The upstairs walls of Herzog Wine Cellars detail a lot of information for visitors – the winemaking process, grapes, corks, and barrels – as well as the rich history of the Herzog family.
This story will get just a little richer on Aug. 4 when a historian from Wells Fargo bank will be at the Oxnard, Calif., winery to present members of the Herzog family with a priceless piece of their family history.
Corporate historian Andy Anderson has unearthed a copy of the passenger manifest from a 1948 Pan American Airways flight from Prague to New York. Aboard that flight were eight members of the Herzog family, fleeing Czechoslovakia after the Communist takeover.
They already had lost their family winery, brewery and much of their fortune in the Holocaust, and were hoping that America would offer a new start. To anyone familiar with Royal Wine Corp. and Herzog Wine Cellars, it’s clear that America did indeed offer a new start.
Dr. Anderson has been with Wells Fargo since 1977, and added extensively to the bank’s historical past over those 30-plus years. He has built Wells Fargo archives, museums, and a modern fleet of Wells Fargo stagecoaches.
Dr. Anderson’s education and interest in history also led to his current work – helping families and businesses discover their family history and cultural roots. He believes that a family can better plan its legacy into the future with a greater understanding of its past.
This has proven to be an incredible tool for building strong business relationships. Dr. Anderson originally presented the flight manifest back in 2007 to the Herzog elders at their corporate headquarters in Bayonne, N.J. They were stunned.
“What is this!” Philip Herzog gasped. He sat silently, pressing his fingers to his closed eyelids, holding the evidence of a flight to a new life in New York when he was 12. “Where did you find this?”
Dr. Anderson, along with other representatives from Wells Fargo bank, will be at Herzog Wine Cellars on Aug. 4 to make another presentation of the manifest, which will then adorn the wall of the winery’s upstairs self-guided tour.
“It’s an amazing piece of our past,” says Joseph Herzog, General Manager of the Oxnard facility and eighth generation family member. “To be able to have this, and to share it with our visitors – it’s truly priceless.”