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Paul Masson

French-born Paul Masson (1859-1940) is considered one of the most important pioneers of Californian viticulture. He immigrated from Burgundy to California in 1878, where he worked for Charles Lefranc in his winery Almaden Vineyards as marketing manager. Masson returned to France in 1880, but later emigrated permanently to California due to the phylloxera disaster, and married Lefranc's daughter Louise after his death in 1887. After a short-lived partnership with his brother-in-law Henry Lefranc, he founded his own winery in Almaden. There he produced his first sparkling wine in 1892, which subsequently earned him the title "Champagne King of California" due to its great success. After the accidental death of his brother-in-law in 1909, he also managed Almaden Vineyards until 1930

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