Anaheim Wine

Long before Disneyland and even the orange groves, there was a thriving wine industry in early Anaheim. In 1885, Benjamin Dreyfus built this large 80-foot by 200-foot brick winery at a cost of $40,000. Unfortunately, the outbreak of Pierce's Disease in the grape vines soon ended the business of wine making in Anaheim. This was an imposing stone building, far larger than anything else of the kind in the area, but when it was completed and ready to receive a vintage, there was no vintage to receive. The building thereafter passed through various roles as a warehouse, a factory for chicken-feeding equipment, even as a winter quarters for a circus.

 

This image from the late 1880s shows a large room, largely filled with concrete wine vats to the right of wood pillars, and wine casks to the left.

The building remained a local landmark for decades on an 8 acre site that is southwest of Anaheim near Ball and old Manchester. [MAP]

There is a high rise bank building on the location today and the Anaheim Sheraton is just to the south.

In the late 1940s or early 50s, a good portion of the building's east side was removed to make way for the 5 freeway construction, sparing it for another twenty-some years. It was still standing when my family moved to Anaheim in 1972 and had also been used as an orange juice cannery in it's later years. Many of my classmates who lived nearby recall playing inside it when it sat abandoned and Campus Life, held one of their most famous haunted houses here before the building was demolished in 1973. Another lost piece of early Anaheim history

The building can be seen at the top right of this aerial photo from 1961. Also visible is the original Disneyland Hotel and theme park and the surrounding area.



This aerial view from june of 1956 is facing east with the 5 Freeway and Ball Road intersecting in the upper right corner. The building is still surrounded by groves which extend west and border the then new housing tracts between Ball and Walnut.

This photo is the same area two years later in 1958. The view is looking north. Compare this to the next photo of the same view as it looks today.

This photo, taken by a late 1950s motorist, shows the building obscured by a sign for the recently opened Disneyland.