Jasper Dickson of Angeleno Wine Co. picks grapes at San Gabriel Mission. Members of the L.A. Vintners Association will take grapes and cuttings from vines dating back to the 1770s, using them to make wine and replant in other vineyards. On a recent Saturday morning in the courtyard of the San Gabriel Mission, winemaker Jasper Dickson stood beneath a cluster of dark red grapes and gnarled vines.
Positioning his ladder against one of the church’s exterior walls, he glanced over at Terri Huerta, director of development and communications for the mission, and gestured to the 200-year-old adobe brick. “OK if I lean this here?” he asked tentatively. “Oh, that’s fine,” Huerta said with a smirk. “Those walls have been through worse.” That might be putting it mildly. After surviving two powerful earthquakes in the 1980s, in July the historic mission-church was badly damaged by a massive fire that destroyed the roof and complicated a large-scale restoration that was underway in advance of the 250th anniversary of the mission’s founding next year.
Yet for anyone looking for a bit of news that isn’t connected to destruction, it might be found in the mission’s bucolic courtyard, home to a leafy green […]