B. April 9,1780 – d. January 17, 1862
Jean-Louis Vignes, or as he was known to his Spanish and Mexican neighbors, "Don Luis del Aliso", was a French settler to the Los Angeles area during the Mexican era. He was the first commercial wine maker in California and one of the first men to import and plant European Vitis vinifera grapes in the state. A skilled cooper by trade and an adventurer and entrepreneur by choice, he arrived in the Sandwich Islands on July 6, 1827 from Béguey, a village downriver from Cadillac, Gironde, France. After losing his business in Honolulu, he sailed to California and landed at El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de la Porciúncula in 1831. Upon his arrival, he bought 104 acres of land located between the original Pueblo and the banks of the Los Angeles river. Vignes proceeded to plant vines and to build a winery. Unhappy with the quality of the local Mission grapes, he imported Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc vines from Bordeaux In 1834, Vignes also planted one of the first orange groves in the Los Angeles area. By 1849, El Aliso, as Vignes' property was called, was the most extensive vineyard in California. Vignes owned over 40,000 vines and produced 150,000 bottles, or 1000 barrels, per year. In 1850, Vignes was the largest wine producer in California.