In 1832, a young Frenchman, Theophile Vaché, left his family and country to pursue a dream and a better life. He established one of the first vineyards and winery in the Vineyard District of San Benito, using the skills he’d acquired from his wine- and brandy-making family, and becoming a pioneer of the California wine industry.
Theophile’s three nephews—Aldolfe, Emile, and Theophile—joined him on this adventure. The four founded a wholesale importing business of fine wines and spirits in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, calling themselves “Vaché Freres.”
In 1883, the brothers moved to Redlands to fulfill their dream of building their own winery. They found a perfect site next to a running brook…and Brookside Winery was born.
In 1892, another young Frenchman, Marius Biane, came to Redlands to work for the Vaché brothers. Marius fell in love with Aldolphe’s daughter, Marceline, married her, and they had four children: Francois (Pomp), Elenora (Sister Marceline) Philo (named after his Great Uncle Theophile), and Hortense. The Biane family carried on the Vaché tradition of winemaking, acquiring vineyards in the Cucamonga district.
Pomp and Philo, along with their sons, René, Pierre, and Michael, grew Brookside to incredible heights. It became one of the largest wineries in the U.S. Philo’s daughter, Janine, still produces his award-winning Triple Cream Sherry.
Brookside opened 36 retail stores in California, Arizona and Illinois from 1968 to 1974. In 1972, Beatrice Foods bought the company, but it received an offer too good to refuse 10 years later to sell Brookside and all its vineyards, production facilities, and retail stores. It took two years to unwind the winery and inventory.