The Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission is pleased to announce the Nevada County Board of Supervisors has designated the site of the First Commercial Winery as a Nevada County Historical Landmark, NEV 22-03.

Located at 305 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City, the current Novak’s Menswear storefront housed the winery operation of Augustine Isoard in1860. He advertised that “I have on hand a few gallons of Wine manufactured from the Grape by myself, in this city.” Born in France, the Morning Transcript newspaper noted that Mr. Isoard was certainly not a novice in his craft. “He knows exactly how to do it, having been raised under the shade of the vine in la belle France.” His operation grew rather quickly; first advertising “a few gallons” in June of 1860 became “a large lot of superior California wine” by 1862.

Augustine Isoard's advertisment
Source California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside: Nevada Democrat, Volume 8, Number 416, 2 February 1861

Over 100,000 grapevines were planted in Nevada County during the 1850s, often by French settlers, and the industry continues to thrive today. 50,000 gallons were reportedly made in Nevada County in 1870 and the original Nevada City Winery was established around 1880. Finally, in 1987 Nevada County became part of the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Area. All this can be traced back to Augustine Isoard and the First Commercial Winery in Nevada County.

A plaque sponsored by the Celio family, owners of 305 Broad Street, will be dedicated later this year.

The purpose of the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission is to promote the general welfare of Nevada County and its citizens through official recognition, recording, marking, preserving, and promoting the historical resources of Nevada County.