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Biography

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The Hammondsport and Pleasant Valley Wine Company was established on March 15, 1860 by Charles Davenport Champlin and twelve area businessmen. The company was designated as Bonded Winery No.1 in its state and federal districts. In 1865 Joseph Masson became the wine-maker and around this time the production of sparkling wine was initiated. This wine, which was marketed under the brand name Great Western, became the first American sparkling wine to win an award in Europe. The awards included first prizes in Vienna, 1873; Paris 1889; Brussels, 1897; Paris, 1900; and Brussels in 1910. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the company had many prestigious personal and business accounts. Between 1872 and 1875, Charles Champlin and his associates built the nine-mile Bath to Hammondsport Railroad in order to compete with canal transportation.