PROHIBITION

Paul & Virgil

The Galleron Brothers in 1926
Virgil, age 8 & Paul, age 3

On January 13, 1919 the State of California ratified the 18th Amendment and the Galleron's and the rest of the winegrowing community were faced with the challenge of making a living during Prohibition. The law now prohibited the production, sale, and transportation of intoxicating alcoholic beverages. Undaunted, Virgile and Angele Galleron made bootleg wine in their basement and drove it into San Francisco, where it was passed to Angele's brother August Escallier and sold. The wine was also transported over state lines into Nevada, where Virgile's brother, Valentine Galleron resided.

Angele, who was terrified that their illegal operation would be discovered, would race out of the house anytime a car turned onto the road and would run down the driveway waving her apron in a "shoo-shoo" motion to keep visitor's at bay so they wouldn't smell the wine brewing in the basement. In order to transport the wine inconspicuously to San Francisco and Reno, Nevada, the back seat of the car was removed and the jugs of bootleg wine were hidden under grape boxes. The Galleron children, Paul & Virgil were made to sit on top of the make-shift backseat so it would appear to be an innocent family outing. Meanwhile, back at the ranch in typical French fashion, many of the local Rutherford cronies, including the sheriff, would gather in the Galleron basement for a repast of bootleg wine in the heat of the afternoon.

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