Route 66 News

The keeper of the Route 66 Trailhead Park’s grapevines

The grapevines growing at Route 66 Trailhead Park in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., serve an ornamental purpose, but they hold a historical aspect as well.

Gino Filippi, a city counciler for nearby Upland, Calif., and the son of local vintner Joseph Filippi, volunteers to help prune and maintain the 36 fledgling Mission grapevines at the park, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. He explained why these vines were planted at the park:

Besides being significant to Rancho Cucamonga’s past — the Cucamonga Valley once had more than 20,000 acres of vineyards under cultivation — these vines of the Mission variety are also an important link to California history, Filippi said.

The grapes were once planted near missions and were favored for their high crop yields; the grapes of which were used to produce sacramental wines and Angelica, a wine typically fortified with brandy.

It’s mighty generous for Filippi to provide such expertise. I hope the City of Upland doesn’t give him criticism for helping what essentially is a rival town.

In addition to walking and cycling trails, the park features a portion of the original bridge that sat above Foothill Boulevard (aka Route 66) from 1929 until it was removed in 2010 for its replacement and a stretch of original two-lane Route 66 pavement from the early 20th century.

(Photo of the Route 66 Trailhead Park’s Mission grapevines courtesy of Van Varbel via Flickr)


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