Cycles Gladiator Winery

Americans then might have been shocked by the thought of a woman wearing pantaloons or bloomers pedaling a bicycle, but the French understood what sold products—thus the 'uninhibited' appearance of the Cycles Gladiator advertising poster.


Cycles Gladiator symbolizes a celebration of the freedom and happiness that pervaded Europe in the late 19th century—an era known as the Belle Epoque. This era marked many notable inventions and improvements to daily life, not the least of which was the modern bicycle or Le Bicycle Velocipede.

Started in Paris in 1891 by Alexandre Darracq (an eccentric, who would later become famous for manufacturing automobiles), Gladiator was one of the dozens of bicycle companies that saturated the market when the cycling craze boomed. The Golden Age of cycling reached its pinnacle in 1895—and that same year printer G. Massias unveiled one of the great Parisian advertising posters. Only four of these original posters exist today.

The famed artwork that once showcased the stylish Cycles Gladiator now graces the bottles of our classic wines from California’s renowned Lodi appellation. The mythological image of the nymph riding her winged bicycle captures the grace and uninhibited beauty of our hillside vineyards.


History of the Bicycle

The invention of the bicycle had a revolutionary impact around the world. Considered the first democratic means of transportation, the bicycle eliminated dependence on the horse and carriage and allowed people the freedom to transport themselves faster and more efficiently. Though the exact history of the bicycle is unclear, the Golden Age of Cycling reached its pinnacle in the late 1800s, during the Belle Epoque era, when a number of modifications brought the ordinary bicycle to its highest level of improvement. The modern bicycle was now more comfortable and safe to ride and liberated people from traditional methods of transportation.

Women in particular benefited from the enhanced mobility and independence, and it spurred a revolution in women’s fashion.Women now wore pantaloons, trousers and other cycling ‘gear’—which was considered shocking by the traditionalists and newspapers of the day. Susan B. Anthony once wrote: “Let me tell you what I think about bicycling: It has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”
Bicycles are considered the first democratic means of transportation


The Belle Epoque Era

The years between 1871 and 1914 represent one of the most fascinating periods in European history. During this time Europe was enjoying a period of interior peace, and a modern world began to emerge. Arts and sciences developed with an incomparable speed and intensity. A joy of life awoke in all social classes, and with that a desire for new, extraordinary, sensational things. People were seized by the feeling of a new start into better times and a sense of freedom and happiness prevailed.

History’s greatest transformation of art and poetry from traditional to modern occurred during the Belle Epoque. Art in every genre prospered like never before. In Paris, a recognizable artistic style emerged during this era where it appeared in numerous forms—most notably in posters advertising various goods and entertainment. Food, beverages, bicycles, and theatrical performances were but a few of the subjects of these now famous Parisian works.

A hundred years later, the same thing happened to the wine industry. History’s greatest transformation of wine from traditional to modern has occurred during the last two decades of the 20th century and wine has prospered like never before—advancements in viticulture and winemaking coupled with the widespread and media-driven acceptance of wine as a part of a healthy lifestyle have transformed the wine industry.

[Cycles Gladiator Winery]
Arts and sciences developed with an incomparable speed and intensity