America’s First Wine Tanker in Stockton (1957)

 

Vintage postcard of the SS Angelo Petri loading cargo of wine at Port of Stockton

Vintage postcard of the SS Angelo Petri loading cargo of wine at Port of Stockton

Arrival of the Google barge to Stockton made me wonder if there have been other interesting vessels at the Port in the past, which might have created similar media frenzies. 

The S.S. Angelo Petri’s conversion from a World War II tanker to a wine ship in 1957 by Louis Petri of local United Vintners comes to mind. The conversion included the building of stainless steel tanks capable of holding 2.5 million gallons of wine, never been done at that scale.

The vessel’s purpose was to ship wine for bottling from the surrounding Stockton area to Texas and the East coast, by way of the Panama Canal. As one of the two largest and most influential winemakers in the region, the other being the Gallo Brothers, the Petri’s were constantly looking for efficiency.

It was considered to be the largest wine tanker ever built and created quite a buzz at the time of its 1957 maiden voyage at its base, the Port of Stockton. It was in commercial service until 1972, and most likely sold for scrapping a few years later. 

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