Scope and Contents
The Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (SLWC) Documentation Project was conducted by an inter-disciplinary team at the National Museum of American History. It is a part of a larger effort by the Museum's American Food and Wine team to document and interpret the changing ways in which Americans have produced, prepared, and consumed their food and drink, especially in the years after World War II. Team members are Nanci Edwards (Office of Project Management and former Collections Manager of the Museum's Agriculture Collection), John Fleckner (Senior Archivist, Archives Center), Rayna Green (Curator, Division of Home and Community Life), and Paula Johnson (Curator, Division of Work and Industry). Jeff Tinsley of the Smithsonian's Office of Photographic Services accompanied the team and shot many of the slides and color photographs.
This collection chronicles the growth and development of American viticulture and viniculture from its revival in the 1960s to the present. It offers a case study in the art and business of making fine wine from the bud to the bottle. Warren Winiarski, founder of SLWC in California's Napa Valley, is deeply interested in the legacy of American winemaking and his winery's place within its broader history. The Winiarski family has generously participated and financially supported the creation of this collection.
The documentation touches on all aspects of the wine business, including picking grapes in the vineyards, making wine in the cellar, marketing it from the business office, and promoting its sales in the tasting room and around the globe. SLWC employees describe the land, the work, the tools, the technical processes, the passions, and the motivations that create SLWC's world famous wines. The collection also provides insights into wider patterns of American immigration history, agricultural and environmental history, ethnic community development, land use in the West, product marketing, and consumerism.
The archival collection is mainly comprised of recorded oral history interviews, documentary photographs, and video footage created by the documentation team in 1997. It also includes company newsletters, vineyard and winery production data sheets, wine labels, and related printed materials collected in 1997 with additional materials added occasionally.
It is divided into seven series, including interviews and abstracts, audiotapes, photographs and slides, videotapes, business records, and printed materials.