A. Wine Queens
B. The first Chili Cook-offs (pairing Zinfandel with chili)
C. Grape harvesting contests for high schoolers
D. Grape naming contests inviting consumers to suggest names for new grape varieties being developed at the University of California at Davis
One of the highlights of the California State Fair in the 1950s and 1960s was the chance to see the newly crowned Wine Queen. The first local Wine Queen was chosen in 1913 at a fair in San Diego County. Wine queen popularity grew during Prohibition as small towns all over California crowned one of their own. By the 1950s and 1960s, the Wine Queen at the California State Fair had celebrity status, and she also had an active PR role, helping to promote wine consumption and sales in the state.