year – owning to the scarcity of grapes – it is not expected to exceed 30,000. Mr. G., besides using the grapes from his own large vineyard, buys largely from a tract of country extending from Napa City on the one side to the Cloverdale country on the other. It requires a very large number of boxes to keep the pickers supplied in all the vineyards where Mr. G. is buying. The number used for this establishment is 3,000. Mr. Groezinger expects to get about 200 tons, altogether, this year. The price paid, this season, is $20 per ton from the Californias, and from that on up to $25 and $27.50 to $35 for foreign; being an advance for from $5 to $10 per ton, over last season. The Reisling, Zinfandel, small Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria and Black Malvoisa’s bring the highest prices.

The Caymus Dairy
Nestled up close in the canyon that comes through from Foss Valley is one of the most beautiful streams of water to be found in the State. Here is the famous “Caymus Dairy”, owned by Mrs. Geo. C. Yount, and carried on by Mr. A. Spencer, lessee. The stock numbers 80 cows and the labor of four persons are constantly required to milk and manufacture butter and cheese. The location is specially adapted by nature for a dairy farm, and the cold mountain stream that runs through the milk house keeps up a delightful temperature, even in the hottest weather. Everything is in the neatest and trimmest order imaginable, and the butter and cheese, under the skillful management of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, have a first class reputation wherever they go. The butter is all sold in the valley; the cheese is mostly shipped to San Francisco.

Residence of Mrs. Yount
One of the historic localities of the valley, and indeed, of all the state, is the celebrated “Yount Place,” now the residence of Mrs. Yount, relic of the noted pioneer, George C. Yount. The buildings present are not imposing, but comfortable appearance, and the grounds are richly adorned with fruit trees, shrubbery and flowers.