"California may be the golden state but it is also a garden state. Innumerable gardens have been made since the Europeans first came, starting with the Franciscan missionaries. The gold rush was the defining period, leading to immense expenditures by newly rich miners."
"Vignes was a popular citizen in his time and lived in a house near the Los Angeles River with a fine old sycamore tree before it, of which he bragged as much as he did of his grape vines. The Spanish-American word for sycamore is aliso, and so he was nicknamed Don Luis del Aliso. The tree is long since swallowed up in the growth of the city..."
"These were the economic conditions that Jean Vignes faced during his early days in Los Angeles. His experience and background turned him away from any connection with the city’s only major business, cattle, and led him towards the vine. He was able to recognize the shortcomings of the local vineyards, and, at the same time, realize the possibilities that the area represented. The soil and climate, he knew, could support an industry and produce wines comparable to Europe’s best. He is quoted as declaring that the area was 'just the place to grow them [oranges and grape vines] to perfection.'"