Joshua ChauvetJoshua Chauvet was accustomed to hard work, but his first season in the goldfields was— as it proved for many— a miserable disappointment. Meanwhile the bread Joshua baked for other miners was, on the other hand, a definite success; but flour proved as expensive as gold, so he asked his father to bring millstones from France to grind the flour that he needed.

After trying several different locations in the gold country Chauvet came here in 1856, to the mill Vallejo had built where Asbury Creek emptied into Sonoma Creek, and he recognized it as the perfect place to finally settle down. The trees had been mostly harvested by then, and farmers had begun growing grain; it was time to convert the saw mill into a grist mill.

Chauvet was in the right place at the right time. He helped develop the region, welcoming settlers as they arrived and arranging the sale of land to them. He developed a water system and a brickyard, and established one of the first wineries in the region. When the trains eventually arrived, his wines became known throughout the country.