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Queen (for More Than a Day)

The first wine queen in California (a state which has also anointed garlic queens, artichoke queens and so on) was crowned in 1913 in Escondido, San Diego County, a time when the state’s wine industry was centered in the south. Wine queen popularity grew in the 1920’s—curiously, during Prohibition. With their “hometown girl” beauty, wine queens were often the highlights of harvest celebrations and county fairs. In the 1930s, when wine production exceeded demand in Germany and later in Spain and Austria, those countries also began crowning wine queens to help promote wine consumption and sales. In the U.S., Lodi crowned its first wine queen in 1934 during the annual Lodi Grape Festival. (One of the Lodi queens is pictured above). Local queens often competed for an even grander title; being crowned the California State Fair wine queen was the height of queendom in the 1950s and 1960s. (By the way, what well known woman was named an honorary Artichoke Queen?) Before Wiki-checking, send your answer to [email protected].

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