Prohibition ended. What a time that was beginning in 1919 and ending in 1935. There were so many secret stills, organized crime overseeing bootleg liquor, speakeasies, murders. The cure was worse than the disease the temperance advocates believed in. My grandfather was a drummer in a band back in the 20's which played in speakeasies, my dad had stories about how he as a young boy learned the code to get into those places. I have a photo somewhere.
Interestingly, wine was allowed to be purchased by church bodies for their sacred rites, both Christian and Jewish. Religion kept the California vineyards going until prohibition ended, were it not for churches and communion, California's wine fields would have met the same fate as those in Virginia and Missouri-burned to the ground by the fed, and in the case of Virginia, not a seed left.
When it finally became legal to drink spirits again, Virginia's wine producers did not recover or even bother until almost the 1950's and when they did begin again, they were given starter vines from Missouri. Missouri wine people were able to save some seed, cuttings and ironically, those vines originated from 1800's Virginia vines. So payback.
Missouri's wine up until prohibition had won gold medals all across Europe, but even they had many decades to go before their wines began producing good product. There is a great book written by Todd Kliman, the food writer for Washingtonian Magazine called The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine. This book is so informative with information we never knew about the search for a truly American grape and wine it is worth a read. It is so well written that you'll carry the information with you whenever you're around wine drinkers, and, you'll become very interested in finding some of this wine.