It has taken three generations of “Joseph Ginets” to make one adventurous Frenchman’s American dream come true.
The first Joseph Ginet was born in the French Alps, in the small village of St. Jean de la Porte, Savoie. He was born on April 21,1870, the eldest of four children, to Jean and Francoise Ginet. The Ginet family owned vineyards, which the region is famous for.
After his discharge from the French military in 1890, Joseph decided to see more of the world. In Paris, he found work in a restaurant where he earned money for passage to America. Once in America, he worked his way across the country looking for a suitable region to start his own vineyard.
In 1898, Joseph found a neglected orchard outside the town of Jacksonville, Oregon on Sterling Creek. He salvaged the trees and established himself in his new home.
In 1904, Joseph returned to Savoie with hopes of bringing his fiancée and grape cuttings back to America with him. Unfortunately, her family would not allow her to leave France so he returned to America alone, with only his cuttings.
Joseph found other French families in Jacksonville, but was unable to find a wife. He eventually found a ‘mail order’ bride of French Canadian descent. Corinne Valiquette came to Sterling Creek accompanied by her mother. Joseph and Corinne were married on November 4, 1912.
Joseph made wine and sold fruit and grape plants. He named his business "Plaisance Orchard." Joseph and Corinne had four young daughters and Corinne was eight months pregnant when Joseph died of a heart attack on September 8, 1928. Corinne and Joseph’s only son, Joseph Jr., was born November 3, 1928, two months after his father’s death.
Joseph, the Frenchman, had been proud of his American citizenship. He was careful to observe every law, except Prohibition, which he considered unjust. Two of Joseph and Corinne’s daughters became nuns at Marylhurst Convent in Portland, Oregon. Their son, Joseph, married and had three children, but sadly, died of cancer as a young man.
Today, the third generation of Ginets is making wine once again. Joseph Ginet’s grandson, Joe, and his wife Suzi, have imported plants from the family vineyards in St. Jean de la Porte, and UC Davis, and are fulfilling Joseph’s dream in America.
Joseph Ginet is again making wine and offering plants for sale from Plaisance Ranch, "with great pleasure."
*To read a more detailed account of the Ginet family, read Sister Virginia Ginets' book, Walking With Basotho, about her life, including her thirty years working as a nun in South Africa.
Plaisance \Plai`sance"\, n. [French] pronounciation: "PLAY-zonce" Pleasure; merriment; gayety; delight; kindness. "With great pleasure."