FROM THE DISCOVERY TO THE REVOLUTION
The Beginnings, 1000-1700
The history of the vine in America begins, symbolically at least, in the fogs that shroud the medieval Norsemen's explorations. Every American knows the story of Leif Ericsson, and how, in A.D. 1001, he sailed from Greenland to the unknown country to the west. The story, however, is not at all clear. Historians disagree as to what the records of this voyage actually tell us, since they are saga narratives; they come from a remote era, from a strange language, and are uncritical, indistinct, and contradictory. Most experts, however, will agree that Leif—or someone—reached the new land. There, at least according to one saga, while Leif and his men went exploring in one direction, another member of the company, a German named Tyrker, went off by himself and made the discovery of what he called wine-berries—vinber in the original Old Norse, translated into English as "grapes." The Norsemen made Tyrker's "grapes" a part of their cargo when they sailed away, and Leif, in honor of this notable part of the country's produce, called the land "Wineland."
As a German, Tyrker claimed to know what he was talking about: "I was born where there is no lack of either grapes or vines," he told Leif. But the latest opinion inclines to the belief that the vines of Leif Ericsson's "Wineland"—most probably the northern coast of Newfoundland —were in fact not grapes at all but the plants of the wild cranberry.  Another guess is that what the Vikings named the land for was meadow grass, called archaically vin or vinber , and misinterpreted by later tellers of the saga.  No wild grapes grow in so high a latitude. Though it is powerfully
tempting to believe that the Vikings really did discover grapes in their Vinland, the evidence is all against them unless we suppose that the climate of the region was significantly warmer then than now. Their name of "Wineland," however, was excellent prophecy. For the continent that they had discovered was in fact a great natural vineyard, where, farther to the south, and from coast to coast, the grape rioted in profusion and variety.
Grapes grow abundantly in many parts of the world: besides the grapes of the classic sites in the Near East and in Europe, there are Chinese grapes, Sudanese grapes, Caribbean grapes. But, though the grape vine is widely tolerant and readily adaptable, it will not grow everywhere, and in some places where it grows vig-
orously, it still does not grow well for the winemaker's purposes. The main restrictions are the need for sufficient sun to bring the clusters of fruit to full ripeness, yet sufficient winter chill to allow the vine to go dormant. There is another consideration. The so-called "balance" of a wine requires that the sugar content of the grape—essentially the product of heat—not overwhelm the acid content. Too much heat leads to too much sugar and reduction of flavor. Too little, to too much acid. Either extreme destroys the balance of elements. Since the continental United States lies within the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, it is, most of it, potential vineyard area—though not necessarily good vineyard area. In fact, more species of native vines are found in North America than anywhere else in the world. The number of its native species varies according to the system of classification followed, but it is on the order of thirty, or about half of the number found throughout the entire world. 
One must emphasize the word native . The vine of European winemaking, the vine that Noah planted after the Flood, is the species vinifera —"the wine bearer," in Linnaeus's Latin—of the genus Vitis , the vine. Vitis vinifera is the vine whose history is identical with the history of wine itself: the leaves of vinifera bind the brows of Dionysus in his triumph; the seeds of vinifera are found with the mummies of the pharaohs in the pyramids. It was the juice of vinifera, mysteriously alive with the powers of fermentation, that led the ancients to connect wine with the spiritual realm and to make it an intimate part of religious ceremony. In the thousands of years during which vinifera has been under cultivation, it has produced thousands of varieties—4,000 by one count, 5,000 by another, 8,000 by yet another, though there is no realistic way to arrive at a figure.  The grape is constantly in process of variation through the seedlings it produces, and the recognized varieties are only the tiny fraction selected by man for his purposes from among the uncounted millions that have grown wherever the seeds of the grape have been dropped.
The grapes that vinifera yields for the most part have thin skins, tender, sweet flesh, delicate flavors, and high sugar, suitable for the production of sound, well-balanced, attractive wine. The wines that are pressed from them cover the whole gamut of recognized types, from the coarse hot-country reds to the crisp, flowery whites of the north. Among the great number of excellent and useful varieties of vinifera, a tiny handful have been singled out as "noble" vines: the Cabernet Sauvignon of Bordeaux and the Pinot Noir of Burgundy among the reds; the Riesling of the Rhine and the Chardonnay of Champagne and Burgundy among the whites; the Semillon of Sauternes for sweet wine. A few other essential names might be added, and a great many other excellent and honorable names, but the point is that after centuries of experience, and from thousands of available varieties, a few, very few, vinifera vines have been identified and internationally recognized as best for the production of superior wines in the regions to which they are adapted.
No such grape is native to North America . The natives are, instead, tough, wild
grapes, usually small and sour, and more notable for the vigor of their vines than for the quality of the wine made from their fruit. They grew and adapted to their circumstances largely unregarded by man, and while the development of Vitis vinifera was guided to satisfy the thirst of ancient civilizations, the North American vines had only survival to attend to. The natives are true grapes, no doubt sharing with vinifera the same ancestor far back along the evolutionary scale. But in the incalculably long process of dispersion and adaptation from their conjectured point of origin in Asia, the native grapes have followed widely different patterns of adaptation. That is one of the most striking facts about the numerous wild American grapes—how remarkably well adapted they are to the regions in which they grow, and how various are the forms they take.  There are dwarf, shrubby species growing in dry sand or on rocky hills; there are long-lived species growing to enormous size, with stems more than a foot in diameter and climbing over one hundred feet high on the forest trees that support them; some kinds flourish in warm humidity, others on dry and chill northern slopes; some grow in forests, some along river banks, some on coastal plains. As the great viticultural authority U. P. Hedrick observed early in this century, so many varieties of native grape are distributed over so wide an area that "no one can say where the grape is most at home in America."  But the fruit that they produce is often deficient in sugar, or high in acid, and sometimes full of strange flavors, so that the wine pressed from it is thin, unstable, sharp, and unpleasing—if drinkable at all. Wine from the unadulterated native grape is not wine at all by the standards of Vitis vinifera .
Early Explorers and Native Grapes
All of the explorers and early settlers made note of the abundant and vigorous wild grape vines—they could hardly help doing so, since they were obviously and everywhere to be seen along the coast of eastern North America. Within two years of Columbus's discovery, for example, the Spaniards reported vines growing in the Caribbean islands.  The Pilgrims in New England found the species now called Vitis labrusca growing profusely in the woods around their settlements.  The labrusca, or northern fox grape, is the best looking of the natives, with large berries that may come in black, white, or red. It is the only native grape that exhibits this range of colors. Labrusca is still the best known of the native species because the ubiquitous Concord, the grape that most Americans take to be the standard of "grapeyness" in juice and jellies, is a pure example of it.
The name "fox grape" often given to labrusca yields the adjective foxy , a word unpleasant to the ears of eastern growers and winemakers as an unflattering description of the distinctive flavor of their labrusca grapes and wines, a flavor unique to eastern America and, once encountered, never forgotten. One of the dominant elements in that flavor, the chemists say, is the compound methyl anthranilate;  it can be synthesized artificially to produce the flavor of American grapeyness wher-
ever it may be wanted. But why this flavor (which, like all flavors, is largely aroma) should be called "foxy" has been, and remains, a puzzle (see Appendix 1).
Hundreds of miles to the south of the Pilgrim settlements, and even before the Pilgrims landed, the gentlemen of the Virginia Company at Jamestown encountered a number of native grape species, among them the very distinctive one called Vitis rotundifolia —round leaf grape—that grows on bottom lands, on river banks, and in swamps, often covering hundreds of square feet with a single vine. The rotundifolia grape, commonly called muscadine, differs sharply from other grapes; so different is it, in fact, that it is often distinguished as a class separate from "true grapes." The vine is low and spreading, and the large, tough-skinned, round fruit grows not in the usual tight bunches but in loose clusters containing only a few berries each: hence the variant name of bullet grape. The fruit is sweet, but like that of almost all natives, its juice usually needs to have sugar added to it in order to produce a sound wine. The fruit has also a strong, musky odor based on phenylethyl alcohol that carries over into its wine.  Scuppernong is the best-known variety of rotundifolia, and the name is sometimes loosely used to stand for the whole species.
Both Pilgrims in the north and Virginians in the south would have known the small-berried and harsh-tasting Vitis riparia —the riverbank grape—which is the most widely distributed of all native American grapes (difficulties in classification have produced some variant names for this species, of which Vitis vulpina is the most common). Riparia ranges from Canada to the Gulf, and west, with diminishing frequency, to the Great Salt Lake. As its name indicates, riparia chooses river banks or islands. As its range suggests, it has a tough and hardy character that allows it to survive under a great variety of conditions. It is currently, for example, being used as a basis for hybridizing wine grapes for the cold climates of Minnesota and Wisconsin. 
Another grape widespread throughout the eastern United States is Vitis aestivalis , the summer grape, the best adapted to the making of wine of all the North American natives, though not the most widely used. Unlike the rotundifolia and others, it has adequate sugar in its large clusters of small berries; and it is free of the powerful "foxy" odor of the labrusca. Aestivalis fills in the gaps left by riparia and labrusca, for unlike the former it avoids the streams, and, unlike the latter, it prefers the open uplands to the thick woods. Another grape common in the East, Vitis cordifolia , the winter grape, has a taste so harshly herbaceous that only under the most desperate necessity has it ever been used for wine.
As settlement moved beyond the eastern seaboard and made its way west, a new range of species and varieties was encountered, though none of such importance as those just named. The best known is Vitis rupestris , the sand grape, which favors gravelly banks and dry water courses and is distributed through the region around southern Missouri and Illinois down into Texas. Since it is not a tree climber, it has been very vulnerable to grazing stock and is now almost extinct in many areas.
There are many other species and subspecies that might be named among the
native vines, but those already given include most of the varieties that formed the stock available to the early settlers and that have since had any significance in the development of hybrid vines. Two things may be said generally about the natives by way of summarizing their importance both to the American industry and to the world of wine at large. First, except for the muscadine, they enter readily into combination with other species, so that by judicious hybridizing their defects have been diminished and their virtues enhanced in combination with one another and with Vitis vinifera . Such improvement through breeding began in the nineteenth century (though some very important accidental crosses had occurred earlier) and has been continued without intermission since: had it been begun earlier in a deliberate way, the whole face of winemaking in the United States might have been changed beyond recognition. Second, the native vines have, or some of them at any rate have, an inherited resistance to the major enemies of the vine in North America: the endemic fungus diseases that destroy leaves and fruit; and the plant louse called Phylloxera vastatrix , a scourge native to North America and introduced with catastrophic effect into Europe in the latter half of the nineteenth century. By
grafting V. vinifera to American roots, the winegrowers of Europe were able to save their industry at a time when it seemed likely that the ancient European civilization of the vine was about to become a thing of the past.
The summary just given is based on information laboriously accumulated by professional botanists and field workers over the course of many years, people whose devoted labors have made it possible to state clearly and confidently what grapes belong to what species and where they may be found. It was all very different, of course, when the first explorers and colonists looked about them and attempted to identify what they saw. The early accounts all have in common a certain indistinctness combined with an excited hopefulness, the one probably being the condition of the other.
Take, for example, the earliest reference on record to the grapes growing
in what is now the United States. In 1524, only a generation after Columbus, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, coasting north along the Atlantic seaboard, encountered a region so lovely in his eyes that he called it Arcadia. Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, the latest student of the subject, is of the opinion that Verrazzano meant Kitty Hawk, of Wright brothers fame, off the North Carolina mainland—a region that no one would identify as Arcadian now. But there Verrazzano found "many vines growing naturally, which growing up, tooke hold of the trees as they doe in Lombardie, which if by husbandmen they were dressed in good order, without all doubt they would yield excellent wines." Verrazzano's association of wild coastal North Carolina with the carefully gardened landscape of Lombardy was a combination of impossible contrasts, yet it was evidently quite possible to hold it in imagination. Only a decade later, far to the north of the land that Verrazzano saw, Jacques Cartier described how, in the St. Lawrence, he and his men came across an island where "we saw many goodly vines, a thing not before of us seene in those countries, and therefore we named it Bacchus Iland." It was natural for both Verrazzano and Cartier to conclude that the grapes that they saw must yield wine, but neither had the time to make the experiment and neither could guess what labor and what frustration were in store over hundreds of years before Bacchus could be coaxed to live among us. They might have suspected some difficulty from the fact that none of the Indians they saw had any knowledge of wine; in fact, no eastern Indians had any fermented drinks of any sort, though this fact tells us more about the accidents of culture than about natural possibilities.
The first reference to the actual making of wine in what is now the United States is in the report of his voyage to Florida in 1565 by the rich and respectable pirate Captain John Hawkins, afterwards Sir John. In 1564 the French Protestant Admiral Gaspard de Coligny had sent out a colony of Huguenots to the mouth of the St. John's River in Florida, and there, at Fort Caroline, Hawkins found the wretched survivors a year later on the verge of starvation. Hawkins sold them a ship and left them food, noting with some disapproval that, though they had failed to grow food for themselves, yet "in the time that the Frenchmen were there, they made 20 hogsheads of wine." It must, one supposes, have been made from rotundifolia grapes—that is, from the muscadine.
Recent inquiry into this story, which has long been received without question, shows strong reason to doubt it. The testimony of the French themselves is that they had no wine at all except for what they got from external sources. After the French had been driven away from the Florida coast, the Spaniards made a settlement on nearby Santa Elena Island—now Parris Island, South Carolina—and a vineyard was reported as planted there by 1568. There is some evidence that the vines planted were vinifera, and, if so, the odds are overwhelming that no wine was produced from them. But of course the Spanish colonists were surrounded by abundant wild grapes and so could easily have made the experiment of trying them for wine: in all probability they did. In any case, Parris Island may claim to be the place where the first attempt at winegrowing in America was made.
In 1584 the first expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh's ill-fated colonial enterprise
landed on the low coast of Hatarask Island, North Carolina (though they called it Virginia then), the "Arcadia" of Verrazzano sixty years earlier. What the English found on first setting foot on the land was a carpet of grapes, growing so close to the water's edge that "the very beating and surge of the Sea overflowed them." The report goes on in language that was doubtless heightened to attract settlers to the colony, but that also seems genuinely excited by the vision of plenty in a new land. The grapes spread beyond the shore, the chronicler says:
We found such plentie, as well there as in all places else, both on the sand and on the greene soile on the hils, as in the plaines, as well on every little shrubbe, as also climing towards the tops of high Cedars, that I thinke in all the world the like abundance is not to be found: and my selfe having seene those parts of Europe that most abound, find such difference as were incredible to be written.
The likelihood is that the grapes in question were muscadines, though they would not have been ripe in July, when the expedition landed.
Raleigh's unfortunate Roanoke colony, the one founded by the third expedition in 1587, vanished without trace, so that if the colonists attempted winemaking, we do not know with what results. There is still an immense Scuppernong vine on Roanoke Island, which people please themselves by calling the "Mother Vine," though it can hardly be anything other than a very great granddaughter of the generation of vines that the Roanoke people saw. But it is not at all unreasonable to think that they did try to make wine and so began the long chapter of hopes and failures written in the English colonies down to the Revolution.
The Promise of Virginia Wine
For the next determined effort at English colonization in the American south, the information is much fuller. Like all observers before them, the settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, the first permanent colony, were struck by the rich profusion of grapes that adorned the woods of their colony. Indeed, by this time, they expected to see them, for the ability of the New World to grow grapes "naturally"—that is, wild—is one of the details constantly and optimistically noted in the accounts published by Hakluyt and other promoters of exploration and settlement. This attractive gift of nature helped to inspire a vision that persisted for many years in the English imagination. In this vision, the myth of Eden mingles with legends of fabulous wealth in the New World, legends supported by the actual example of Spanish successes in Mexico and South America. The vision was supported, too, by an orthodox economic argument. In order to obtain such products as silk, wine, and olive oil, England had to pay cash to Spain and France, its rivals and enemies. One of the persistent objects of early English colonization was therefore to provide England herself with silk, wine, oil, and other such commodities. With her own source for these things, England might laugh at the French king and
defy the Spanish, a heady prospect that powerfully influenced the English vision of America. For years, the French had insulted the English in both act and word, as in this old song:
Bon Français, quand je bois mon verre
Plein de ce vin couleur de feu,
Je songe, en remerciant Dieu,
Qu'ils n'en ont pas en Angleterre.
Such taunts as these would cease if English colonies could be made to yield wine.
Wine and silk, those two luxurious commodities, were constantly linked in the English imagination as the most desirable products (other than gold) that America could yield; as one writer has said, the duet of the vine and silk formed from the beginning "one of the major themes in the vast symphony of colonial hopes that enchanted, for half a century, the England of Elizabeth and James the First." Indeed, the enchantment lasted far longer than that, for one regularly finds silk producing and winegrowing (with the olive sometimes taking a third part, or replacing silk in the pattern) linked together by hopeful speculators well into the nineteenth century. For its persistence and ubiquity, the dream of wine and silk (and oil) to be poured out copiously and carelessly from the warm and fertile New World has some claim to be identified as genuine myth.
Even before they left England the Jamestown adventurers were promised, in an "Ode to the Virginian Voyage" by the poet Michael Drayton (who had obviously been reading Hakluyt for his details) that they would find a place where
The ambitious vine
Crownes with his purple masse
The Cedar reaching hie
To kisse the sky.
Nor were they disappointed. On reaching the James River they at once saw "great store of Vines in bignesse of a man's thigh, running up to the tops of the Trees in Great abundance."
The Virginia settlers tried a little experimental winemaking at once. A report by an Irish sailor who made the first voyage to Jamestown says that he sampled one or two of the wines produced and found them very similar to the Spanish Alicante, but this is probably an Irish fantasy rather than a sober report. A more modest statement was made by one of the promoters of the Virginia Company, who wrote in 1609 that "we doubt not but to make there in few years store of good wines, as any from the Canaries." Not much wine can have been made by that early date, and even less can have been tried in England, though the same authority, Robert Johnson, who foresaw Virginia as a rival to the Canaries, wrote that the Jamestown settlers had sent some of their wine to London before 1609. Johnson's prophecy of Virginia's winemaking promise is particularly interesting for its idea of how that promise was to be realized—that is, "by replanting and
making tame the vines that naturally grow there in great abundance." Johnson was writing in ignorance and can claim no credit for prophetic authority, but he did thus predict by accident what, after long years, turned out to be the method—approximately—that made viticulture possible in the eastern United States: the use of improved native varieties. But the process of "taming" vines merely by cultivating them, an idea that long persisted, is fallacious.
Captain John Smith is authority for the statement that the colonists of the first Virginia Voyage made "near 20 gallons of wine" from "hedge grapes"; but Smith was writing some years after the event and is not distinct as to dates. More circumstantial, but still doubtful in some points, is the statement by William Strachey, who spent the year 1610-11 in Jamestown, that there he had "drunk often of the rath [young] wine, which Doctor Bohoune and other of our people have made full as good as your French-British wine, 20 gallons at a time have been sometimes made without any other help than by crushing the grape with the hand, which letting to settle 5 or 6 days hath in the drawing forth proved strong and heady." "Rath wine" indeed! The statement about making twenty gallons of wine as good as "French-British" wine—perhaps French wine for the British market is meant—was copied by Strachey from the book that Captain Smith published in 1612, an easy sort of plagiarism common enough at the time. But the particulars about Dr. Bohune and his winemaking technique seem to be from Strachey's own observation. It certainly makes sense to drink at once such a wine as he describes: the yeasty headiness of a wine still fermenting would probably be the main virtue of the highly acid juice.
Dr. Laurence Bohune (or Boone), whose wine Strachey drank, has the distinction of being the first winemaker in America whose name we know. He came out to Jamestown in 1610, later became physician general to the colony, and was killed in a sea battle with the Spanish on a voyage from England back to Virginia: an omen, perhaps, of the ill-luck that the winemaking enterprise was destined to encounter.
Word about the actual quality of Virginia wine had already reached England by 1610. When Lord De La Warr was appointed governor of the colony in that year, he sent instructions in advance of his arrival that a hogshead or two of the native wine, "sour as it is," should be sent for a sample to England. Probably he hoped to stimulate the interest of trained winegrowers, for whom the Virginia Company was already searching. Indeed, De La Warr seems to have taken some French vine dressers with him on his voyage to Virginia in 1610, though the information is tantalizingly indistinct. In the official—and therefore not wholly reliable—"True Declaration of the Estate of the Colony in Virginia" (1610), a tract written to raise fresh funds for the company after the disastrous "starving time" in the winter of 1609-10, we hear of "Frenchmen" with Lord De La Warr "preparing to plant vines," who "confidently promise that within two years we may expect a plentiful vintage." This sounds most promising, but nothing more is heard of the matter, and De La Warr himself writes at the same time as though no provision had yet been made for cultivating the vine:
. . . In every bosk and common hedge, and not far from our pallisado gates, we have thousands of goodly vines running along and leaning to every tree, which yield a plentiful grape in their kind; let me appeal, then, to knowledge, if these natural vines were planted, dressed, and ordered by skilfull vinearoones, whether we might not make a perfect grape and fruitful vintage in short time?
On his return to England in 1611, De La Warr was able to state in his official report that "there are many vines planted in divers places, and do prosper well." One of these vineyards was perhaps that mentioned by Ralph Hamor, who was in the colony from 1610 to 1614, and who wrote that there they had planted wild grapes in "a vineyard near Henrico" of three or four acres (Henrico was founded in 1611). The Laws Divine, Moral and Martial , the stern Virginian code drawn up in 1611, forbade the settlers to "rob any vineyards or gather up the grapes" on pain of death. But this must have been merely an anticipation of the future, not a present necessity.
Despite the company's advertisements and the governor's plea for skilled "vinearoones," none seems to have ventured forth until a long eight years later. By that time the company, alarmed by the rapid establishment of tobacco as the sole economic dependence of the colony, determined to encourage a diversity of manufactures and commodities, wine among them. In this it had the eager support of King James I, who abominated tobacco (see his "A Counterblast to Tobacco," 1604) and was entranced by the vision of silk and wine. He urged on the company the importance of developing these commodities at the expense of tobacco, but the royal attempt to put down the weed proved just as futile as any other, then or now.
The company began its new policy by causing a law to be enacted in 1619 requiring "every householder" to "yearly plant and maintain ten vines until they have attained to the art and experience of dressing a vineyard either by their own industry or by the instruction of some vigneron." The instruction was to be provided by the "divers skilfull vignerons" who, the company reported, had been sent out in 1619, "with store also from hence of vineplants of the best sort." The last item deserves special note: it is the earliest record of the effort to transplant the European vine to eastern America. The event may be said to mark the beginning of the second phase of viticultural experiment in America, the first being that period of brief and unsatisfactory trial of the native grape.
There were, we know, eight vignerons sent to Virginia in 1619, Frenchmen from Languedoc—Elias La Garde, David Poule, Jacques Bonnall are among the names preserved of this group· We know also that they were settled at Kecoughton, Elizabeth City County, near the coast and therefore relatively secure from Indian attack. This region had been recommended as early as 1611 by Sir Thomas Dale, who observed that the two or three thousand acres of clear ground there would do for vineyards and that "vines grow naturally there, in great abundance." Indeed, the suitability of the region had been remarked even earlier, in 1572, by the Jesuit Father Juan de la Carrera. Carrera, with what his editors describe as "typical pious
exaggeration," wrote that the Spanish found at Kecoughton (which he called "the Bay of the Mother of God") "a very beautiful vineyard, as well laid out and ordered as the vineyards of Spain. It was located on sandy soil and the vines were laden with fine white grapes, large and ripe." No such vineyard as Father Carrera describes could possibly have existed. No doubt he saw grapes growing, and perhaps the vineyards of sixteenth-century Spain were somewhat unkempt, but much imagination would still be required to make untouched Virginia exactly resemble long-settled Spain. Such transformations of the unfamiliar wild scenes of the New World into images drawn from the familiar forms of the Old are common enough in the literature of exploration.
The official company statement says that the French vignerons went out in 1619, but they must have arrived too late to do any planting that year—indeed, a letter from Virginia as late as January 1620 pleads for both vines and vignerons from Europe, a fact that suggests the company was slower to carry out its claims than to publicize them. The same letter, however, mentions that vines brought by the governor, Sir George Yeardley (presumably on his return from England in 1619) "do prosper passing well," but his Vigneron — "a fretful old man"—was dead: no doubt this was one of the Languedociens. Despite that setback, the signs at first were prosperous, or at least the reports were enthusiastic. It was affirmed that the vines planted in the fall bore grapes the following spring, "a thing they suppose not heard of in any other country." Just when the Frenchmen planted their vines is not clear. Those that Sir George Yeardley brought were planted in 1619; another source refers to the Frenchmen as having planted their cuttings at "Michaelmas last"—that is, around October 1620. These were probably the vines that marvelously fruited the next spring.
In 1620 the company, encouraged by the early reports, announced that it was looking for more vineyardists from France and from Germany, and that it was trying to procure "plants of the best kinds" from France, Germany, and elsewhere. Whether this was done is not recorded; probably it was not. A year later, in 1621, we hear that on one site, at least, some 10,000 vines had been set out, though not whether they were native or vinifera. In the next year, at the king's command, the company sent to every householder in Virginia a manual on the cultivation of the vine and silk by the Master of the King's Silkworms, a Frenchman named John Bonoeil, the same Frenchman who had recruited the Languedoc vignerons in 1619 (probably the vigneron named in English spelling as Bonnall was a relative). Bonoeil's treatise, with its "instructions how to plant and dress vines, and to make wine," is not the first American manual on viniculture, since it was written by a Frenchman in England; but it may fairly claim to be the first manual for American winemakers. With this book in their hands, and the king's command to spur them, the Virginia colonists, so the company admonished them, could have no more excuse for failure.
Bonoeil could not have had any direct knowledge of American conditions, but he at least tried to imagine and prescribe for them. After recommending that the
native grapes be used for immediate results, he provides general instructions for winemaking, beginning with the treading of the grapes "with bare legs and feet" and going on to a recipe expressly devised for the wild native grapes. If, he says, men would trouble to gather such grapes when they are ripe, and tread them, and ferment them, the juice
would purge itself as well as good wine doth; and if the grapes be too hard, they may boil them with some water; . . . and then let them work thus together five or six days. . . . After that, you may draw it, and barrel it, as we have said, and use it when you need. I have oftentimes seen such wine made reasonable good for the household. And by this means every man may presently have wine in Virginia to drink.
We do not know if this recipe was followed. The colony was liberally supplied with the book containing it, but one witness in that year reported that the colonists "laughed to scorn" such instructions, for "tobacco was the only business." And heaven only knows what result Bonoeil's process yielded. The boiling would have extracted an intense color, but the water would have diluted the already inadequate proportion of sugar in the native grapes. Wine that puts the teeth on edge and the stomach in revolt was the likeliest result. Nevertheless, it is notable that Bonoeil, like a good Frenchman, was not so much thinking of making a profit for the company's shareholders through the export of Virginia wine as he was charitably wishing that every man in Virginia should have "reasonable good" wine to drink.
The sequel to all this preparation was disappointment. How could it have been anything else, given the practical difficulties? A little wine was made from native grapes, but it proved unsatisfactory. And the failure to make anything out of wine-growing in the face of a prosperous tobacco industry soon led men to give up a losing game. Besides that, the get-rich-quick mentality that dominated in early Vir-
ginia—one writer describes Jamestown in the 1620s as a model of the boomtown economy —was ill-suited to the patient labor and modest expectations of wine-growing. In 1622 some Virginia wine was sent to London; it must have been wine from native grapes, since the vinifera vines brought over in 1619 could not have yielded a significant crop so soon, even supposing that they were still alive. The wine, whatever it may have been to begin with, was spoiled by the combination of a musty cask and the long voyage, and the company in London, desperately eager to make good its claims about Virginia's fruitfulness, was forced to swallow another disappointment. Such wine, it wrote to the colonists, "hath been rather of scandal than credit to us."
So far from being able to supply an export market with acceptable wine, Virginia was quite unable to provide for its own needs. This was partly owing to the difficulties in growing wine, no doubt, but also partly to the fact that tobacco cultivation left no time for anything else, and yet was the only profitable activity. Under the circumstances, the company in London was willing to listen to such wild propositions as one made in 1620 to supply the colony with an "artificial wine" that would cost nearly nothing, would never go fiat or sour, and was ready to drink on the day that it was made. This remarkable fluid, it appears, was made of sassafras and licorice boiled in water, but whether it was successfully imposed on the poor colonists may be doubted.
The Virginians were so eager for wine that in 1623 the governor was obliged to proclaim price controls on "Sherry Sack, Canary and Malaga, Allegant [Alicante] and Tent, Muskadell and Bastard" ("Tent" was red wine—Spanish tinto —and "Bastard" was a sweet blended wine from the Iberian peninsula). Shortly after, the governor complained officially to the company in London that the shippers were exploiting the Virginians with "rotten wines which destroy our bodies and empty our purses."
Things were made more difficult than ever by disasters in Virginia and by dissension among the directors in London. The great Indian massacre of 1622, which cost the lives of nearly a third of the colonists, did severe material damage as well. In London, stockholders were exasperated when the profits that had seemed so near in 1607 repeatedly failed to materialize, and disagreement over general policy led to strife at headquarters. Company officials defended themselves as best they could, claiming that, even despite the massacre, vineyards had been planted, "whereof some contained ten thousand plants." At the same time, the company wrote anxiously to Governor Sir Francis Wyatt: "We hope you have got a good entrance into Silk and Vines, and we expect some returns—or it will be a discredit to us and to you and give room to the maligners of the Plantation. Encourage the Frenchmen to stay, if not forever, at least 'till they have taught our people their skill in silk and vines." The company was disappointed: no wine was sent in 1623, and the "maligners of the Plantation" seized their opportunity. They denied that any promising work had been accomplished: the claim that the company had sent out a supply of the best vines was false, they said, for though vines had been
brought from Malaga they were never forwarded across the Atlantic; as for the much-touted French vignerons , some were dead, and the survivors were being given no assistance in the colony. The claim to have established a large vineyard was also hollow, so the company's enemies said, for it was only a nursery planting and the vines were native rather than European.
What the truth in all this was is not clear from the evidence. No doubt the company's enemies, hoping to bring the colony under royal authority, exaggerated the failure to get anything done. But the report of well-affected observers on the spot shows that little had been accomplished. George Sandys, the poet who had gone out to Virginia with Governor Wyatt, reported to London in 1623 that though many vines had been planted the year before, they "came to nothing." The massacre was but a part of the reason. "Want of art and perhaps the badness of the cuttings" were also responsible, but the most important of all the causes was simple neglect:
Wherefore now we have taken an order that every plantation . . . shall impale [fence] two acres of ground, and employ the sole labor of 2 men in that business [planting grape vines] for the term of 7 years, enlarging the same two acres more, with a like increase of labor. . . . By this means I hope this work will go really forward, and the better if good store of Spanish or French vines may be sent us.
Sandys himself hastened to obey the law, for the census made early in 1625 records that he had a vineyard of two acres on his plantation on the south bank of the James. But how ineffective the measure was in general may be guessed from the fact that in the year after it was enacted, at the very moment when the Virginia
Company was expiring, the General Assembly passed a law requiring twenty vines to be planted for every male over twenty years of age. This new law, the last in a series of attempts to legislate an industry, was quietly repealed in 1641. But even then it does not seem that there was any willingness to admit that the obstacle was in the natural difficulties of the situation. Instead, excuses were found, and accusations of bad faith, idleness, and ignorance prevented a clear understanding of the problems that were in fact created by the unfamiliar climate, soils, diseases, pests, and materials. Men continued to think that if they simply persisted along the usual path the thing must succeed.
The unlucky French "vinearoones" were a principal scapegoat. As early as 1621 the government was instructed from London to take care that the French were not allowed to forsake vine growing for tobacco, "or any other useless commodity."
Seven years later, by which time all of the original hopes to produce a large "commodity" of wine had been falsified, the colonial council complained to England that "the vignerons sent here either did not understand the business, or concealed their skill; for they spent their time to little purpose." Four years later, an act of the assembly directed that all the French vignerons and their families be forbidden to plant tobacco as a punishment for their crimes: they had, it was asserted, wilfully concealed their skill, neglected to plant any vines themselves, and had also "spoiled and ruinated that vineyard, which was with great cost, planted by the charge of the late company."
What basis could so strange a charge have? Perhaps some light is thrown on the question by a passage in a tract of 1650, Edward Williams' Virginia Richly and Truly Valued . Williams says (his information is supposed to be derived from John Ferrar, who had been in the colony) that the colonists did not live up to their agreement with the French: "Those contracted with as hired servants for that employment [vine growing], by what miscarriage I know not, having promise broken with them, and compelled to labour in the quality of slaves, could not but express their resentment of it, and had a good colour of justice to conceal their knowledge, in recompence of the hard measure offered them." If only that had not happened, Williams laments, Virginia would already be a great winegrowing land, blessed with "happiness and wealth" and fulfilling the biblical ideal of prosperous life, with every man at peace under his own vine.
If only it were so simple. But the failure of the first French vignerons was just what would have happened to anyone in the circumstances. Another group of Frenchmen, for example, went out to Virginia in 1630 "to plant vines, olives, and make silk and salt" under the direction of Baron de Sance. Their settlement on the lower James may well have yielded salt, but certainly not the other, more elegant, products, even though they were working for themselves and not for the profit of some unjust taskmaster.
By midcentury it had long been evident that Virginia was not easily going to become a source of abundant wine. No records of actual production exist, but if there was any at all, it was on a purely local and domestic scale, and entirely based on native grapes, either wild or cultivated. Yet the dream persisted, and was likely to be acted on during those frequent seasons when tobacco was a drug on the market. In 1649 William Bullock (who had never been to Virginia) wrote that wine was made there from "three sorts of grapes" and repeated the familiar hope that in time a winemaking industry might arise to balance the colony's dependence on tobacco. In the same year it was reported that one gentleman, a Captain William Brocas by name, had made "most excellent wine" from his own vineyard in Lancaster County along the banks of the Rappahannock. It is also said that Sir William Berkeley, who governed Virginia from 1642 to 1652 and again from 1662 to 1677, successfully planted a vineyard of native grapes: "I have been assured," so the Reverend John Clayton wrote some years after Berkeley's death, "that he cultivated and made the wild sour grapes become pleasant, and large, and thereof made
good wine." Robert Beverley, the early historian of Virginia and a pioneer wine-grower of importance, tells a different story of Berkeley's efforts: "To save labour, he planted trees for the vines to run upon. But as he was full of projects, so he was always very fickle, and set them on foot, only to shew us what might be done, and not out of hopes of any gain to himself; so never minded to bring them to perfection." Though Berkeley and Brocas are stated to have had regular vineyards, their methods were probably not much different from those implied in this description of Virginia in about 1670, written by the English physician Thomas Glover:
In the woods there are abundance of Vines , which twine about the Oaks and Poplars, and run up to the top of them; these bear a kind of Claret-grapes , of which some few of the Planters do make Wine; whereof I have tasted; it is somewhat smaller than French Claret; but I suppose, if some of these Vines were planted in convenient vine-yards, where the Sun might have a more kindly influence on them, and kept with diligence and seasonable pruning, they might afford as good grapes as the Claret-Grapes of France.
In 1650 another enthusiast, fired by the old vision of wine and silk, published a rhapsodic prospectus of what still might be done with those things in Virginia. Edward Williams (who, like Bullock, had never been to Virginia), observing that the poor Virginia planter "usually spends all the profits of his labour on foreign. wines," urged the colonists to try again the experiment that had failed thirty years before by importing European vines and winemakers. This time, however, he advised that Greek vines and winegrowers be imported in place of French, since Virginia lay on a Mediterranean latitude (Athens and Jamestown are on nearly the same parallel). Williams also believed, as so many others did then, in the notion that the Pacific Ocean lay only a few miles to the west of the Virginia settlement, so that the colony might reasonably hope to have the vast market of China laid open to them. And the Chinese, he says, "that voluptuous and gluttonous nation," were well known to "wanton away their wealth in banquets" and would be eager to buy Virginia's wine—if there were any.
To give practical meaning to his argument, Williams published a guide to silk manufacture and winegrowing under the title Virginia's Discovery of Silk-Worms. . . . Also the Dressing and Keeping of Vines, for the Rich Trade of Making Wines There (1650). The thirty pages of this given over to a "Treatise of the Vine" are drawn exclusively from European sources and have no authentic reference to Virginian conditions. But the treatise may take rank as the second, after Bonoeil's (which Williams had evidently read), of the books written for American grape growing. Williams' geography and his economic advice were equally unreal, and we hear of no response to his call to grow the "Greek, Cyprian, Candian, or Calabrian grape" in Virginia. His argument that the grapes from one latitude in Europe should grow on the same latitude in North America is one that occurred to other writers later and is frequently met with in the speculation on this subject in the next two centuries: indeed, one still sees it as an advertising claim today. It is, in simple fact, quite
fallacious. Labrador and London are on the same parallel, but does anyone seriously think that the same botany will be found in both places?
The last official encouragement of winegrowing in seventeenth-century Virginia was an Act of Assembly in 1658 offering ten thousand pounds of tobacco to whoever "shall first make two tunne of wine raised out of a vineyard made in this colony." After that—presumably no one ever gained the prize—the official record is silent, though the instructions to each succeeding governor continued to include the charge to encourage the production of wine in the colony. Even this was, at last, quietly dropped in 1685, in tacit acknowledgment that, officially at least, the hope of winegrowing was dead. Two years later a writer describing the state of Virginia to the eminent scientist Robert Boyle reported succinctly that, though several sorts of grapes grew wild, "there be no vineyards in the country."
With every inducement, both real and imaginary, to develop a native industry—official policy and public wish agreeing on the desirability of the work—the early Virginians nevertheless failed to achieve even the beginnings of a basis. Why? The Jamestown experience is worth telling in detail just because it is so exact a pattern of experiments in American winegrowing that were to be repeated over and over again in different regions and by different generations. First comes the observation that the country yields abundant wild grapes, followed by trials of the winemaking from them, with unsatisfactory results. Then the European grape is imported and tended according to European experience; the early signs are hopeful, but the promise is unfulfilled: the vines languish, and no vintage is gathered. No amount of official encouragement, no government edict, can overcome the failure of the repeated trials, and after a time men become resigned to the paradox of living in a great natural vineyard that yields no wine, though an enthusiast here and there in succeeding generations takes up the challenge again, and again fails.
One French commentator has made the interesting suggestion that the colonial English were inclined to think that winegrowing was far easier than it is in reality: they knew and liked good wine from France but were content to drink it without ever learning what pains it cost the Bordelais to grow it. "Neither Lord Delaware nor the rich merchants of the Company in London could know that the wine-grower's metier is one that is learned slowly, if one has not been early initiated to its patient disciplines, and, especially, if one is not a countryman, in unreflecting, genuine communion with the soil." On this view, the combination of optimistic ignorance with unforeseen new difficulties, was quickly fatal to the effort at wine-growing by Englishmen who had no traditional feel for the task. The notion that winegrowing is a craft requiring much time and experiment to learn is no doubt true, but it is distinctly unfair to the English to say that they failed because they lacked tradition. They failed because the European vine could not grow here. It is amusing to speculate about what might have been if the French rather than the English had made the earliest settlements along the Atlantic coast. Would they have turned to the native grapes when all others failed? And would they have persisted until they had tamed them? One may doubt it.
One must also emphasize the fact that the early settlers of whatever nationality had every sort of natural disadvantage to contend with in seeking to adapt the European vine to a new scene. Agriculture generally was difficult, for the soil was poor. As a modern scientist puts it:
The sandy soil of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, which is all that the colonists had to farm, is really terrible. In New Jersey it forms what we call the Pine Barrens, and in Virginia it is little better. It had been forested for some thirty thousand years, and thus it had acquired a little pseudo-fertility—it could bear crops for two or three years. Then it was finished. Only the strenuous efforts of the settlers kept it going longer. It was not until the chemist Justus yon Liebig discovered the role of mineral fertilizers that this land could be farmed successfully and continuously.
From the point of view of the tender Vitis vinifera , the New World was no Garden of Eden but a fallen world where the wrath of God was expressed in a formidable array of dangers and pestilences. First, the American extremes of climate, so different from what prevails in the winegrowing regions of Europe, alternately blasted and froze the vines. The summer humidity steamed them and provided a medium for fungus infections like powdery mildew, downy mildew, and black rot, diseases unknown in Europe until the latter half of the nineteenth century. Among the many destructive insect pests were the grape-leaf hopper, which sucks the juices of the foliage, and the grape berry moth, whose larvae feed on the fruit.
Other European fruits, such as apples, pears, and peaches, succeeded at once in the New World, but not the grape. The reason is probably that there were no native plants resembling the apple, pear, and peach, so that no native pests had evolved to prey upon them. There were native grapes, though, and a complete array of native pests established in association with them. Thus the very fact that America had native vines, which so excited the early settlers with the promise of winemaking, was the cause of the European vine's failure there.
The fungus diseases were the most immediately and comprehensively destructive enemies; all vinifera vines are extremely susceptible to them, and without control they will make the growing of such vines practically impossible. Powdery mildew (Uncinula necator ) is endemic in the East but seldom does severe damage to the native vines. It lay in wait there for its opportunity against the untried vinifera. In the 1840s powdery mildew reached Europe, where it did great damage before the discovery that dusting with sulphur controlled it. In Madeira, where it was particularly virulent, it all but extinguished viticulture. The island has not, to this day, fully recovered the position in winegrowing that it once held before it received the setback dealt by this disease.
Downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola ) flourishes in humidity, and is therefore a much more destructive disease in the East than in the arid West. It concentrates on the leaves of the vine, and by killing them defoliates the vine and brings about its starvation. Black rot (Guignardia bidwellii ), the most troublesome of the fungus diseases, with a long history of destruction in eastern American vineyards, is particu-
larly damaging to the fruit itself, which it leaves hard, shrivelled, and useless for any purpose. It is, in the words of the authority A. J. Winkler, "probably the most destructive disease in vineyards of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, where it virtually prevents success in growing vinifera varieties." Even today it is a constant threat, ominously hovering over every hopeful planting in the East. "Sooner or later," as one contemporary expert resignedly remarks, "it will move into a vineyard and become a perennial problem for the grower."
No clear reference to these diseases occurs in early colonial literature, and it was not until the nineteenth century that the connection between fungi and plant diseases was worked out. But the diseases were certainly there, and, after destroy-
ing the burgeoning industry along the Ohio River in the mid nineteenth century, they remain threats against which every eastern vineyardist must guard today. They have also been exported to Europe, where they require a constant and burdensome program of preventive spraying—a legacy from the New World that the Old would gladly do without.
In the regions south of Virginia, if a vine somehow escaped its trial by fungus, it had another ordeal by disease to endure; probably no vinifera among those planted in the East in colonial times ever reached this stage, and therefore the disease in question was not described until late in the nineteenth century, and then in California, where it is not native. Pierce's Disease (named for the expert who first studied it effectively), a bacterial infection that is fatal to the vine, was first brought to public attention in the 1880s, when it devastated the vineyards of southern California. It was for a time known as the Anaheim disease, after its destruction of the once flourishing vineyards there. Pierce's Disease has not had the catastrophic international effect that phylloxera did, but it is a dangerous thing to the grower: its mechanism is not understood, it kills what it affects, and there is no cure. Only very recently has it come to be suspected that its native place is in the southeastern United States, where the local species of grape show some tolerance for it. Any of those doomed colonial vineyards in the south, then, supposing that they had weathered climate, insects, and fungus, would surely have given up in weariness before Pierce's Disease.
Now suppose that, by some freak, the vines survived the onslaughts of mildew, rot, flying insects, bacterial infection, and extremes of weather. They would then have met another scourge, one which was not then recognized, and which, more than two centuries later, was to infest the vineyards of the world with disastrous results. This was the Phylloxera vastatrix , or "devastating dry leaf creature," a microscopic aphid, or plant louse, native to America east of the Rocky Mountains. One form of the insect—which has a most complex life-cycle generating a bewildering sequence of stages—lives on the leaves of the vine and is relatively innocuous. Another. form lives its destructive life underground, sucking the roots of the vine, and killing the plant both by forming root galls, which then rot, and by injecting poison spittle into the roots. It was not until the mid nineteenth century, when the insect had been introduced into Europe, that it was identified and studied. But it no doubt did its bit to hasten the repeated and comprehensive failures of Vitis vinifera in America. By long adaptation, some of the tough-rooted native varieties have acquired greater or lesser resistance to the attack of phylloxera, as well as to the fungus and bacterial diseases endemic in North America. But vinifera has fleshy, succulent roots that are just to phylloxera's taste and are wholly unable to resist its attack. It is a mistake, however, to suppose, as many writers have done, that the early trials of vinifera were ended by phylloxera. The fungus diseases were much more immediate, and in most places were probably supplemented by winter kill. Moreover, the sandy soils of the East Coast discourage the insect, which prefers clay and loam. Phylloxera as the special enemy of vinifera was not recognized
until the mid-nineteenth century, for the good reason that it had little chance to operate as the sole destroyer of vines in this country: they had already been blasted and blighted. In Europe, it was different.
There is no "cure" for phylloxera to this day. Measures may be taken to prevent its spread. But where it is already present, the only practical means to continue the culture of vinifera is by grafting to resistant American root stocks, a method devised during the great phylloxera crisis of the nineteenth century and still standard practice today in both New World and Old World vineyards.
We can begin to see now what must have happened to the European vines in Virginia. Most vineyards were probably just abandoned; their cultivators took up tobacco growing instead. But some vineyardists must have tended their plantings carefully, hoping to obtain the blessing of good wine. And what was their reward? At first, as we have seen, the plants made good growth. Then fungus infestation would have begun, though not at first sufficient to put an end to hope. It takes at least three years, and more often four or five, before a vine produces a significant crop, and the intensity of fungus infection might vary from year to year according to the character of the season. Downy mildew might overrun the leaves and fruit. More likely, black rot would shrivel the berries and dessicate the leaves. Some fruit would survive, but the losses would be severe.
In sandy soils, such as are the rule along the eastern seaboard, the phylloxera does little damage, which makes it seem almost certain that the early failures of vinifera in this country were not attributable to that pest. But since phylloxera is so important an enemy in other sorts of soils wherever vinifera may be grown, and since it had such a devastating effect later in Europe and California, one may briefly describe its work here. The effects of phylloxera do not appear until the second year of infestation, when the vine growth slows and sickly yellow leaves appear, showing galls on the underside. In the third year, the signs of decay and disease intensify, and either then or in the next year the vine dies. If it is then dug up, the vine shows gnarled roots already decaying from the action of saprophytic fungi, but the insects themselves will have migrated to the next living plant. Even though the tiny insects are microscopic, they cluster so thickly upon a fatally infected vine that they are visible to the unaided eye. But a man is not likely to dig up a vine not yet dead, and until he did he would have no chance to see the cause of his vines' distress. Phylloxera thus went long undetected in this country, where it is at home. There were plenty of visible afflictions to be seen, so that one did not need to search for any hidden causes.
The idea of grafting the European vine onto American roots, the practice that was to save the vineyards of Europe and California from annihilation in the nineteenth century, occurred to many early American growers. But in the conditions of eastern America, such combinations, though they might have been effective against the unrecognized phylloxera, were futile without the support of modern fungicides. Mildew and black rot would have destroyed leaves and fruit as usual. And the hot, humid summers and the sub-zero winters would not have been any kinder.
Because this was a new land, where everything had yet to be learned, and because it was long before the time of scientific plant pathology, the causes of the failure of grape growing were not discovered—could not be discovered. The early colonists, then, naturally chose to blame as the source of their difficulties what was visible and familiar—bad soil, bad stock, bad methods, laziness. So American winegrowing continued up a dead end for many years to come.
The Other Colonies in the Seventeenth Century
The experience of the English in Virginia was a model, repeated more or less fully and persistently, in all the other colonies of seventeenth-century America. If we disregard exact chronology and simply follow the map of the coastline from north to south, each separate region presents its brief chronicle of experiment and failure. To begin with Maine, in the far north: in 1620 a speculator named Ambrose Gibbons proposed to found a plantation at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, on what is now the Maine-New Hampshire border, and there, in that bitter northern climate, to "cultivate the vine, discover mines . . . and trade with natives." The latter two objects he might hope to realize; the first one, in the then state of botanical knowledge, could only be a wish rather than a practical possibility.
To the south, in Massachusetts, there is a pleasant fiction that wine from native grapes figured in the first Thanksgiving, in November 1621.  The Pilgrims of course saw "vines everywhere" at Plymouth Bay, as William Bradford wrote,  but the unique source from which our notion of the original Thanksgiving is derived, Edward Winslow's letter of 11 December 1621, makes no reference to wine at that meal. Winslow does describe the "grapes, white and red, and very sweet and strong also" to be found growing in the local woods, but that is another matter. Perhaps the Plymouth Pilgrims had made wine from those grapes, but if so Winslow does not tell us.
In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, wine was made from native grapes in the first summer of settlement in 1630 The result was doubtless one of the reasons why the colonists petitioned the Massachusetts Bay Company back in London to have Frenchmen experienced in "planting of vines" sent out to them. Unluckily, the company could not find any, though "vine-planters" were on the list of those things "to provide to send for New-England" that it noted in its preparations for 1629. 
The example of winegrowing was set at the top of the hierarchy in Boston. Governor John Winthrop, in 1632, secured the grant of Conant's Island in Boston Harbor, on condition that he plant a vineyard there. Three years later his rent for the place, then called Governor's Garden, was set at "a hogshead of the best wine that shall grow there to be paid yearly." In 1640 this was changed to two bushels of apples—evidence that winegrowing had not succeeded.  Despite this result, the intelligent and experienced Dr. Robert Child, preparing in 1641 to emigrate from
England to Massachusetts, proposed to establish a vineyard in the colony, and visited France during the vintage season to learn how the French made wine. "Already in imagination," as Samuel Eliot Morison writes, "he saw the hills of New England lined with terraced vineyards, becoming the Beaune or the Chablis of the New World." Child at last arrived in Massachusetts in 1645, having sent several varieties of vines before him and intending to establish his vineyard in the Nashua Valley. Despite his confidence that "in three years wine may be made as good as any in France," nothing came of his intentions; he was soon embroiled in quarrels with the Puritan magistrates and returned to England before success or failure with his vines could be determined. 
The discouraging experiences of Winthrop and Child were the familiar story in Massachusetts, but travellers and local historians continued for decades to comment on the abundance of native grapes in the region. No further effort to develop winegrowing seems to have been made until late in the seventeenth century, when Huguenot settlers planted vineyards in western Massachusetts;  vines of their planting still grew there as late as the 1820s, sufficient evidence for the fact that they must have been using one of the native species.  At the same time, another group of Huguenots planted vines in Rhode Island, from which they succeeded in making wine that was well received in Boston.  Both settlements soon came to an end, however: Indian attack drove the Huguenots from western Massachusetts, and legal difficulties over land title those in Rhode Island. The once-celebrated nineteenth-century American poetess Lydia Sigourney—"the Sweet Singer of Hartford"—was married to a descendant of one of the Massachusetts Huguenots. After paying a visit of piety to the remains of their settlement in 1822 she produced a poem addressed to one of the vines still growing there:
Not by rash, thoughtless hands
Who sacrifice to Bacchus, pouring forth
Libations at his altar, with wild songs
Hailing his madden'd orgies, wert thou borne
To foreign climes,—but with the suffering band
Of pious Huguenots didst dare the wave
When they essay'd to plant Salvation's vines
In the drear wilderness. . . . 
The rest of the poem is in the same style. It is pleasing to think that this decorous vine, turning from Bacchic orgies, adapted itself so well to the austere style of Huguenot Massachusetts. But as it was certainly an American native, it had never known anything about Bacchic orgies, though the fact would probably not have disturbed the lady's muse.
As for Rhode Island, viticulture did not persist after the retreat of the Huguenots, dispossessed in 1692 from their settlement at Frenchtown. The charter of Rhode Island, granted by King Charles II in 1663, contains the expression of the royal intention to "give all fitting encouragement to the planting of vineyards (with
which the soil and climate seem to concur)."  The judgment is correct: Rhode Island ought to be a winegrowing region, but the social and economic conditions were evidently wrong, despite the example set briefly by the Huguenots.
The state of things in New England generally was summed up in 1680 by the early historian William Hubbard:
Many places do naturally abound with grapes, which gave great hopes of fruitful vineyards in after time: but as yet either skill is wanting to cultivate and order the roots of those wild vines, and reduce them to a pleasant sweetness, or time is not yet to be spared to look after the culture of such fruits as rather tend to the bene , or melius esse , of a place, than to the bare esse , and subsistence thereof. 
Even the growing of grapes in farm gardens never caught on in New England. The Yankee tradition was simply to make use of the wild grapes growing freely in every wood, so that the work of selection and cultivation to improve the native varieties never really got started. Massachusetts was highly important at a later stage of American viticultural history for what it did do at last towards improving the natives—the Concord grape is its best known, but by no means its only, contribution; meantime, the settlers turned to rum and Madeira.
Further down the coast, in the New Netherland of the Dutch settlers, a vineyard was planted as early as 1642, but was destroyed by the severe winter temperatures; though we do not know, this fact suggests that they were vinifera vines.  Immediately after the English took over the colony from the Dutch in 1669, the new governor granted a monopoly of grape growing on Long Island to one Paul Richards, who also received the privilege of selling his wine tax-free.  Whether he ever had any to sell the records do not tell us, but such silence is significant. A Dutch traveller visiting Coney Island in 1679 found abundant grapes growing wild and noted that the settlers had several times planted vineyards without success. "Nevertheless," he added, "they have not abandoned the hope of doing so by and by, for there is always some encouragement, although they have not, as yet, discovered the cause of the failure."  This could hardly be bettered as a summary of the colonial experience: repeated effort, repeated failure, persistent hope, and the tantalizing fact of flourishing wild grapes. How many trials may have been made in the promising terrain of the settlements around New York harbor, and along the Hudson River, there is no means of knowing.
The Swedes along the Delaware in what is now New Jersey and Delaware were just as eager as the English and the Dutch to turn their place in the New World into a fountain of wine. The official instructions given to the Swedish governor, Colonel John Printz, in 1642. included viticulture among the objects of the colony,  but it was not long before the Jersey farmers turned to apple growing instead and began to produce the cider for which they were famous throughout the colonial period and after.
Across the river in Pennsylvania, William Penn hoped to make viticulture flourish in his American woods. In 1683, within a year of his arrival in the new
colony, Penn recorded that he had drunk a "good claret" made of native grapes by a French Huguenot refugee, Captain Gabriel Rappel.  He wondered then whether the future of American winegrowing might not lie with the native varieties rather than with the European vinifera:
'Tis disputable with me, whether it be best to fall to fining the fruits of the country, especially the grape, by the care and skill of art, or send for foreign stems and sets, already good and approved. It seems most reasonable to believe, that not only a thing groweth best, where it naturally grows; but will hardly be equalled by another species of the same kind, that doth not naturally grow there. But to solve the doubt, I intend, if God give me life, to try both, and hope the consequence will be as good wine as any European countries of the same latitude do yield. 
The idea of developing the native grape of course occurred to others too. Around 1688 Dr. Daniel Coxe, a large New Jersey proprietor resident in London, describ-
ing the wealth of his lands, wrote that they abounded in grapes, from the best of which was made "very good wine" and, from the less good, brandy. "It is believed by judicious persons, French vignerons and others, that some sorts of them improved by cultivating would produce as good wine as any in the world." 
Possibly, if Penn had in fact turned to the "fining" of the native vine, he would have developed a successful viticulture. But he seems to have concentrated on vinifera instead. Before he left England on his first voyage to Pennsylvania, Penn had sent for vines from Bordeaux to be taken with him.  These he had had planted for him by a Huguenot refugee named Andrew Doz on a spot now a part of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, along the banks of the Schuylkill.  Like all other such trials, this one had no immediate success, though it had later results not dreamed of at the time.
Penn also took an interest in the work of Francis Pastorius, leader of the Pietist German settlers at Germantown, who in 1691 chose for their town seal a device showing a grapevine, a flax blossom, and a weaver's spool. The meaning of the seal, Pastorius wrote, was to show that "the people of this place live from grapes, flax, and trade" (that is, the weaving trade).  Though the community flourished, the grapes did not. And Penn, who kept a cellar in his Philadelphia house, had to furnish it, not with the vintages of Germantown or the Schuylkill, but with the produce of Europe. Perhaps he was not sorry to do so, despite that "good claret" he once drank from his own woods. The favorite wines of the Penn household, we are told, were "canary, claret, sack and madeira."  Pennsylvania was in no way ready to yield such wines.
Many miles south of Penn's woods, some twenty years before Philadelphia was laid out, Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of Maryland, in 1662 instructed his son the governor, Charles Calvert, to plant a vineyard and to make wine. To the original 240 acres of vineyard on the St. Mary's River (in the far south of the colony, just across the Potomac from Virginia) another hundred acres were added in 1665.  Wine made from this is reported, with the uncritical optimism of all such early responses, to have been "as good as the best burgundy."  In 1672 Lord Baltimore sent over a hogshead of vines to the colony, but his son reported in the next year that every one had perished, frustrating his hope to be able, in a few years, "to have sent your Lordship a glass of wine of the growth of this Province."  Tobacco established itself so quickly and overwhelmingly as the dominant crop in seventeenth-century Maryland that viticulture, whether as good as the best in Burgundy or not, had no chance.
Passing by Virginia, whose struggles with the grape we have already seen, we arrive at the Carolinas, which offer the most striking illustration of what we may call the Virginia syndrome in seventeenth-century America. Raleigh's expedition in 1584, we remember, took note of the promise made by the abundant wild grapes growing thickly along the Carolina coast. Some eighty years later, in 1663, the proprietors of Carolina, newly chartered by Charles II, drew up proposals for a colony that would concentrate—despite the experience of Jamestown—on just
those "three rich commodities," wine, silk, and oil, that Hakluyt and others had dreamed of producing in an English Mediterranean invented along the Atlantic coast. Sir William Berkeley, one of the distinguished proprietors of the Carolina colony (together with such eminent figures of Restoration England as Anthony Ashley Cooper, later Lord Shaftesbury; Lord Clarendon, the lord chancellor of England; and the duke of Albemarle) was commissioned to appoint a government for Carolina. His instructions included a proviso for setting aside 20,000 acres of land for the proprietors, taking care that some be "on sides of hills that look to the southward which will be best for vineyards"; such land would be highly profitable, it was argued, for an "acre in the Canaries" then produced £ 60 per annum,  and what might not be expected from virgin land? One wonders what Berkeley, who had been in Virginia for more than twenty years and had seen the vine-growing plan fail again and again, thought of all this? He was interested in the possibility of viticulture, and, as has already been mentioned, had planted a vineyard of native vines to set an example to the colonists. Certainly the production of the longed-for "rich commodities" had not had fair trial yet, and who could say what might not be done in a different, untested place?
In the way of so many New World projects and speculations, this grandiose official scheme for viticulture does not seem even to have been begun, much less. carried out, though the evidence, as usual, is exceedingly indistinct. The economic development of North Carolina was generally slow: the northern coast was largely without good harbors, settlement there advanced gradually and irregularly, and such trade as there was was mostly carried on through the ships and merchants of other colonies. All this, as one historian writes, "produced a type of small-scale farm economy primarily self-sufficing and essentially local and isolated."  Some traffic in tobacco grew up, but the main resource came from the great pine forests and their yield of tar, pitch, turpentine, and lumber of all kinds. Grape growing and winemaking do not seem to have gotten started at all in the earliest settlements of
what is now North Carolina (the separation between the two Carolinas did not officially exist until 1712). The surveyor appointed by the proprietors wrote in 1665 that he did "most highly applaud" their "design of making wine in this country"; but we hear nothing afterwards of the result of that design in the first settlement in this colony.
A second settlement in North Carolina, along the Cape Fear River farther south, was publicized by a prospectus setting forth the inducement of seven years' exemption from customs duty on all wine produced locally;  once again, no evidence exists to show that anybody managed to enjoy the privilege.
In what was to become South Carolina, the first settlement was directed by the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas themselves from their headquarters in London. So far, their hopes of generating those "precious commodities" wine, oil, and silk in the huge territory granted to them by royal charter had been entirely frustrated: the settlements in the northern parts of the colony were not commercially productive; the attempt to settle on the Cape Fear River to the south had quickly failed. Now they would try again, yet farther to the south, to make the land yield wine. Accordingly, the leader of the expedition, Joseph West, was instructed to take vines with him when he sailed in 1669.  The colonists established themselves around what is now Charleston, South Carolina, on the Ashley River, and reported in their first summer that "there is nothing that we plant but it thrives very well"; "the land," they concluded, would bear "good wine."  At first the need to provide food delayed the experiment with vines. By early 1672, however, Joseph Dalton, a member of the colony's council, wrote to Lord Ashley that he hoped the new crop would set them free to begin on
the husbandry of vines and olive trees. . . We have indeed plenty of diverse sorts of grapes here, some very pleasant and large but being pressed the thickness of their outward skin yields a kind of harshness which gives us reason to fear (though we intend to make trial of them) that they will hardly ever be reclaimed or with very great difficulty. We must therefore recommend to your Lordship to furnish us with the plants of good vines and olives with some persons who know the true husbandry of them; herein your Lordship need not doubt the diversities of vines, for I do verily believe we have ground suitable to all their variety. 
In the same year a Spaniard sent to spy out the land where the English had settled reported to the authorities that each house in Charleston had a trellis "for grape vines of different sorts."  Were the colonists trying out the native vines on these trellises? It seems likely.
Ashley was evidently strongly attached to the hope of profit through the trinity of wine, oil, and silk, for in 1674 (he was by then the earl of Shaftesbury) he wrote to his kinsman Andrew Percevall, then about to sail for Carolina, that the proprietors Were determined to "lay out their money in procuring skilfull men and fit materials for the improvement of the country in wine, silk, oil etc.," and that a plantation of 12,000 acres was to be set aside for experiment in these things. 
Three years later the proprietors wrote to the colony that they were "laying out in several places of the world" for both plants and for "persons that are skilled in planting and producing vines, Mulberry trees, rice, oils and wines and such other commodities that enrich those other countries that enjoy not so good a climate as you."  That something, at least, towards recruiting skilled winegrowers was done is attested by the evidence of a Savoyard who fled from English Carolina to Spanish St. Augustine in 1683; he told the Spaniards that he had come to Carolina under a four-year indenture to plant vines.  That he had later felt compelled to escape the colony might mean any of a number of things. It is not, however, very likely evidence of flourishing vineyards.
A new turn was taken in 1680, when the first organized company of Huguenots landed in South Carolina expressly to undertake the manufacture of silk, oil, and wine.  The religious persecution of the French Protestants called Huguenots—persecution that went on despite the legal protection of the Edict of Nantes—drove these people in large numbers out of France to places all over the world, especially to England and to those spots on the globe where English colonies had been planted. Huguenots helped, in this decade, to establish the great winegrowing enterprise of South Africa around Cape Town; and, though they did not fully succeed in winegrowing on the American continent, they certainly had a large share, in their settlements and in the work of individuals scattered here and there in the colonies, in keeping the effort alive. As we have heard of them already in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania, so we shall hear of them repeatedly in the sequel. These early Huguenots of South Carolina, though not the first of their kind to arrive in America, have the distinction of having founded one of the most successful and important centers of French influence in British America.
In the report of Thomas Ashe, a gentleman who went out on the same ship that was, at the expense of King Charles himself, carrying the Huguenots to South Carolina, we hear the familiar hopeful note, the conviction of quick success just round the corner:
't is not doubted, if the Planters as industriously prosecute the Propagation of Vineyards as they have begun; but Carolina will in a little time prove a magazine and staple for wines to the whole West Indies; and to enrich their variety, some of the Proprietors and Planters have sent them the noblest and excellentest vines of Europe, viz. the Rhenish, Clarret, the Muscadel and Canary, etc. His Majesty, to improve so hopeful a design, gave those French we carried over their passage free for themselves, wives, children, goods, and servants, they being most of them well experienced in the nature of the vine, from whose directions doubtless the English have received and made considerable advantages in their improvements. 
Ashe also tells us that some Carolina wine had already been sent to England and that it was "well approved of" by the "best palates." In the same year as Ashe's report, 1682, an employee of one of the proprietors, Samuel Wilson, published in London an Account of Carolina with an encouraging report on the success of the
Huguenots. They had planted vineyards of the European varieties sent over with them and also had hopes of making good wine from some, at least, of the native varieties. Meanwhile they had succeeded in making a little wine "very good both in colour and taste" —no doubt this is the wine that Ashe refers to, and no doubt it was from native grapes, muscadine especially.
It was a hopeful time: another observer in the year 1682, writing from Charleston, says that the colonists had "great hopes" of making good wine, and that "this year will be the time of trial, which, if it hits, no doubt but the place will flourish exceedingly, but if the vines do not prosper I question whether it will ever be any great place of trade."  In the next year, one of the Huguenots, Frances de Rousserie, a native of Montpellier, was awarded a grant of 800 acres by the proprietors "because he had with great industry applied himself to the propagation of wine and other things in Carolina."  But by that time it was no doubt becoming evident that, despite the great hopes, the vines did not prosper. De Rousserie, if he succeeded, presumably did so with native vines.
Thus the impulse that the Huguenots gave to winegrowing could not have lasted long. A decade later, in 1694, the assembly passed an act to "encourage the making of wine, indigo and salt" —a sure sign, as such acts had earlier been in Virginia, that wine was not being made. In the same year, one James Boyd was granted 3,000 acres as a bounty for his labors in "endeavoring the establishment of a vintage"; but this exception merely confirms the general fact. As Robert Beverley wrote in 1705, the Frenchmen sent to Carolina on purpose to make wine "could not succeed in it, but miscarried in all their Attempts." 
The early hopes of winegrowing in South Carolina petered out in the efforts of Sir Nathaniel Johnson. Johnson, who lived in South Carolina from 1690 until his death in 1713, served as governor of the colony for six of those years. He was an energetic experimenter with plants and crops, especially keen on succeeding in the manufacture of silk—he named his plantation on the Cooper River, near Charleston, "Silk Hope." He tried to promote winegrowing, too. According to the Quaker John Archdale's account, Johnson planted a "considerable vineyard"; another contemporary, John Lawson, tells us that Johnson had "rejected all exotic vines, and makes his wine from the natural black grape of Carolina."  But at the same time, Lawson makes it clear that Johnson's experiments created no general response. There was not experience enough to solve the questions of winemaking in a strange world where the old practices simply would not work and where men knew not what to do. On Johnson's death, his estate went to a daughter, and, according to a later eighteenth-century writer, "she married; and her husband destroyed the vineyard and orchard to apply the soil to Turky-corn." 
Visionary forms of viticulture were still available, however. In 1717 the projector Sir Robert Montgomery put forth in London proposals for a model colony, to be founded in the territory of South Carolina (the region in question is now part of Georgia and Alabama) and to be called Azilia. As Montgomery correctly noted, there were in the destined regions of settlement vines flourishing upon the hills and
bearing grapes in the "most luxuriant plenty."  The neatly schematic map of the proposed margravate of Azilia published by Montgomery shows stylized vineyards as part of the picture, but the entire project remained a dream. The scheme is a slight added testimony to the stubborn persistence of the idea that wine could be grown despite all the discouragements.
The last word on the enterprise of winemaking in seventeenth-century South Carolina may be spoken by the English writer John Oldmixon in his History of the British Empire in America (1708). After quoting various enthusiastic reports on the produce—actual or fancied—of the colony, Oldmixon naturally asks: "Since the climate is so proper, since the grapes are so plentiful, and the wine they make so good, why is there not more of it? Why do we not see some of it?" He answers his own question thus: "The inhabitants either think they can turn their hands to a more profitable culture, or impose upon us in their reports; for I would not think them so weak, as to neglect making good wine, and enough of it, if they could, and thought it worth their while."  Oldmixon has put it very clearly. The colonists could not make the European vine grow, nor was it yet worth their while to develop the native vine. About the time that Oldmixon was putting his skeptical questions, John Lawson in North Carolina was explaining the difficulties from the settler's point of view: "New planted colonies are generally attended with a force and necessity of planting the known and approved staple and product of the country," Lawson wrote. Because the planter's time was thus taken up, the country would have to wait first until skillful vignerons should set to work and make it their chief business. Then, Lawson continues, "when it becomes a general undertaking, every one will be capable to add something to the common stock, of that which he has gain'd by his own experience. This way would soon make the burden light, and a great many shorter and exacter curiosities and real truths would be found out in a short time." 
It must be admitted that nothing like this has happened yet: viticulture and winemaking have never become enterprises general throughout the United States, and even now no genuinely national means of coordinating experiment and of disseminating information exists. Nor is there any national policy designed to encourage the production of wine. It is an innocent recreation to imagine what might have been, however, had the colonists somehow managed to make winegrowing with native grapes a staple activity up and down the Atlantic seaboard and so have given us a tradition of wine. We would by now, for sure, have a wealth of regional and local varieties and styles, complex enough to challenge the interest of connoisseurs through a lifetime. The vision of what might have been if things had gone that way has been gracefully sketched by Frank Schoonmaker and Tom Marvel in their now classic American Wines . Their catalog of wines that might have been but never were realized begins in Maine, "where there is a little wine grown north of Bath . . . it is pale and thin and possesses a peculiar bitterness which the inhabitants say is due to the vines being grown near brackish waters." Massachusetts, in this imaginary review, presents an array running from the "spicy pink Chicopee"
of the Connecticut Valley to the white wines of Cape Cod, "without which no loyal Bay State son or daughter would think of eating Cape Cod oysters." Connecticut boasts of its Housatonic wines, "the best reds east of the Hudson"; the Delaware Valley yields "full-bodied and generous vintages" both red and white; New Jersey produces a wine savoring of cranberries, much esteemed by the oenophiles of Philadelphia; and so on down along the coast, to the red Pocomokes and white Choptanks of Maryland's Eastern Shore. It is a charming fancy, still worth pursuing. 
The Georgia Experiment
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the prospect of winegrowing in America was hardly any clearer than it had been a century earlier. The Virginians had tried, through many years of the century preceding, to lay the basis of an industry. The secret eluded them as it did the colonists of the Carolinas, who also made an officially sponsored effort, less prolonged and less intense than in Virginia. Alongside of these publicly encouraged trials, dozens, scores, no doubt hundreds of local, individual, and amateur experiments in vinegrowing and in winemaking had been attempted from the beginning to the end of the century up and down the entire length of the Atlantic coast. The scale of all this, however, was so small as to be hardly visible even on the narrow strip of early colonial America. The work, frustrated after a few years wherever it began, established no tradition; nor was there any possible coordination of effort and experience among the small, isolated, and widely separated colonial communities. For practical purposes, each hopeful projector of winegrowing in 1700 was just where his fellow-spirit of 1600 had been., except that the lapse of a century without effective good results in this business was bound to suggest doubts and difficulties to him such as the first settlers could not at once suspect.
Nevertheless, the prevailing ignorance meant that hope remained alive. For who could say that the next optimist might not succeed? True, European grapes. had not grown well; but since no one knew any reason why, no one could say that the wine grape could not flourish here. And, indeed, on this question, perhaps the most interesting one still for the future of American viticulture, the answers, four centuries after the beginnings of settlement, are not yet in. Whatever the truth may
finally appear to be as to Vitis vinifera in the eastern United States, the colonist at the beginning of the 1700s knew simply that the wild vine, as it always had, still flourished powerfully, that it must therefore be possible to grow some sort of grape for making wine, and that the enterprise was worth a try. Hope could thus persist, and the persistence, at the level of official policy, is best shown in the eighteenth century by the early history of Georgia, last of the original thirteen colonies.
Georgia, as every schoolboy knows, was to be a place where the potential of a virgin land was to be put at the service of philanthropy. In the idea of Georgia's chief founder, General James Oglethorpe, men who had no place and no hope under the system of the Old World might become prosperous and upright in the spacious system of the New. This was very unlike Massachusetts, a colony founded by stern sectarians who sought a place apart for the exercise of their exclusive religion; or Virginia, where the simple prospect of gain was a sufficient motive. There were, to be sure, other considerations in the founding of Georgia. Providing a bulwark for the English colonies against the Spanish to the south and the French to the west was one. Another was the familiar commercial policy of providing Britain with those commodities for which it depended on foreign sup-pliers—notably that familiar trio, silk, oil, and wine. But the philanthropic motive was the strongest in the public imagination.
To make sure that the refugees from old England should not be corrupted in their new Eden, there were to be no slaves and no rum in Georgia. The economic basis of the colony, so its philanthropic projectors imagined, was to be those two commodities whose charm, a hundred and fifty years after Hakluyt, was still irresistible—silk and wine. By producing these from land "at present waste and desolate" the paupers of England might—so the royal charter ran—"not only gain a comfortable subsistence for themselves and families, but also strengthen our colonies and increase the trade, navigation, and wealth of these our realms."  Silk was the principal object, but wine came right after it. An early propagandist for the colony, appealing to the ideal "Man of Benevolence" whose pleasure was to relieve the distressed, exhorted him to imagine what Georgia might quickly become:
Let him see those, who are now a Prey to all the Calamities of Want, who are starving with Hunger, and seeing their Wives and Children in the same Distress; expecting likewise every Moment to be thrown into a Dungeon, with the cutting Anguish that they leave their Families exposed to the utmost Necessity and Despair: Let him, I say, see these living under a sober and orderly Government, settled in Towns, which are rising at Distances along navigable rivers: Flocks and Herds in the neighbouring Pastures, and adjoining to them Plantations of regular Rows of Mulberry-Trees, entwined with Vines, the Branches of which are loaded with Grapes. 
The effort to realize this animating vision (the vine wedded to the mulberry suggests a specifically Italian model) began in February 1733, when the first settlers landed at the site of Savannah and set about laying out the town. One of
their immediate undertakings was to establish a public garden, or nursery, where they could grow and propagate the mulberries, vines, olives, oranges, and other plants upon which the Mediterranean culture that they dreamed of was to be founded. This public garden, or Trustees' Garden, as it was called, was planted on ten acres of land between the town site and the river, to the east of the town in a spot still known in Savannah as Trustees' Garden.  Less than a year after its establishment, one traveller described it as a "beautiful garden . . . where are a great many white mulberry trees, vines, and orange trees raised."  But the repeated assertions made through the troubled years of the garden's life that it was badly sited on barren ground seem closer to the mark: it stood, said one critic, on "a large hill of dry sand." 
Even before any colonists had arrived in Georgia, the trustees of the colony,
eager to promote their plans for agriculture, had hired Dr. William Houston, a botanist of some distinction, one of the many correspondents of the great Linnaeus, to collect plants for trial in Georgia. Houston at once began his explorations by way of Madeira in 1732; from there he sent on "two tubs of the cuttings of Malmsey and other vines" to Charleston, to await the arrival of Oglethorpe's first band of settlers.  An agent was already in Charleston to supervise a nursery from which, in turn, the Savannah garden was to be supplied. The choice of Madeira as the source of vines for Georgia makes clear that the familiar logic of the argument from latitude was being applied. Savannah and the Western Islands lie within a degree of each other, and what more reasonable in theory—though false in fact—than that regions in the same latitude should yield the same produce? Dr. Houston intended to study the methods of vine cultivation and winemaking at Madeira too, in preparation for his arrival in Georgia. Unluckily, he fell ill at Jamaica and died there in 1733 without ever reaching the new colony to whose future he had hoped to contribute. 
Friends of the colony in England also helped: the famous gardener Philip Miller, in charge of the Botanical Gardens at Chelsea, sent a tub of "burgundy vines" late in 1733 (what the measure of a "tub" was I have not found, for it varied with the thing to be packed). A Mr. Charles King, of Brompton, who owned a vineyard there, sent not only three tubs of vines but ten dozen bottles of "Burgundy Wine" of his own manufacture—probably no Burgundian éleveur was aware of this suburban London rival—as a present to Tomochichi, chief of the local
Yamacraw Indians at Savannah.  King seems to have been the most persistent of the sponsors of winegrowing among the English friends of Georgia; from the trustees' records we learn that he sent another two tubs of vines in 1737 and, in the next year, a thousand vine plants. And there were other such gifts from other sources.
Such of them as survived the Atlantic voyage were set out in the Trustees' Garden, which seemed at first to flourish. The trustees were told in 1737 that the vines in the garden had succeeded extremely well, so that people "did not doubt of making good wines."  Two years later Oglethorpe reported that there was a half acre of vines in the garden, where they "have begun to shoot and promise well."  But that is the last hopeful note inspired by the garden: shortly afterwards a severe frost did grave damage, and that setback seems to have confirmed latent doubts about the garden's future. 
The garden was unlucky, in the way that the colony as a whole was unlucky. We have already seen that the first botanist appointed to advance the horticulture of the colony, Dr. Houston, died in Jamaica without ever reaching Georgia. His successor, Robert Millar, while collecting specimens of tropical flora in Mexico, was imprisoned by the Spanish on two successive voyages, his materials were confiscated, and he himself was finally returned to England empty-handed and without contributing anything directly to Georgia.  The first gardener actually to work in the garden, Joseph Fitzwalter, began enthusiastically, but then fell out with Paul Amatis, a Savoyard brought over by the trustees to develop the culture of silk. Amatis and Fitzwalter clashed over who was to be master of the garden. Amatis seems to have been a quarrelsome man, and at one time he grew so angry that he threatened to shoot Fitzwalter should he ever enter the garden again.  Early in 1735 Amatis had sent some 2,000 vines to the Savannah garden from the stock accumulated at Charleston. By July, he claimed, Fitzwalter had given some away as presents, to "I know not who," and had let the rest die.  Furthermore, the public character of the garden made things difficult: people stole the plants and stripped the fruit, to the despair of the gardener. "Fruits, grapes and whatever else grows is pulled and destroyed before maturity."  Amatis finally succeeded in establishing his authority over Fitzwalter, who left the colony for Carolina. Amatis himself died late in 1736, and in the decade or so of its remaining life, the garden saw several different gardeners come and go.
One of them, an educated Scotsman named Hugh Anderson, left a good description of the state and character of the garden and a plan for improving it. The soil was poor, he wrote to the trustees, and the site exposed to wind and sun. It would do very well as a nursery for mulberry trees, but if the trustees seriously wished to encourage "vines, olive trees, plant [sic ], drugs, etc.," they must create windbreaks, raise hedges to divide and protect the garden, drain the swampy land, build a greenhouse, dig a well, and set up a laboratory and a library.  The trustees must have wondered at what so simple an idea as a garden required in a strange new land.
By 1740 the garden was productive only as a nursery of mulberry trees, and it was clear that the main part of the tract was too sterile to suit horticulture. A rich, swampy section of the grounds was cleared and drained in 1742 to serve as a nursery for the vine cuttings that the trustees continued to send over to the colony,  and some rooted vines were distributed from this source in the years following. But the garden—"that barren place, where all labour was ill bestowed," as it was described in 1745—did not prosper.  Later in that year the gardener was fired for neglecting his charge, though he must have had a thankless task of it even had he been irreproachably conscientious. In 1755 the land, which had apparently long ceased to be employed as a garden, was, on his petition, granted to the first royal governor, John Reynolds.  Nearly two hundred years later an effort was made to reestablish a part of the original site as a museum and memorial garden, but its bad luck seems to have continued to pursue the spot, and the effort failed. 
The Trustees' Garden has been called "the first organized experiment station ever,"  and is thus the prototype of an excellent institution. As a practical encouragement to winegrowing, however, it was no more successful than the Georgia trustees' hopeful prohibitions against slaves and spirits, both of which hopes expired in the same decade as the garden.
"All the vine kinds seem natural to the country" wrote one Georgia traveller in 1736;  it is the familiar observation of all early American travellers. There is a special pathos in this instance, though, since the writer, Francis Moore, is describing the vines of St. Simon's Island, only a few miles north of the Huguenot outpost in Florida where, it was alleged, the earliest American wine on record had been made in 1564. Now, nearly two centuries later, not much had changed: the Spaniards were still a threat, the vines still flourished mockingly, and the production of wine remained a dream.
At the same time that Moore was remarking the abundance of vines along the coastal islands, a more celebrated observer was taking notes on the grapes of Georgia: "The common Wild-Grapes are of two sorts, both red: the fox-grape grows two or three only on a stalk, is thick-skinn'd, large-ston'd, of a harsh taste, and of the size of a small Kentish Cherry. The cluster-grape is of a harsh taste too, and about the size of a white currant."  This is from the journal of John Wesley, whose labors at soul-saving in Georgia, where he had gone in the earliest days of that colony, were as troubled and unsatisfactory as the struggles of any Georgia vineyardist to grow wine. Back in England, John Wesley's brother Samuel had hailed the Georgia enterprise in a poem entitled "Georgia, and Verses upon Mr. Oglethorpe's Second Voyage to Georgia" (1736), in which the imagined vintages of Georgia are presented in glowing terms:
With nobler Products see thy GEORGIS teems,
Chear'd with the genial Sun's director Beams
There the wild Vine to Culture learns to yield,
And purple Clusters ripen through the Field.
Now bid thy Merchants bring thee Wine no more
Or from the Iberian or the Tuscan Shore;
No more they need th' Hungarian Vineyards drain,
And France herself may drink her best Champain
Behold! at last, and in a subject Land,
Nectar sufficient for thy large Demand:
Delicious Nectar, powerful to improve
Our hospitable Mirth and social Love. 
This outburst is a valuable expression of the attractive power that the vision of what may be called imperial winemaking had upon the sober English imagination, but it was a vision evidently much easier to sustain in the fields of Devonshire than in the woods of Georgia, where John Wesley encountered the "thick-skinn'd, large-ston'd" grape of "harsh taste" (evidently rotundifolia).
The hopes of Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, were not easy to defeat. He had supervised the laying out of the Trustees' Garden, and, despite the evidence to the contrary, persisted in his optimism. "We shall certainly succeed in Silk and Wine," he wrote to the trustees in 1738, and again, "there is great hope, nay, I may say, no doubt, that both Silk and Wine will in a very short time come to perfection." He was repeating the same confident assurances as late as 1743.  What reason did he have to make them? Probably none. But it is at least understandable that the founder of a colony in desperate straits, as Georgia was then, might feel himself bound to take a view opposed to all the plain evidence before him.
We learn hardly anything distinct from contemporary reports about the fate of the European vines that were actually planted in Georgia. Some say that those planted in the Trustees' Garden did well; others affirm that the vines were neglected or abused. Whether any were actually tended long enough to make it clear how they would do does not appear, but such information as exists makes that seem doubtful. As for winemaking in the colony, the few accounts make it plain that native grapes were always the source. Early in 1739, for example, a Mr. Cooksey told the trustees, who were naturally anxious to know something about the Georgia wines and vines that they hoped to promote, that he had himself "made wine of the wild grape of the country . . . but it grew sour, and would not keep, tho' very pleasant to drink when new, and of a fine colour."  Later in that year the trustees heard from Mr. Auspurger, their engineer and surveyor, just returned from the colony, that "he eat some grapes at Savannah in July as fine as can be seen, and he believed they would make the best Vidonia wine" (Vidonia wine was the most highly regarded wine of the Canary Islands, a dry white wine exported to the English colonies as a minor competitor to Madeira).
Many miles to the south of Savannah, on St. Simon's Island, Colonel William Cooke, who had sent out sixteen different sorts of vine cuttings from France in 1737, had begun to make wine from native grapes (his French grapes would no' yet have been bearing—or, more likely, they had died). The result of Cooke's experiments was described to the trustees in 1740 by a Lieutenant Horton, one of Cooke's neighbors, as having "a pleasant sweet flavour and taste, and he believed
would keep near a year." Cooke's experiments, Horton added, made many in the southern part of the colony "determined to push on the plantation of vines."  Only a year later the trustees heard from a different witness that the impulse had come to nothing, "that some had planted grapes but left off, finding the grape small and unprofitable."  Still, where all was yet uncertain, one might hope to hear a very different story. Horton, for one, was still optimistic, for he was, in 1744, among those who received the 3,000 cuttings sent to the settlement of Frederica by William Stephens (of whom more in a moment).  Yet another colonist in 1741 told Lord Egmont, one of the trustees most interested in the fortunes of Georgia winemaking:
That the wine for export will certainly succeed in Georgia: that himself had made some even of the Wild grape cut down, which had as strong a body as Burgundy, and as fine a flavour: that by cutting the thick coat of the grape grew thinner, and if the cuttings were transplanted into vinyards or gardens, the Vine will every way answer still better. 
If the growing of good wine had any real chance in the conditions of early colonial Georgia, it would certainly have been found out by a gentleman sent over by the trustees as secretary to the colony in 1737. This was Colonel William Stephens (colonel of the militia, like so many colonels, English and American), a man already of advanced age for pioneering enterprise (he was sixty-six when he went to Georgia) and of rather tarnished fame.  Though he had represented the Isle of Wight in Parliament for twenty years, he was unlucky in business and had twice had to abandon home and position in order to flee from his creditors. Sent to Georgia by the trustees primarily to provide full reports on the colony, he became there an enthusiast of pure and holy fervor in the cause of the grape. He was always disappointed, but he deserves some memorial as the first official residing in the colonies to make a sustained attempt to realize the vision of winemaking so easily indulged at home in England but so heartbreaking to pursue in the wilderness.
Stephens also had the merit of keeping a journal—it was this habit that decided the trustees that he was the man to write the full and current reports they badly wanted—and from this journal we can learn in some detail of the hopes raised and the disappointments suffered in the struggle to make Georgian wine.
When Stephens arrived in November of 1737, he found both good news and bad news. The bad was that the vines in the Trustees' Garden were not doing well, and nobody could tell whether that was because the conditions in Georgia were wrong, or, as Stephens himself suspected, because of the "unskillfulness or negligence" of the gardeners.  The good news was that one grape grower, at least, was doing well. Stephens' journal for 6 December 1737 records the hopeful evidence:
After dinner walked out to see what improvements of vines were made by one Mr. Lyon, a Portuguese Jew, which I had heard some talk of; and indeed nothing had given me so much pleasure since my arrival, as what I found here; though it was yet (if I say it properly) only in Miniature, for he had cultivated only for two or three years past about half a score of them which he received from Portugal for an experiment; and by his skill and management in pruning, etc. they all bore this year very plentifully. 
The man Stephens calls Mr. Lyon was Abraham De Lyon, one of a number of Portuguese Jews, who, somewhat to the annoyance of the trustees, had been among the very first settlers in the colony.  Another member of this group, Senhor Dias, is said to have imported some vines in 1735, and when Dias died these vines came into the hands of De Lyon, with others that De Lyon had provided for himself.  By 1737 to judge from Stephens' enthusiastic report, the vineyard was flourishing and De Lyon committed to a serious effort at winegrowing.
So were other members of the Savannah Jewish colony; it was reported to the trustees in June 1737 that the Nunez family, to whom De Lyon was connected by marriage, wished to exchange their swampland holdings for dry land in order to plant vines (though one would suppose that they needed no special reason for wishing to make such a trade). One Isaac Nunez Henriques was most active in this business; "but all the family," the report went on, "are equally desirous with him to plant vineyards and each has made preparations for it, having vines ready to transplant and some in great forwardness." 
Perhaps it was the encouragement of Stephens that led De Lyon to petition the trustees for a loan of £ 200, claiming that he had already expended "the sum of four hundred Pounds in the Improvement of his Lot, and the cultivation of the Vines which he carried with him from Portugal, which he hath brought to great Perfection."  On 17 May 1738 the trustees ordered the money to be paid to De Lyon for repayment in six years' time. Less than a year later, in March 1739, Oglethorpe reported from Georgia that De Lyon had by then planted three-quarters of an acre of vineyard, "which thrives well," and that he had twenty acres cleared for fall planting. 
At this point something went wrong between De Lyon and Oglethorpe, and the encouraging beginning was stalled. In his letter to the trustees' accountant of 22 November 1738, Oglethorpe stated that he had, as directed, paid the £200 that had been authorized as a loan to De Lyon.  But evidently the transaction was not straightforward. A pamphlet published in Charleston in 1741 by a group of disgruntled Georgians alleged, among many other angry charges against Oglethorpe, that he had sabotaged the efforts of De Lyon. Just when De Lyon, they said, was ready to bring in both vines and vignerons from Portugal, Oglethorpe refused to hand over the money the trustees had authorized, and so the scheme failed. 
This cannot be the whole story, since De Lyon in fact gave his receipt for £ 100 of the money.  A more temperate explanation of what happened is given by Thomas Causton, the chief magistrate of Savannah, who informed the trustees that Oglethorpe had given directions for the loan to be paid, but that his agent had instead deducted from the sum a debt that De Lyon owed to the community store, and so De Lyon "was not able to perform his contract." 
Yet another, and anti-Semitic account, is given by the earl of Egmont, a trustee of the Georgia colony, who states that Oglethorpe determined to dole out the second £ 100 in small sums, "being desirous first to see how faithfully that jew would perform his covenants."  Whatever the reason, De Lyon literally wanted out. As
Stephens wrote in his Journal for April 1741, De Lyon had neglected his vines and had attempted to send some of his goods out of Georgia in preparation for leaving the colony. "I cannot," Stephens concluded, "any longer look on him as a person to be confided in."
The Nunez family, one of whose daughters De Lyon had taken to wife, had all left Georgia for Carolina by September 1740 "for fear of the Spaniards" according to a contemporary chronicler,  and perhaps De Lyon, in wishing to follow them, had no more sinister motive than they had. The Portuguese and Spanish Jews in Georgia had known the persecution of the Inquisition in their native lands and had therefore a special reason to be frightened by a threat from Spanish forces. But another reason—one more ominous for the future of the colony—is given in the record kept by Lord Egmont of a conversation with a gentleman newly returned from Georgia in February 1741. His witness gave Egmont this sorry news:
That every one of the Jews were gone, and that industrious man Abrm. Delyon, on whom were founded all our expectations for cultivating vines and making wine.
I asked him the reason: he reply'd, want of Negroes, which cost but 6 pence a week to keep; whereas his white servants cost him more than he was able to afford.
Since Stephens, writing two months after the date of Egmont's note, implies that De Lyon had not yet left Georgia, the statement that he had already done so is premature. But it was not long before De Lyon departed in fact, for we learn from the proceedings of the Savannah town council in October 1741 that De Lyon had by then been gone for several months, that he was not likely to return, and that his vines were "wholly neglected." The magistrates gave orders to "find out a proper person amongst the German servants to watch and look carefully after the said vines for the benefit of the Trust," but it is doubtful whether anything was actually done. As for De Lyon, he took his family northwards and is afterwards heard of in Pennsylvania and in New York. A son of his returned to the South later, took a wife, and settled in Savannah, not as a vine grower but as a lawyer.
One of the most frequently complained about difficulties in Georgia was that of getting good cuttings for planting. As early as February 1735 one colonist was begging the trustees that a "sufficient quantity of slips, etc. of vines may be delivered as against the next season. Had I enough ready I would plant now at least two acres." Two years later, the same writer repeated his request. In December 1738, the trustees' records report, a parcel of vine cuttings, "mostly of the Burgundy kind," went out to Georgia by the ship America . Stephens' journal tells us how they looked when they got there:
Among other things sent from the Trust by the ship America, lately arrived, was a parcel of vine-cuttings, which with proper care in packing would have been extreamly valuable, and are much coveted. But unhappily they came naked, without any covering, and only bound up like a common faggot; so that being in that manner exposed, and possibly thrown carelessly up and down in the voyage, they had the appearance of no other than a bundle of dry sticks.
Despite this and other setbacks—successive shipments of cuttings from England all seemed to arrive dead or dying—Stephens remained sanguine. Early in 1740 his journal describes some very hopeful signs appropriate to the spring season: "One thing here I cannot but take notice of with some pleasure, which is, that I find an uncommon tendency lately sprung up among our people of all ranks, towards planting vines; wherein they shew an emulation, if they get but a few, of outdoing one another."
By the end of the year, Stephens is even more emphatic. In his vindication of the colony, "attested upon oath in the court of Savannah, November 10, 1740," and intended to silence the critics of the government, he declared: "The staple of the country of Georgia being presumed, and intended to be principally silk and wine, every year confirms more our hopes of succeeding in those two, from the great increase (as has been before observed) of the vines and mulberry-trees, wherein perseverance only can bring it to perfection." Still, seven years after the first settlement, hardly any wine seems to have been made, and the critics were growing loud. In a debate on supply in the House of Commons in February 1740, John Mordaunt, member for Whitechurch, sarcastically opposed a grant to the Georgia trustees on the grounds that their promises generally, and that about wine in particular, had not been made good: "As to wine, he believed it would be well to give it to the inhabitants for their own drinking, and wished them good luck with it, for it would be all would ever be seen of their wine, and if the people of the place drank no other, they would be the soberest subjects in the world." Since the mercantilist argument of making England self-sufficient in wine was one of the most powerful appeals that the trustees had for coaxing money from Parliament, the inability to perform the promise was a serious matter.
A petition of December 1740, addressed to the king by a group of Georgians hoping to get slaves admitted to the colony, argues that the projected commodities of wine and silk would never be produced without slave labor. In all the history of the colony hardly any silk had been made, the petitioners affirm, and of wine, "not ten gallons." Perhaps there had been a good deal more than that made, but not enough, certainly, to be anything more than a promising curiosity. We have already mentioned the vintages of Mr. Cooksey and of Colonel Cooke. In 1740, when Stephens was repeatedly assuring London that things were beginning to flourish, he was actually able to produce a bottle of wine for official tasting. In September of that year, Stephens left Savannah for Frederica, where Oglethorpe, whose time was more absorbed in fighting the Spanish of St. Augustine than in presiding over his colony, lay ill of fever. In his baggage, Stephens writes, "I had a bottle of Savannah wine at his service, made there, which I had brought with me, to present it with my own hand from the maker." Next day the bottle—"a large stone bottle"—was presented to the ailing general for his judgment. He tasted it before the anxious Stephens and pronounced it to be "something of the nature of a small French white wine, with an agreeable flavor." Stephens adds, for our further assurance, that "all young vines produce small wines at first, and the strength and
goodness of it increases as the vines grow older." Not everyone was so hopeful as Stephens, or so tactful as Oglethorpe. Major James Carteret, who was also at Frederica when Stephens presented his Savannah wine, later told the trustees that "he had tasted the wine made at Savannah which Col. Stephens carry'd from thence to Col. Oglethorpe, which was sad stuff, and bitter, rather the juice of the stalk than of the grape."
By the next year Stephens saw even more reason for encouragement. People were actually competing with each other in establishing vineyards, he told the trustees in January 1741. By May he was exulting in the flourishing condition of his own vineyard, in which "many of my vines, that had been of one or two years standing at most, made an agreeable prospect, by putting forth clusters of grapes in pretty good plenty, that had the appearance of coming to perfection." The yield from the new vineyards was not yet enough to produce any substantial measure of wine, so Stephens suggested that three or four growers might pool their grapes, "whereby they might probably attain to a cask of wine, more or less sufficient to make some judgment of what they might expect in time coming." By July, Stephens' eyes were gladdened by the sight of an actual vintage. James Balleu, a Frenchman from near Bordeaux, had had vines growing for the past three years at Savannah and was about to make wine from the crop. Stephens attended the occasion as an observer, and, he tells us, "had the satisfaction of seeing upwards of thirteen gallons press'd, and put into a cask for working; which from the richness of the juice, I should expect will become a wine of a good body, at a due age."
That there really was visible activity in Savannah winegrowing, not just a fantasy of Stephens' hopefulness, is confirmed by Thomas Causton, whose survey of the "products of the colony of Georgia" made at the end of 1741, after noting the dereliction of De Lyon and the general difficulty of obtaining suitable cuttings, says that nevertheless "great progress has been made within this 3 years past." Winegrowing only needed "encouragement" in order to be established, and to this end he suggested a bounty of £100 "for the first pipe of wine which should be made in Georgia." At the same time, Stephens was writing to the trustees' accountant in London that he would soon send a full statistical survey of the wine industry in Georgia, which would show how reasonable it was to expect success in winegrowing and would "convince every body, that all we have said, is not an empty Chimera." The emphasis of the assertion suggests that Stephens had had to listen to loud and frequent doubts; and the skeptics were of course right. If Stephens ever prepared his promised statistical account, I have not found it. It could not have communicated much optimism to the trustees, for in the official defense of the colony prepared by their secretary in 1741, though it is said that the venture in winegrowing "shows a great probability of succeeding," it is prudently added that "this produce must be a work of time, and must depend upon an increase of the people."
We know something of Stephens' own efforts as a viticulturist at this time; he,
at any rate, was working in good faith and with good hope. As part of his compensation from the trustees, Stephens had been granted a plantation of 500 acres (the maximum allowable under the rule for Georgia), some thirteen miles south of Savannah at the mouth of the Vernon River, which he named Bewlie, after an estate in England to which he fancied he saw a resemblance. He seems to have planted grapes as soon as ground could be cleared, and his pleasures and troubles growing out of his vineyard at Bewlie make a major theme running through Stephens' journal. Early in 1742 Stephens, using cuttings taken from the Trustees' Garden in Savannah, made an extensive planting of vines under the direction of a man from the Swiss settlement at Purrysburgh (perhaps he was the Monsieur Rinck whom Stephens later called the most skillful vigneron in the colony).
In April of 1742 Stephens was pleased to see that of the 900 vines he had planted that spring only a few had failed to grow. By 1743 he had 2,000 vines growing at Bewlie. Despite the chronic difficulty of getting labor sufficient to keep up the plantation, let alone expand it, Stephens was able to look forward to a vintage in but a short time. The vines bore in their second year, but, on the advice of the unnamed vigneron whom he employed, the fruit was thinned so that the vines themselves would make better growth. James Balleu, of whom we have already heard, expected to make thirty gallons in 1743, and Stephens himself ordered a small experimental batch of wine made from his own grapes so that he might have some of the 1743 vintage to compare against the next year's promised production. "I found it of a stronger body than any I had yet met with," Stephens writes of his first wine, "a little rough upon the palate, and with a bitterish flavour, somewhat like the taste of an almond. The colour was of a pale red."
By this time, the encouraging state of vine growing in Georgia began to attract the attention of neighboring South Carolina, where the thought of producing wine had never been entirely forgotten since the founding of the colony. In April 1743 Stephens reported a conversation that he had had with two Carolina men, who had told him that, if Georgia succeeded in growing vines, they would plant vines and encourage the industry in Carolina. Stephens was pleased by their interest, but then reflected sadly that Georgia, despite its head start, might be quickly overtaken since labor was so hard to get—Carolina, of course, had plenty of slaves for its rice and indigo plantations, and they might easily be made vine dressers as well.
In January 1745, at a time when Carolina rice was glutting the market, Stephens heard rumors that the Carolinians were planning to go ahead with vineyard planting. Worse still, they had "seduced one of the most skilfull vignerons among the foreign settlers in Georgia to go and instruct them in their first planting." Worst of all, certain Georgians, Stephens was told, had agreed to furnish vine cuttings from the stock available in Georgia. The stories were only too true. James Habersham and William Grant, prominent settlers both, sailed in February with 15,000 Cuttings and an unnamed vigneron for South Carolina, where they were to deliver their goods to a Port Royal planter. "But can such be looked on as good Georgian men?" Stephens asked his journal. For himself, he was certain that he
would never raise up competition against Georgia. The fate of the Carolina vines does not appear, but Stephens probably need not have worried about them to judge from his own experience.
The crisis of Stephens' expectations came in 1744. He was able to distribute 9,000 cuttings from the pruning of his vineyard that spring, and had good reason to tell the trustees that "the propagation of vines seems to promise as one would wish." In the same letter he revealed his hopes, at the time of the vintage, "to press such plenty of grapes, as will give some specimen of what we may expect hereafter, both in quantity and quality." The grapes ripened rapidly under the Georgia sun, and by the end of June Stephens was happy in the contemplation of a heavily laden vineyard. Called away to Savannah and kept there by his official business, he was thunderstruck to learn, just when he expected to hear news of a prosperous vintage, that his crop was ruined. His son and plantation manager, Newdigate Stephens, rode in to Savannah to give him the incredible news: "that plenty of clusters which hung so delightfully within a week past . . . now lay dropt off, and almost covered the face of the whole vineyard, half buried in dirt, and utterly lost." There had been a storm of wind and rain in the week, though whether that would account for so catastrophic a destruction I do not know. Stephens responded with his indomitable optimism—he certainly had the true pioneer spirit and it is impossible not to wish that he had had better success: "If I live I'll persever and leave nothing in my power undone, that I think will conduce to the produce of wine in good perfection. The trifling quantity that is now fermenting, convinces me twill not want a reasonable share of those qualities most likely to recommend it."
Some modest success was had by others that year, since Patrick Houston, early in 1745, was able to send to Oglethorpe a cask of what Houston described as "a pretty good Rhenish" made from vines growing at Frederica. Probably they were native vines, though we are not told.
The next year, 1745, produced the same cycle of high expectation and crushing failure for Stephens. Once again the grapes at Bewlie grew promisingly. From the "pleasant show of plenty we now see on the vines," Stephens wrote, "I can do no less than entertain once more good hopes of what's to come." But what came was utter failure, this time owing to the intense heats that scorched the grapes ripening in a Georgia midsummer; some, says Stephens, were "coddled" by the sun, while other parts of the bunch remained green and stopped growing. The affliction was general throughout the young vineyards of the colony, so that the year produced no vintage at all.
Stephens' extant journal ends in 1745, though he remained as governor until 1751 and did not die until 1753. We do not know in detail what success he may have had in those later years, but it is not hard to guess. It does not appear that any wine worth sending to the trustees ever materialized, for their records mention no such thing. Wine was always something about to be, and all hope that the trustees entertained for a Georgian wine ended with the passage of the colony from their
hands to the royal government at the end of 1751. By that time there were slaves and rum in Georgia too, so that the original plans for a free, temperate, winegrowing plantation in the New World seemed to have been negated entirely. In the same year, 1751, the leader of the German colonists settled at Ebenezer, above Savannah on the Savannah River, wrote in response to a European gentleman's query "whether there are vineyards, or if there are none, whether it is considered possible to start any there?" that there were in Georgia "no vineyards": "The attempt has been made in Carolina and Georgia (I, too, tried in a ditch) to start wine gardens, and they did bear plenty of white wine after two or three years (the red wine was less successful) but died again [sic ] by and by. I assume that we do not know the way to plant and prune."
The repeated failures between the establishment of the Trustees' Garden in 1733 and the disaster to Stephens' vineyard in 1745 had their inevitable effect. The hope of successful viticulture did not absolutely perish—it never did anywhere in the United States—and we hear, for example, in 1766, of two gentlemen named Wright who had begun a vineyard of twenty acres on the St. Mary's River. But by 1771, John William De Brahm, who had earlier brought over a group of Germans to Georgia, reported that no one there, not even the Germans, showed any interest in working with the native vines that grew so vigorously all around them. A final glimpse of the scene in Georgia is provided by the naturalist William Bartram, who, riding from Augusta to Savannah in January 1776, met an Irishman "lately arrived" on his way to cultivate wine grapes, grapes for currants and for raisins, and such items as olives, figs, and silk in the backwoods of the colony. Whether this poor Irishman ever began his experiment, and if he did, how long he may have persisted, we do not know. The Irish are a hopeful race, but it was clear by 1776 to those not "lately arrived" that something more than hope was required.
Virginia and the South in the Eighteenth Century
South Carolina; Florida; North Carolina
The Georgia experiment was an exception to the rule, for by the eighteenth century the home government no longer believed that the development of a colonial wine industry could be an item of official policy. Throughout the century, however, sporadic outbursts of encouragement persisted among officials. In South Carolina, for example, Governor Robert Johnson reported to the Board of Trade in London as late as 1734 that the thing could be done if the government would only make it worthwhile: "If a considerable premium was to be given to the first person that made the first tun of good wine" in South Carolina, he wrote, that would overcome the greatest single obstacle, which was the labor and expense and time required for establishing the work "before any profit arises." No evidence exists that the London officials responded—the appeal was one they had certainly heard often before. A decade later, according to the rather indistinct report of the German traveller Johann David Schoepf, the authorities in the colony provided a prize of £60 "to any one exhibiting a pipe of good, drinkable wine made in the country." This, says Schoepf, was responded to by a Frenchman near Orangeburg, who took the premium for several years in succession. "But so soon as the premiums were discontinued, he gave up vine-culture, saying that he could find a better use for his land."
Schoepf's information may not be exact, but it is a matter of record that the Commons of South Carolina in 1744 resolved in favor of a bill offering £100 "to the first person who shall make the first pipe of good, strong-bodied merchantable wine of the growth and culture of his own plantation." A few years later the ante
had been raised tremendously, for in 1748, one Robert Thorpe, Esq., laid his claim before the Commons in respect of his having produced "four casks of wine, each containing 30 gallons"; on investigation, the claim was honored and Thorpe was paid "the sum of five hundred pounds, being the bounty on a pipe of wine." In terms of the purchasing power of money in the mid eighteenth century, this was an astonishing sum.
Thorpe's success must have helped to intensify the interest in winegrowing in South Carolina, an interest that was, indeed, growing generally throughout the colonies in the years down to the Revolution. In 1756 Alexander Garden, a distinguished physician and horticulturist of Charleston, informed the Society of Arts in London that grapes could be much better grown in South Carolina than they had so far been. The society obliged by sending him slips of the Zante and Tokay varieties for trial, accompanied by the reflection that Bacchus had been deified by the people of the early ages for teaching "the Making of Wine, and among some of our Colonies there is Room at this Day for the doing almost as much Good." A few years later the society was informed that another amateur, Colonel Colleton, had found a good wine grape growing in South Carolina; this is interesting especially in light of South Carolina's role later as the fountain of new American hybrid grapes. Evidently the frequency of trials made with European grapes and the abundance of native grapes in the colony made it the preeminent place from which chance hybrids of commercial value originated. What Colonel Colleton had chanced upon we do not know, but it may well have been a native improved with vinifera blood. Such hybrids were later to become the basis of eastern viticulture.
One notable South Carolinian who hoped to see his state produce wine was the Charleston merchant and revolutionary patriot Henry Laurens, a commercial importer on an extensive scale of wines, including the fine Madeiras for which South Carolinians had a notable taste. Notwithstanding his interest in this part of the wine trade, Laurens did all he could to encourage the development of wine-growing in South Carolina itself. He assured one English investor who thought of planting vines in the Carolina back country in 1764 that all that was wanted was "time enough for experiments and perseverance . . . I am quite sure that good Grapes may be produced and kept up even in the Lower parts of Carolina ." For evidence, he could point to a splendid vine in his own Charleston garden, which yielded, he said, some three to four hundred pounds of white grapes each year. "This vine of mine has given Spirits to our New French incomers; 'tis said by many Gentlemen to be as fine as any they have seen in Lisbon or Spain and the French cry out; C'est beau et bon ." A later writer identified Laurens's vine as a Chasselas Blanc, a true vinifera; but despite his success with a European vine, Laurens himself seems to have thought a native industry would be based on native vines. Laurens, of Huguenot origin himself, took a special interest in the Huguenot settlement of New Bordeaux, where winegrowing was the main purpose of the community. On a trip through France in 1772, while he drifted on a canal boat through the vineyards of Burgundy, he could not help imagining, as he wrote to his family, a
vision of South Carolina's future in which he saw "my grand children receiving, exporting, and drinking wine made at Long Canes and Keowee, convey'd by the Savanna, Edisto, Ponpon, Santee, and Cowper Rivers to Charles Town."
In 1773 the young Bostonian Josiah Quincy, on a tour through the South, was greatly smitten with the luscious Madeiras provided by his South Carolinian hosts; he noted that Joseph Allston, one of these hospitable gentlemen, had "propagated the Lisbon and Wine-Island grapes with great success." South Carolina was not destined to rival the Wine Islands in the matter of sweet wines; indeed, no major commercial winemaking has ever been established there. Yet it has continued to be the scene of experiments and has an unbroken, and sometimes significant, history of viticulture down to the present day. Its most important episodes in the eighteenth century belong to the continental emigré communities, to be described later.
To the south of the Carolinas, in the inhospitable humidity of Florida, it yet seemed possible to produce wine. The settlers in the country probably knew nothing about the unhappy Huguenot colony of 1564 on the St. Johns River in Florida or the Spaniards on Santa Elena. But they could see wild grapes such as those described by the early American naturalist William Bartram on his travels in Florida, where he found the soil "peculiarly adapted for the cultivation of vines." Here Bartram saw vines "astonishing" for their bulk and strength: "they are frequently nine, ten, and twelve inches in diameter, and twine round the trunks of the trees, climb to their very tops, and then spread along their limbs, from tree to tree, throughout the forest." In the twenty-year interval (1763-83) of British possession of Florida, the home authorities offered bounties for the production of certain commodities, wine among them, and the records show that there were actually exports in 1774-79 Florida claret could only have been a rare, exotic, and dubious beverage, however.
Perhaps some of it was made by the colonists brought over to the settlement promoted by Dr. Andrew Turnbull. The acquisition of Florida, most southerly of American colonies, at once stimulated the imaginations of colonial planners along the familiar lines: here would be a place to grow wine, oil, and silk! It occurred to at least three of these speculators that the people to do the work should be Greeks, real Mediterranean people. William Knox, agent in London for Georgia and East Florida, formally proposed such a move to the Board of Trade in 1763; Archibald Menzies, a Scot who had travelled in the Levant, published a pamphlet in the same year to the same purpose; and in 1766 Dr. Turnbull, another Scot, actually set out to make the experiment.
Turnbull, who had served as British consul in Smyrna and who had married a Smyrna Greek, thought he knew how the plan could be worked. Forming a company with certain highly placed Englishmen, including George Grenville, the prime minister, Turnbull succeeded in acquiring grants of land that ultimately totaled 101,000 acres. He at once took his family to Florida to settle them there and to choose a site. This he found some seventy miles south of St. Augustine (then the only settlement of any consequence along the coast), at the mouth of the Indian
River. Turnbull then sailed back to Europe to recruit his colony, which he was enabled to do by a bounty paid by the Board of Trade for every hand that he could sign on. Hearing that Italian laborers might be available, he called with his ship at Leghorn and managed to enlist a number of paisanos . But in Greece he ran into trouble. The Turks, who then ruled the country, made it difficult for him everywhere he went, and at last he was forced to restrict his efforts to a wild region of the Morea, where the mountaineers had been fiercely holding off the Turks for years. Turnbull collected almost 400 of them, starved and desperate as they were. He then sailed back to the west, and set up his recruiting station on the island of Minorca, off Spain, whose impoverished inhabitants, Spanish-speaking and Catholic, were added in large numbers to the Italians and Greeks already assembled.
When Turnbull set sail again for Florida late in 1767, he took a fleet of eight ships loaded with grape cuttings and with 1,500 emigrants—some miscellaneous French and Corsicans included with the Minorcans, Italians, and Greeks. This was the largest single group ever to begin a settlement in the New World, and of course its size did nothing to ease the tensions already generated by its mixed and incongruous elements. Revolt and disease broke out almost as soon as this bewildered and ill-sorted group found itself on Florida soil, struggling to clear land of its tropical vegetation and to impose upon it the Mediterranean order of vines, olives, and mulberries.
Turnbull did his best. He resided with his family on the huge property, called New Smyrna after his wife's native city; he personally directed the large-scale operations of land clearing, building, canal digging, and planting that were in fact carried out with some success. But the whole thing was too unwieldy to prosper long. Expenses mounted far beyond what had been foreseen. Serious quarrels with the colonial governor arose, further dividing the colonists. And, finally, the outbreak of the Revolution dissolved what was already beginning to fall apart. In 1781, disgusted and heavily out of pocket, Turnbull retired to Charleston and returned to the practice of medicine.
We know that grapes were planted at New Smyrna, but not much more than that. The German traveller Johann Schoepf, who knew Dr. Turnbull in Charleston after the collapse of New Smyrna, learned from him that the vines planted had "thrived tremendously" and that Turnbull had developed a method of training them on high stakes "as is customary in Madeira." Any further resemblance between the viticulture of New Smyrna and Madeira must have been illusory.
In North Carolina, the failure of the original grape-growing scheme to come to anything had not changed the fact that the region abounded in native grapes. The explorer and surveyor-general of the colony, John Lawson, writing in the first decade of the century, calls the grape the most important of the native fruits and describes six varieties. First are the "black bunch-grapes, which yield a crimson juice." "Bunch-grape" is a southern term, used to identify the standard sort of cluster-yielding vine as opposed to the familiar rotundifolia vines of the south-
eastern states with their separate large round berries. Another sort of bunch grape in North Carolina, Lawson says, is notable for its yield of light, almost white, juice. The remaining four varieties Lawson calls "Fox-Grapes": black and white "summer" varieties, ripening in July, and black and white "winter" varieties, ripening in October or November. These were, evidently, rotundifolia, for they did not set fruit in clusters (to the general confusion of things, "fox grape" in the South usually means rotundifolia; elsewhere, it usually indicates labrusca). The vines of the summer grapes "always grow in swamps, and low moist lands. . . . They afford the largest leaf I ever saw, to my remembrance, the back of which is of a white horseflesh colour." Winter fox grapes grew on all soils and were "great bearers. I have seen near twelve bushels upon one vine of the black sort." Both red and white varieties of bunch grapes and the four varieties of rotundifolia "grow common, and bear plentifully." The account makes clear how tantalizingly close the vision of winemaking was to all the early settlers and how baffling the withdrawn promise must have been.
Lawson tells of transplanting native varieties to his garden, where they flourished, and he had also made the experiment of planting Vitis vinifera from seed, with hopeful results. Lawson was captured, tortured, and killed by the Tuscaroras two years after his book appeared, and his grape growing died with him. He makes clear in what he published how utterly Without guidance the aspiring vine grower was in the New World, even though he stood surrounded by vines. Lawson had a number of ideas about what might be done, all of them wrong. For example, he thought that the "deep, rich, black mould" of the river valleys was the most suitable soil, since there the native rotundifolia grew in such luxuriance that it was sometimes impossible for a man to force a path through them. He thought, too, that the European vine in America should, like the American vine, be allowed to grow unpruned, and encouraged to "run up trees, as some do, in Lombardy, upon elms." Whether the native varieties could be improved by grafting he was not sure, but he did not doubt that "that noble vegetable the vine" could quickly be brought to perfection in Carolina.
There were optimists among public officials as well as among private individuals in North Carolina. Governor Gabriel Johnston informed the Board of Trade in London in 1734 that experiments in vine planting were then going on along the Cape Fear River. Using the familiar and still persuasive appeal to mercantilist theory, Johnston urged that the commissioners grant some official "encouragement"—that is, a subsidy—so that England might get its wine from its own colony rather than pay "ready money to foreigners" for wine, and, at the same time, avoid forcing the colonists to turn to manufactures in competition with those of the mother country. The commissioners, no doubt wary after long experience of disappointment, replied drily that they would be glad to encourage winemaking, but that they would like to have some wine from the colony first. Johnston persisted, or at least he claimed to have persisted, in turning the thoughts of the Caro-
linians to winegrowing; in 1749 he wrote to the duke of Bedford that his efforts, prolonged through fifteen years, "have brought wine and silk to a good degree of perfection." What that meant, if anything, is not explained by any other record.
Johnston was an exceedingly unpopular and ineffective governor, and his claims to have persuaded the settlers to carry out any of his policies must be doubted, however attractive those policies might have been in themselves. Governor Arthur Dobbs, Johnston's successor, reported early in 1755, shortly after his arrival in Carolina, that the native grapes of the colony yielded "rich wines," but he adds that the vines "want proper vine dressers to improve them." Things were in much the same condition that they had been in a century earlier when the colony was founded in the hope of producing a "rich commodity" of wine.
An exception might be made for the Moravians who settled at various communities in North Carolina in the mid eighteenth century: they made there—as they did also at their settlements in Pennsylvania—some trials at cultivating vineyards. Their object, however, was not to develop an industry, but rather to supply their own simple needs, especially that for communion wine. When European grapes failed, they cheerfully accepted the alternative of making what they needed from the vines growing wild in the woods around them. Thus we hear of their making nineteen hogsheads from wild grapes in 1769, presumably a regular practice.
Domestic Winemaking in Virginia
In Virginia, after an even longer history of settlement, and a greater effort to encourage winegrowing, things were pretty much as they had been. The story there continues to be mostly one of failure, yet down to the Revolution public interest in winegrowing in Virginia not merely persisted but steadily gained in strength. There were even some moments of encouraging achievement, and one has the feeling that had it not been for the Revolution, the Virginians whose names now figure on the roll of Fathers of Their Country might have managed to be Fathers of Native American Wine as well.
In no colony in the years before the Revolution did the actual enterprise of systematically growing and harvesting grapes, and then of crushing them for wine, extend to more than a very few individuals, despite subsidies, premiums, special prerogatives, exhortations, legislation, and penalties. Doubtless thousands of small farmers and town-dwellers ventured to try how a few gallons of native grape juice might turn out after fermenting; of these, in the nature of things, no record exists. But it is possible to identify a considerable number of proprietors who grew grapes and made wine, with varied success, either on their own initiative, or with public encouragement, or both. Hardly anyone in those days undertook the experiment without a surge of patriotic enthusiasm and a hope that the glory of bringing sound, cheap, American wine to his countrymen might be his.
The Virginians are much the most prominent in the account of purely domestic
winemaking, and most prominent among them in the early eighteenth century was Robert Beverley (c. 1673-1722), author, in 1705, of the first comprehensive history of Virginia, and a planter at his estate of Beverley Park. This lay in King and Queen County, at the headwaters of the Mattapony, about thirty miles north of modern Richmond, in what was then the wilderness of the Middle Neck. Beverley was an enthusiastic champion of Virginia and its resources. As one of the largest of Virginia landowners, he was interested in promoting settlement, especially Huguenot settlement, on his property, and he was therefore liable to exaggerate the winegrowing potential of his country. But even after allowing for the excesses of mingled commercial and patriotic interest, we find in Beverley's History what, in the authoritative opinion of U. P. Healrick, is the "best account of the grapes of Virginia . . . in the later colonial times." There are six native sorts, Beverley writes: red and white sand grapes; a "Fox-grape," so called for its smell "resembling the smell of a fox"; an early-ripe black or blue grape; a late-ripe black or blue grape; and a grape growing on small vines along the headwaters of streams—"far more palatable than the rest." Compare this list with that of Robert Lawson, written about the same time not very many miles farther to the south, and one sees why it is that such early accounts are the despair of later classifiers.
Beverley thought that good wine could be made from these natives, believing that earlier failures were all caused by the malignant influences of the pine lands and salt water that affected all the early, lowland vineyard sites. The grape, he correctly thought, wanted well-drained hillside slopes. Beverley complained that so long as the Virginians made no serious effort to domesticate their wild grapes, they could hardly attempt making wine and brandy; but he also seems to have thought that the European vine would flourish in Virginia—if suitably removed from the malignant influences already named.
Within a few years of publishing his History , Beverley put his own recommendations into practice, planting a vineyard of native vines upon the side of a hill and producing from it a wine of more than local celebrity. News of it travelled even to London, where the Council of Trade and Plantations was informed in December 1709 that Beverley's vineyards and wines were the talk of all Virginia. A visit to Beverley at Beverley Park in November 1715 is reported in some detail in the journal of John Fontaine, an Irish-born Huguenot then travelling in Virginia. Fontaine, who had been in Spain and had some knowledge of Spanish winemaking practice, observed that Beverley neither managed his vineyard nor made his wine correctly according to Spanish methods, though he does not explain what he means, or why he thought that Beverley should have known how to follow the Spanish way. Beverley could hardly be expected to duplicate, in his pioneering situation, the procedures of an ancient winemaking tradition. For the rest, Fontaine was pleased by Beverley's arrangements on the frontiers of settlement: he had three acres of vines, he had built caves for storage, and had installed a press; by these means he had produced 400 gallons in the year of Fontaine's visit (if all three of Beverley's acres were producing, that figure implies that his vines were yielding about one ton an
acre, an extremely low, but not surprising, yield considering that he was growing the unimproved natives). The origin of the vineyard, so Beverley told Fontaine, was in a bet that he made with his skeptical neighbors, who wagered ten to one that Beverley could not, within seven years, produce at one vintage seven hundred gallons of wine: "Mr. Beverley gave a hundred guineas upon the above mentioned terms and I do not in the least doubt but the next year he will make the seven hundred gallons and win the thousand guineas. We were very merry with the wine of his own making and drunk prosperity to his vineyard." Fontaine seems to say that Beverley actually began his vineyard for a wager, but that cannot be so. As we have seen already, his experiment was the talk of all Virginia as early as 1709, six years before Fontaine's visit. And, as another witness reports, it was Beverley's constant bragging about the prospects of the small vineyard he had already planted that provoked his neighbors to make the bet.
Fontaine, incidentally, has left us another reference to Virginian wine in the next year, in a well-known passage describing the luxurious style kept by the gentlemen of Governor Alexander Spotswood's expedition of exploration to the Shenandoah Valley. On 6 September 1716 the company celebrated its crossing of the Blue Ridge thus:
We had a good dinner. After dinner we got the men all together and loaded all their arms and we drunk the King's health in Champagne, and fired a volley; the Prince's health in Burgundy, and fired a volley; and all the rest of the Royal Family in Claret, and a volley. We drunk the Governor's health and fired another volley. We had several sorts of liquors, namely Virginia Red Wine and White Wine, Irish Usquebaugh, Brandy, Shrub, two sorts of Rum, Champagne, Canary, Cherry punch, Cider, Water etc.
What can the "etc." after "water" possibly stand for? Fontaine does not describe the Virginia red and white wines, but it is highly interesting to know that Robert Beverley was one of this merry party; he might well have been the source of the wine. But so, too, could the expedition's leader, Governor Spotswood, for in 1714 he had sponsored a settlement of Germans at a place called Germanna. We know that this group was making wine a few years later, and it is possible that they had experimented with wild grapes before 1716. If both Spotswood and Beverley had provided samples of their wine, the gentlemen of the expedition may have carried out what would have been a very early comparative tasting of native wines. One doubts that they were in a condition to make very discriminating judgments on the day Fontaine describes.
Beverley won his bet. In the second edition of his History (1722), he wrote that since the book had first appeared "some vineyards have been attempted, and one"—evidently his own—"is brought to perfection, of seven hundred and fifty gallons a year." Such was the flow of wine at Beverley Park, so the Reverend Hugh Jones stated, that Beverley's "whole family, even his negroes drank scarce any thing but the small wines." As for Beverley's "strong wines," which Jones says he often drank, they were of good body and flavor, the red reminding him of the
taste of claret and the strength of port. As the allusion to port suggests' "strong wine" must have meant wine fortified with brandy or other spirit. Jones adds that European grapes were flourishing in Beverley's vineyard, though we cannot know what the truth of this assertion was.
As did almost every eighteenth-century gentleman who experimented with winemaking, Beverley took it as his patriotic duty to sponsor the development of a national viticultural industry. Though I have found no other record of the fact, according to the statement of a later Virginia winegrower, Beverley unsuccessfully urged the Virginia Assembly to pass an act "for the Education of certain Viners and Oil Pressers." Beverley is also said to have put the thousand guineas that he had won on his wager over his vineyard into "planting more and greater vineyards, from which he made good quantities of wine, and would have brought it to very high perfection, had he lived some years longer." But he was dead by 1722, and though his only son, William, survived him and prospered greatly, building a notable mansion called Blandfield, we do not hear that he carried on his father's work as a viticulturist.
Beverley's example probably inspired his brother-in-law, William Byrd of Westover, the best known today of early eighteenth-century Virginians, to experiment with vine growing on his Tidewater estate. Some time in the late 1720s, Byrd collected all the kinds of grape vines he could get and planted a vineyard of more than twenty European varieties "to show my indolent country folks that we may employ our industry upon other things besides tobacco." Byrd also proposed to graft European scions on native roots, a prophetic idea. He corresponded with the London merchant and horticulturist Peter Collinson, who advised him on viticulture and encouraged the trial of native grapes. Among Byrd's manuscripts is a treatise on "The 'Method of Planting Vineyards and Making Wine" from some unidentified source, perhaps compiled for Byrd at his request.
By 1736 his example had had some effect, for his neighbor Colonel Henry Armistead had determined to try his hand. Both the colonel and his son, Byrd wrote, were "very sanguine, and I hope their faith, which brings mighty things to pass, will crown their generous endeavors." But Byrd's hopes were chilled when spring frosts destroyed his crop that year, and a year later he wrote to his correspondent Sir Hans Sloane, president of the Royal Society, that "our seasons are so uncertain, and our insects so numerous,that it will be difficult to succeed." Perhaps, he added, the Swiss whom he hoped to settle in the mountains around Roanoke—Byrd's "Land of Eden"—would succeed better; but that dream never materialized. But if Byrd himself did not succeed, he never doubted that others would in time. He wrote to the English naturalist Mark Catesby in 1737:
I cannot be of your opinion, that wine may not be made in this country. All the parts of the earth of our latitude produce good wine—and tho' it may be more difficult in one place than another, yet those difficulties may be overcome by good management, as they were at the Cape of Good Hope, where many years pass'd before they could bring it to bear.
Public Interest and Public Support
The work of Beverley and Byrd had no direct successors, yet interest in wine-growing began to stir again in the late 1750s, partly because the colony was in an economic decline brought on by excessive dependence upon tobacco. In the twenty years from the middle 1750s to the outbreak of the Revolution in 1776, there was an active, continuous discussion of, propagandizing for, and experimenting with grape growing and winemaking in Virginia that must, but for the interruption of the war, have led to practical results.
One sort of experiment was already familiar—that is, to import vineyardists from the wine regions of Europe and encourage them to develop their trade in a new land; the logic of this was irresistible, and the attempt to act on it, going back perhaps as early as Lord De La Warr's Frenchmen in 1610, was persisted in until well into the nineteenth century. Byrd, as we have just seen, had hoped to do it with Swiss settlers; in the mid eighteenth century another form of this method is recorded in a prospectus circulated by the Virginia planter and statesman George Mason. Dated October 1759, this invited subscribers to a loan for a German named Maurice Pound, settled on property belonging to Mason on the Potomac, where Pound for the past three years had been cultivating German vines. He now needed capital for a press and other facilities to continue the work. Some money was raised by this appeal. George Washington, like most of his neighbors perennially hopeful about grape growing in Virginia, was one of the subscribers to the loan. But though money was raised, wine was not. By 1772 Washington had written off his part of the loan as a bad debt. As for Pound, he is reported to have moved on to the semi-wilderness of the Shenandoah Valley to try winegrowing there. The rest is silence.
Meantime, other experiments were encouraged by public measures, both official and unofficial. In Williamsburg in 1759 a group of local gentlemen calling themselves the Society for the Promotion of Manufactures offered a premium of £500—thus matching the munificence of the South Carolina Assembly twelve years earlier—to any person who should, in the next eight years, make, in any one year, the ten best hogsheads of wine. A large second prize, of £100, was offered as well to stimulate wide competition. These prizes were to be paid by subscription of the members, and the size of the award is good evidence of the keenness of interest in the object. Two years later, the Virginia assembly endorsed the plan of the society and officially joined it by promising to make good any deficiency in the subscription. The list of subscribers is rich in old Virginia names; Washington, responsive as usual, is down for an annual subscription of £2 to the cause.
The Virginia prize scheme was an imitation of that set up a few years earlier by the London Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, which offered prizes for various desirable enterprises in the colonies, among them vine growing and winemaking (1758: see discussion, pp. 89-93 below). The Virginians may also have been stimulated by the publication in the Annual Register for
1759 of a summary from the papers of the slightly fraudulent polymath and promoter, Aaron Hill, exhibiting "directions for cultivating vines in America." The colonists of Virginia and Carolina, Hill affirms in this, had bungled their opportunities because they lacked "skill and philosophy" in their work as winemakers. The virgin American soil was too vigorous, wrote Hill, and the grape was accordingly thick, pulpy, oily, and strong, producing violent fermentations that concluded in unbalanced wines. Hill recommends that the grapes be kept cool for five days in special cellars, then pressed, and the juice fermented by itself. This, he says, would certainly yield a wine "rich, lively and durable." How Hill could have known all this is a question, since he had never been to America. But where no one has any real knowledge, anyone can set up as an authority. It may well be that the Virginia gentlemen, on reading so confident an assertion of what could be done and how, thought that their £500 would soon be claimed, to the satisfaction of all parties. The premium, however, seems to have remained unclaimed, so that Washington, Randolph, and the rest, had the credit of their good intentions without having to pay for them.
Almost at the same time that the Williamsburg society was announcing its prizes, a committee of the Virginia assembly was formed and charged with the question of economic diversification, a question made urgent by the depression in the tobacco trade. Its chairman, Charles Carter, of the distinguished Virginia family of Carter, entered into a correspondence with the London Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, a correspondence in which the prospects and methods for the cultivation of the grape in Virginia are an important subject. Carter had already begun grape growing at his estate of Cleve, in King George County, on the Rappahannock, where he made wines from both native and European grapes (it is said), and it was natural that he should have chosen commercial winemaking as one of his proposals for economic reform in Virginia. The London society took a sympathetic view of Carter's proposals and recommended various vines and practices, including the trial of distilling brandy from the native grapes; it was well known that the French used their inferior grapes for distillation into brandy.  In 1762 Carter, who by then had 1,800 vines growing at Cleve, sent to the London society a dozen bottles of his wine, made from the American winter grape ("a grape so nauseous till a frost that the fowls of the air will not touch it": probably Vitis cordifolia is meant) and from a vineyard of "white Portugal summer grapes."  These samples were so pleasing a taste—"they were both approved as good wines," the society's secretary wrote—that the society awarded Carter a gold medal as the first person to make a "spirited attempt towards the accomplishment of their views, respecting wine in America." 
In 1768, according to one source, Virginia actually exported "13 tons [tuns.:] and 135 gallons of wine" to Great Britain;  it is not likely that much more was sent either before or after that date, or that the wine could have had a very eager market. Nevertheless, the record does exist, and the trade that it records may have had as its immediate stimulus the work of Carter's committee and the London society.
Charles Carter's interest in winemaking was shared by his brother, Colonel Landon Carter, of Sabine Hall (still standing on the banks of the Rappahannock). Landon Carter kept a journal in which, among other things, he recorded his methods of making wine from native grapes gathered in the woods. He devised an elaborate and tedious process, boiling some of the grapes in order to fix the color, adding honey to increase the sugar content of the juice, and adding brandy to increase the alcoholic content. By such means, Carter wrote, he hoped to obtain a "pleasant liquor," and perhaps he did. What is painfully clear from his description is the ingenious labor that would-be winemakers had to go through in order to make a facsimile of a potable wine from the native grapes that they had in such abundant supply. 
In 1769 an ambitious scheme began whose eventual collapse finally put an end to official participation in Virginia winegrowing; not, however, before it had clearly focused the classic question: native grapes or foreign? The episode starts with a Frenchman named André (or Andrew) Estave, who successfully petitioned the House of Burgesses for support of his proposal to establish a vineyard and make from it "good merchantable wine." Estave, according to his petition, had "a perfect knowledge of the culture of vines, and the most approved method of making wine"; he had, moreover, during the two years that he had resided in Virginia, made a special study of the native grape and was confident that it would, if properly managed, "produce very fine wine."  Estave was supported by such influential politicians as Severn Eyre, speaker of the House, and George Wythe, Jefferson's law teacher and later a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  In November 1769, in response to their lead, the assembly passed an act "for the Encouraging the Making of Wine," whose preamble declared that "the climate, soil, and natural productions of this colony make it very probable that the most delicious wines might be made here." The act appointed trustees, who were authorized to purchase land and slaves, to hire apprentices, to build a house, and otherwise to provide for Estave's necessities; £450 was appropriated for the purpose. If, so the act ran, Estave should succeed in making ten hogsheads of good commercial wine in the six years from November 1770 to 1776, he would gain title to the whole establishment—land, house, and slaves.  Land was chosen east of Williamsburg,  three slaves were bought, and Estave set to work. By early 1772 he was able to inform the House of Burgesses that his vines were in a "thriving state" and that he was convinced of the "practicability of the scheme." Unluckily, he had had to put his slaves to work growing food; then he had been forced to sell one slave as "unprofitable"; in short, he needed money.  The Burgesses obliged by voting a sum to recompense Estave for money already expended and to provide him with £50 per annum for the next two years;  evidently they had confidence in their man and his work. Estave continued to have bad luck with his slaves, however, or else he was a bad master, for the Virginia papers between 1771 and 1776 contain no less than six notices of slaves—Quomony, Cuffy, Jack, Saundy, were some of their unhappy names—who had run away from Estave at The Vineyard, as his place was called. 
The vines that Estave was tending were both native and European, though there is no information about the specific varieties. By 1773 it was clear to him that the European vines would not prosper. As Estave admitted in a letter to the Virginia Gaztte (18 March 1773), the European grape was subject to a sad list of afflictions: insects and worms injured it; the Virginia sun ripened it when the heat of the summer was most intense; and the rains fell just at the time of harvest. The native grapes, however, were promising; "it is my humble opinion," Estave wrote, "that the native vines of the country can alone be cultivated with success." When properly cultivated and the juice of their grapes skillfully vinified, they would yield, Estave now affirmed in print, as he had earlier done before the House of Burgesses, a "wine of the best quality." This is not the first recommendation of native grapes as a basis for American wine, but it is perhaps the first made by a man who had direct experience of growing both native and European vines experimentally.
Things were still promising enough for the trustees to advertise in May 1773 for three "poor boys . . . to be bound apprentices to Andrew Estave, who is to teach them the art of cultivating vines and making wine."  It is doubtful, if any
poor boys applied, that they could have learned much from Estave, whose luck now ran out. A remarkably severe frost in early May 1774 sent him back to the House of Burgesses, with a memorial explaining that he had lost his crop and needed yet more money for a cellar and a press; could he have another £50?  Whether the Burgesses assented I do not know; probably not, since I have found no record of their action. In the next year we learn that Estave's vines had suffered again, this time by hail, but that he nevertheless had "a prospect of making three or four hogsheads of wine in the fall."  It is not reassuring to learn from the same source that Estave had now taken up silk-raising—apparently he had begun to hedge his bets. The end came the next year, when the Burgesses passed an act to dispose of the winegrowing estate, since the land and slaves "are become useless, and of no advantage to the publick."  The land—about 200 acres—and slaves were advertised for sale in March 1777,  but even in this the property was unfortunate. It seems to have remained on the hands of the trustees until 1784, when the House of Burgesses at last gave it to the College of William and Mary. The college succeeded in promptly selling the land at public auction, and so ended the colony's last official attempt to set up a winegrowing industry. 
Even before his failure was certain, Estave had had to face the public criticism of a rival vineyardist, and rival theorist, who opposed Estave's belief in the future of native vines with a fervent belief in the possibilities of vinifera in Virginia. This was Colonel Robert Bolling, Jr. (1738-75), of Chellow, in Buckingham County; there, in 1767, he had made wine from the native summer grapes and had, he said, found it too "acid."  Bolling was an interesting, perhaps slightly affected, specimen of Virginia planter and dilettante; he had been educated in England, was fond of reading and of playing the violin, was a student of Latin, Greek, French, and Italian (he wrote a family memoir in French that survives), and he trifled in verse as well. Before his early death in 1775, he also served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
The challenge of his unsatisfactory wine from native grapes evidently called out the latent determination in the gentleman, for Bolling set off on a sustained effort to learn the principles of viticulture and to apply them to vine growing on his own estate. One result of his labor was the production of a treatise on viticulture, never published but still extant in MS, that ranks as one of the very earliest treatments of the subject addressed to Americans by an American (it is perhaps the second such work; the earliest known is that of Edward Antill: see p. 91).  "A Sketch of Vine Culture for Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas" was written around 1773-74 and was designed, so its author states in the high public-minded style almost invariable among early American promoters of the grape, for "the increase of happiness, of numbers, of industry, of opulence." It is, inevitably, for the most part a compilation from standard European sources, both ancient and modern: Columella and Virgil at one extreme and such contemporaries as Nicolas Bidet and John Mills at the other are among his sources. But Bolling also says that by the time he set to work on his book, "there were a few bearing vines at
Chellow whose progress was carefully observed"; he gives instructions about planting and pruning drawn from his own experience, and, indeed, as one recent author has noted, Bolling anticipates by more than a century the standard modern pruning system called umbrella-Kniffen. Bolling was also attentive to what little information he could get from other American sources of vine-growing experience; he made use of Antill's pioneer work, and he preserves the (mistaken) information that the very early American hybrid called Bland's Grape grew from raisin seed. Bolling also describes his own vineyard at Chellow, set out, he tells us, along the crest of a north-south ridge and hedged about with red hawthorn. 
By 1773 Bolling felt ready to carry on a campaign of opposition to Estave, beginning with a letter to the Virginia Gazette of 25 February entitled "Essay on the Utility of Vine Planting in Virginia," which Bolling had written two years earlier. In this, the author lays out his public-spirited reasons for promoting the subject: he wishes, he says, to provide an alternative to the excessive dependence upon tobacco culture and a means of employing unprofitable hill country; besides this, he wishes to provide a source of good drink for the common people, who need that quite as much as they need employment. The cultivation of the grape might supply both. Bolling meant the European grape. The experiment then being conducted by Estave was, in Bolling's judgment, misconceived and not terribly relevant to the problem of American winegrowing. It proposed merely to answer "whether Andre Estave can raise a vineyard . . . which shall furnish a sufficient quantity of native grapes" and "whether from these he can produce a wine wholesome and potable." But the real question, in Bolling's view, was whether traditional wine grapes—vinifera—would flourish in Virginia? And to answer that question, he argued, widespread trials must be made.
In February 1773 Bolling successfully memorialized the House of Burgesses to subsidize his experiments in vine growing. The House agreed to the extent of authorizing a grant of £50 per annum to Bolling for a term of five years.  To assist him in the work, the local paper reported, Bolling had "engaged a Foreigner, thoroughly acquainted with the business, in all its branches."  Who the nameless "Foreigner" was I have not discovered; but he was one of a long line of hopefully imported experts, most of whom had to suffer the mortification of seeing their knowledge baffled and defeated. But Bolling now had official recognition of his work, and turned again to the matter of Estave, sending the Virginia Gazette an "Address to the Friends of Vine Planting" in which he enthusiastically recommended the vines of warm countries—of Italy especially—for trial in Virginia.  The native grapes, Bolling reluctantly conceded, should not be entirely rejected if they showed any promise, but he knew from experience that they were not proper for wine.
Bolling was particularly emphatic on the point that the success or failure of vinifera in Estave's vineyard would settle nothing; the experiment was too limited, and the prejudice of the colonists against European vines had denied them fair trial—at least so Bolling said. He also says that the colony "has unhappily a great
partiality for native vines, the only native production to which it was ever partial."  The assertion, if true, is surprising; it suggests that local winemaking from native grapes was widespread and that the result was well received. But probably Bolling exaggerates the strength of the tendency to which he was opposed.
Estave was provoked by this latest sally of Bolling's to make a mild response, in which he politely affirmed that his native grapes were doing well and politely doubted that Bolling's imports had much chance of succeeding.  Bolling, who had a knack for light verse, was meantime diverting himself at Estave's expense by writing a group of poems called "The Vintage of Parnassus," in which the Virginia planters are exhorted to join the ranks of grape growers, and in which poor Estave is pleasantly derided. For example:
Let Estave, to end the quarrel,
Let Estave produce a barrel!
Here's a goblet, here's a borer:
Drink to Bacchus peace-restorer.
Let us drink of our own pressing
Why postpone so great a blessing?
Estave, if I must celebrate
The wonders of your art
My thirsty soul first recreate. . . .
The purple juice impart. 
These and other such verses, which survive in MS, were never published, but one can well imagine that Bolling was not reluctant to recite them to any likely listener.
What reason could Bolling have had for his confidence that European grapes, especially those from Italy, would do well in Virginia? None, really, or no more than any other interested observer could have, chiefly the familiar observation of an analogy between Mediterranean warmth and Virginian warmth, elaborated in semiscientific jargon. Bolling was particularly excited by the possibility of adapting the Lachryma grape to Virginia—that is, the grape called Greco della Torre, from which the Lachrima Christi wine is produced on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. His reasons, as set forth in the MS "Sketch," show how fanciful an argument he depended on. The Lachryma grape, Bolling observes, rarely ripens even in Naples, and yet makes good wine; probably, he thinks, it would ripen in Virginia and so make even better wine. Why? Well, because the "solar rays" of Italy darting on the "sulphureous" soil of the slopes of Vesuvius retard the growth of the vine. Virginia, being less sulphureous, yet quite as warm, ought to be a better place. 
"Solar rays" operating on a "sulphureous" soil are not likely to retard the maturity of grapes. But of course the problem in Virginia was not one of maturity but of hostile climate and endemic disease, though Bolling could not know that. He remained energetically and optimistically active to the end. On 26 February 1775
he wrote to the Virginia Quaker and merchant Robert Pleasants, who acted as Bolling's agent in obtaining Portuguese vines, about his vine-growing efforts. Bolling thanks Pleasants for a box of cuttings received in good condition, adds that he has received others both good and bad from other sources, and that he is expecting yet more:
You cannot imagine how much I am revived under the vexation such miserable and hard-earned collections give me by the interest you take in the affair. The man, who attempts to serve his Country, is generally checked as an arrogant, unacquainted with his insufficiency; and I can assure you, some of the little Heroes around me make one fully sensible that such are their sentiments. 
In July of that year Bolling suddenly died at Richmond, the new colonial capital, where he had gone to represent his county at the constitutional convention. An unsigned note in the Virginia Gazette of 9 September 1775 hints that something night yet be saved from Bolling's abruptly ended labors:
The vines planted by Mr. Bolling in the County of Buckingham, although managed according to the directions of the French writers of the 48th and 49th degrees of latitude, are in a condition to yield wine the ensuing year, if well attended to. The slips planted by that gentleman the last year, after the method of the vignerons of Europe inhabiting a climate similar to our own, have now the appearance of vines 3 or 4 years old. A slip planted by him in the spring of the present year has produced two bunches of grapes; a fact which would not be believed in the wine countries of the old world.
The vineyard did not survive its owner long. Years later it was reported that the ignorance of Bolling's heirs and the confusions created by the outbreak of the Revolution in 1776 had as their consequence that "this promising and flourishing little vineyard was totally neglected and finally perished." 
The quarrel between Estave and Bolling was left unresolved by the failure of the one and the death of the other.  Before that inconclusive conclusion was reached, however, a third vigorous presence was added to the list of publicly supported experimental winegrowers in Virginia in the person of the Italian Philip Mazzei (1730-1816).  Mazzei, who was born in Tuscany, had already lived a varied and unconventional life; he had studied medicine in Italy, had spent some years in Turkey, where he successfully practiced as a physician, and had then gone to London, where he operated a prosperous firm importing champagne, burgundy, Italian oil, and Italian cheese. Mazzei was a man of quick curiosity and great confidence, attentive to all sorts of practical, commercial, and political matters, and he seems to have picked up a good deal of information about wine, for which his importing business placed him well. He was also gifted with a remarkable power to charm, so that he attracted acquaintances everywhere he went.
Two among his many friends in London were Americans: Benjamin Franklin, then agent in England for the colony of Pennsylvania, and the Virginia merchant Thomas Adams. Their talk of American freedom and American opportunity inter-
ested Mazzei, who, by 1771, had devised a scheme for an ambitious importation of Mediterranean plants and farmers into Virginia: 10,000 French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese vines, with a comparable quantity of olive trees and other plants, were to be brought over, together with fifty peasants to attend them, the whole convoy to be sent to the back country and the costs to be paid by Virginia subscribers.  Nothing quite on this scale actually came to pass, but Mazzei was encouraged enough by the response to his plan to return to Italy and begin preparations for his American expedition. His arrangements there were protracted through 1772 and into 1773; by that time he had secured the permission of the grand duke of Tuscany
to take vines and workers out of the duchy, and at the end of November 1773 Mazzei and ten young Tuscan viticultores arrived in Virginia on a ship hopefully named the Triumph . 
The plan was still to take up land in the unsettled western highlands, but that plan was changed by the intervention of Thomas Jefferson, always on the lookout for interesting company and for agricultural improvements, both of which Mazzei could provide. On his way to inspect the hinterlands of the Shenandoah Valley in company with his friend from London days, Thomas Adams, one of his original sponsors and a landholder in the valley, Mazzei stopped in his journey to meet Jefferson at Monticello. As the story told by Mazzei goes, the two men went for an early morning walk the next day before breakfast; on their return they were met by Adams, who looked at them and at once said to Jefferson, "I can see it on your face that you've taken him away from me; why, I expected as much." 
Jefferson had in fact offered some 2,000 acres to Mazzei in the neighborhood of Monticello, and there Mazzei settled his workers and built a house he called Colle (Italian "hill"), perhaps in allusion to Jefferson's Monticello ("little mountain"). Whether he planted vines in the winter of 1773-74, the earliest date at which he could do so, is not apparent, but the chances are that he did not. Mazzei was very quickly associated with the political leaders of Virginia and proved himself a ready friend to the cause of American independence from Britain—indeed, he had been predicting it while still in Europe, and was glad to help it come about. The Revolution followed so soon on his arrival, and his interest in its development was so great, that his vine-growing efforts seem never to have had his full attention. Still, he did some definite things. He brought in six more Tuscan viticultores in the summer of 1774 (these were all from Lucca).  In November 1774 he published detailed proposals for a "Company or Partnership, for the purpose of raising and making Wine, Oil, agruminious [i.e., citrus] Plants and Silk," inviting subscriptions in shares of £50 each.  According to Jefferson, £2,000 was provided to Mazzei by this means,  and the list of subscribers, like the earlier list of the supporters of the Williamsburg society's prize offers, is a roll of all the influential and wealthy gentlemen of the colony, including the governor, Lord Dunmore (soon to be occupied in raiding and devastating the coasts of the colony he now governed), Washington, Jefferson, and assorted Masons, Pages, Randolphs, Custises, Blands, and Carters. 
The Triumph , which had brought Mazzei over in 1773, returned laden with seeds and cuttings from Tuscany in the summer of 1774, too late for vine planting that year.  Anything that Mazzei might have set out before was killed in the great frost of 4 May 1774. It does not seem, then, that Mazzei actually succeeded in beginning a vinifera vineyard until 1775, when he made a late June planting of 1,500 vines whose shipment from Italy had been delayed.  The date of 1775 would agree with Jefferson's later recollection that Mazzei had tended his vines for three years before he left Virginia early in 1779.  Of the Tuscan vines that Mazzei planted late in 1775, about half were successfully rooted, and they, according to Mazzei, "pro-
duced grapes with more flavor and substance than those grown in Italy."  This is a very rare testimony that European vines in colonial America ever actually fruited. Jefferson remembered that the land that Mazzei chose for his site had a southeastern exposure and a stony red soil, "resembling extremely the Cote of Burgundy from Chambertin to Montrachet where the famous wines of Burgundy are made."  What marvelous visions of great Virginian vintages Jefferson must have had!
Mazzei was too slow to begin and too quick to leave his plantation at Colle to produce a vinifera vintage; the native vines, however, caught his attention at once. "Especially in Virginia," he wrote, "nature seems to favor vineyards. I have never seen such perfect, varied, and abundant wild grapes."  His workmen, he says, saw no fewer than two hundred varieties of wild grape in the woods, and he himself examined thirty-six varieties on his own estate—incredible numbers both.  Mazzei made wine from these grapes in 1775 and 1776, describing it as "far better than ordinary Italian wine or what is produced near Paris"; the praise is highly restricted, since ordinary Italian wine and the wine of Paris were both bywords for badness in wine. Mazzei's workers were each given a cask of this native wine, and they were, Mazzei reports, successful in selling it at a shilling a bottle to thirsty Virginians. 
To continue the experiment, Mazzei planted 2,000 native vines in the spring of 1776, but with exceedingly poor results; two years later only 87 remained alive. This, however, he attributed entirely to the poor state of the cuttings that he had used.  The future lay with the cultivated native vines, Mazzei thought, though he seems never to have doubted that vinifera would grow in America as well; in this choice of the native varieties over the European, Mazzei forms a solitary exception to the rule. Nor did he think that viticulture, so long as land was cheap and labor dear, would develop rapidly in America; it would be a work of time, requiring that the country first be populated. When that time came, then "I am of opinion," he wrote in his Memoirs many years after his American experience, "that . . . the best wines in the world will be made there."  Mazzei was clearly a man who could see for himself and speak accordingly—not easy things to do when one is confronting new situations.
In 1778 Mazzei was put forward by Jefferson as a man capable of serving the Revolution as Virginia's agent—that is, fund-raiser—in Europe. The suggestion was accepted, and Mazzei left for Europe in 1779. Though he returned to America in 1783 and remained here for two years, his days as a vineyardist were over. He afterwards served as agent to the king of Poland in revolutionary Paris and ended his days in his native Tuscany. Mazzei kept in touch with his American friends, and the Department of State Archives record his sending many items of horticultural information and many new plants to the United States through the consul in Leghorn.  But after his departure from it, his Virginia vineyard quickly dissolved. The Tuscan vineyardists drifted away; the house was rented to a German general captured at the Battle of Saratoga and kept prisoner in Virginia while awaiting ex-
change. The general's horses, so Jefferson wrote in 1793, "in one week destroyed the whole labor of three or four years." 
The visible marks of Mazzei's experiment lasted only briefly, but the invisible effects had their importance, not least through their operation on Jefferson, the most enthusiastic of all public men in American history for the attractions of a flourishing viticultural economy. His belief in Mazzei and in Mazzei's view of the possibilities of American winegrowing never faltered. Something must be said about Jefferson's role in the history of this subject later; here it is enough to observe that Virginia in the years just before the Revolution was the right place to be for anyone interested in the hopes of American winegrowing. The Frenchman Estave in Williamsburg, the Italian Mazzei in Charlottesville, and the Virginia gentleman Bolling at Chellow were all busy with their experiments at the same time and to a large extent with the backing of the same interested people. Talk of the imminent, the tantalizingly near, success of one or the other of these men must have been common enough; and many Virginians, in a private way, were hoping to achieve that success for themselves. Charles Carter of Cleve and his brother, Colonel Landon Carter, have already been mentioned as winemakers; Jefferson, of course, was an experimental vineyardist, setting out his first vines with the aid of Mazzei's Italian vineyardists in the spring of 1774.  George Washington was already in the field, having begun to plant grapes at Mount Vernon in April 1768. 
Washington was skeptical about vinifera for Virginia. As he explained in a letter written while he was commanding the revolutionary army, he had observed the efforts of his neighbors to cultivate the foreign grape, had noted the failure of their vines, had tasted the badness of their wines, and, concluding that Virginia was too hot for vinifera, resolved, as he said, "to try the wild grape of the country." Accordingly, "a year or two before hostilities commenced I selected about two thousand cuttings of a kind which does not ripen with us (in Virginia) 'till repeated frosts in the Autumn meliorate the grape and deprive the vines of their leaves."  From this description it appears that Washington had chosen some variety of cordifolia, one of the so-called winter grapes, as his neighbor Charles Carter of Cleve had done ten years before. Washington's diary for 20 November 1771 reports that he began that day to plant cuttings of the "Winter Grape" in the "inclosure below the garden." He finished in December, having planted twenty-nine rows of winter grapes as well as five of the summer grape (perhaps aestivalis).  The experiment, however, like those of Bolling and Mazzei, was never carried through, Washington being called to his public destiny before he could see the results of what he had begun. The scattered remarks in his writings show that he never lost interest in the possibility of grape growing at Mount Vernon; they also show that, despite the logic of his view of the native grape, he could not resist the temptation to make repeated trials of the European.
The names of other Virginians who ventured into grape growing about this time frequently occur in the brief contemporary references that are the only record
of this sort of private activity; Anthony Winston, who made wine in substantial quantities at his place in Buckingham County, for instance; or the Colonel Baker of Smithfield who made collections of both native and foreign vines for experiment;  or Francis Eppes, Jefferson's brother-in-law, who sent cuttings to Bolling at Chellowe; may stand for an indefinite number of interested Virginians who contributed something to the persistent efforts at winegrowing in the last years before the Revolution, though we do not have the means of knowing anything distinct about their work.
The history of winegrowing in Virginia in the more than two hundred years that have elapsed since Washington reluctantly left his vineyard for the command of the army of the Continental Congress shows that the question at issue between Estave and Bolling, and between Washington and his neighbors, of whether to favor the native or the foreign grape, is still not resolved. In the nineteenth century, Virginia made an outstanding contribution to American viticulture through Dr. D. N. Norton's "Virginia Seedling," best known as the Norton grape and still recognized as the best of all native hybrids so far for the making of red wine (this is not high praise, but indicates at least a relative judgment). The Norton, a hybrid of aestivalis and labrusca varieties, came into general cultivation in the 1850s. After the Civil War a wine boom based on the Norton grape developed around Charlottesville, where Mazzei and Jefferson had worked in vain a hundred years before; in the 1870s Charlottesville was grandly called the capital of the "Wine Belt of Virginia."  Unchecked diseases, the growing competition of California, and the growing pressure of Dry sentiment dampened the boom; only a vestige of an industry remained for Prohibition to extinguish.
Immediately after Repeal, an attempt was made to revive the Norton-based industry around Charlottesville, but that did not survive the 1941-45 war.  Now Virginia is the scene of a revived and growing wine industry, based not only on the old native varieties but on the newer French-American hybrids, and, most interestingly, on vinifera: thus in our time the circle that the original settlers of Jamestown began to trace has been closed. It is one of the fascinations of the subject of wine-growing in the United States, as illustrated by the complicated history of experiment in Virginia, that we still do not know what the necessary, certain basis of viticulture is in most parts of the country: natives? vinifera? some tertium quid? Temperaments that are hot for certainty will be distressed by such indefiniteness: but those who take pleasure in speculation will find much to intrigue them in the past and the present of the scene.
Other Colonies and Communities Before the Revolution
Maryland and Pennsylvania: the Discovery of the Alexander Grape
The sort of experimental winegrowing illustrated by the Virginia planters just before the Revolution may be taken as general throughout those parts of the colonies where there was any tradition at all of hopeful attempt. Nor were such trials limited to the familiar places. In the exotic territory of Louisiana an Englishman, Colonel Ball, who settled some miles north of New Orleans on the banks of the Mississippi, managed to produce enough wine to send a sample of Louisiana claret or burgundy to King George III in 1775. The Indians put an end to this enterprise by massacring the colonel and his family. 
Back in the more settled regions of tidewater, Governor Horatio Sharpe informed Lord Baltimore in 1767 that he was hoping to improve and soften the native grape by cultivation.  He evidently favored the European grape, though, and other Marylanders agreed: Charles Carroll of Annapolis planted a vineyard in Howard County in 1770 with four sorts of vines that he called "Rhenish, Virginia grape, Claret and Burgundy."  After his death the vineyard was kept up by his son, the famous Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and it was still extant in 1796, making it the longest-lived of recorded colonial vineyards.  By that time, however, all but the native vines were reported to be dead. Growers nevertheless continued to try vinifera, as is shown by the newspaper advertisements of Maryland nurserymen
right down to the Revolution offering European vines to be sold and planted in Maryland. 
Some time before the experiments of Carroll and Sharpe, an event of crucial significance had already occurred in Maryland when, in 1755 or 1756 (the second date is the more likely), Colonel Benjamin Tasker, Jr., a famous horseman and secretary to the province of Maryland, planted a two-acre vineyard at his sister's estate of Belair, in Prince Georges County, about twelve miles from Annapolis.  What was of immense, if unrecognized, significance in the colonel's modest enterprise was the grape he planted, called the Alexander. This, a cross between an unidentified native and a vinifera vine, is the earliest named hybrid of which we have record. According to the account given by William Bartram, the vine was discov-
ered around 1740 by James Alexander, then gardener to Thomas Penn, a son of William Penn. Alexander found the vine growing in the woods along the Schuylkill near the old vineyard established in 1683 by Andrew Doz for William Penn.  It is thus almost certainly a hybrid of one of Penn's European vines, and so Penn's ideas about refining the native grape were in fact realized, though by pure accident and long after his death.
Colonel Tasker succeeded in making wine of his grape, wine that quickly acquired some celebrity. On his travels through the colonies, the Reverend Andrew Burnaby had it served to him at the table of the governor of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and approved it as "not bad."  A more damaging description than Burnaby's faint praise is given by Governor Horatio Sharpe of Maryland, who, in response to the contemporary Lord Baltimore's request for some Maryland "Burgundy" to be shipped to him, had to reply that
There hath been no Burgundy made in Maryland since my arrival except two or three hogsheads which Col. Tasker made in 1759; this was much admired by all that tasted it in the months of February and March following, but in a week or two afterwards it lost both its colour and flavour so that no person would touch it and the ensuing winter being a severe one destroyed almost all the vines. 
Sad to say, the death of Colonel Tasker's vines in 1760 was followed, in the same year, by the death of the colonel himself at the early age of forty; like every other hopeful beginning of the sort of which we know anything, Tasker's flickered out quickly. In this case, though, there was a crucial difference: the hybrid grape had appeared, though how it travelled from Philadelphia to Maryland remains a subject for pure guessing.  The Alexander itself would persist well after Tasker, and, more important, was but the first of a list of American hybrids now grown to thousands and thousands.
Across the newly surveyed Mason-Dixon line to the north of Maryland, the scene in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the years just before the Revolution resembled that in Virginia. The persistence of indomitably optimistic men had begun to have its effect: there was growing interest in, growing discussion of, and growing experiment with the wine vine that would in all probability have led to substantial results but for the interruption made by the Revolution.
One reason to think so was the presence in Pennsylvania of a great number of Germans who sorely missed the vine they had left behind. As the traveller Gottlieb Mittelberger reported in the 1750s, the Germans in America, especially the Würt-tembergers and the Rhinelanders, missed "the noble juice of the grape." Mittelberger saw that the conditions of sparse settlement, difficult transportation, and undeveloped markets would not soon be overcome; successful cultivation of the grape would not come all at once or soon, but, he wrote, "I have no doubt that in time, this too will come." 
In Pennsylvania it is, predictably, Ben Franklin who stands out among the proponents of winegrowing. No man has expressed the beneficent character of wine
better than Franklin did in his well-known affirmation that "God loves to see us happy, and therefore He gave us wine."  From the earliest moment at which he had access to the public ear, Franklin began giving instruction to his fellow-colonists about winemaking. Poor Richard's Almanack for 1743 contains directions for making wine offered to the "Friendly Reader" because, Poor Richard says, "I would have every Man take Advantage of the Blessings of Providence and few are acquainted with the Method of making Wine of the Grapes which grow wild in our Woods." Franklin's methods required the grapes to be trodden by foot—"get into the Hogshead bare-leg'd"—and specify a long cool fermentation lasting until Christmas. The casual freedom of those unregulated days appears strikingly in this word of advice: "If you make Wine for Sale, or to go beyond Sea, one quarter part must be distill'd, and the Brandy put into the three Quarters remaining." But of course where no industry existed, the tax-gatherer was not interested; and so one might distill and sell at retail without licenses, fears, or fees. As his last word, Franklin adds a modest disclaimer: "These Directions are not design'd for those who are skill'd in making Wine, but for those who have hitherto had no Acquaintance with that Art." 
In 1765, long after he had ceased to edit Poor Richard , and while he was acting as Pennsylvania's agent in London, Franklin took the trouble to adapt and publish for American readers of Poor Richard the directions drawn up by Aaron Hill for producing native wine;  not very authentic directions, perhaps, but who could know that? The immediate impulse behind Franklin's instructing the Americans in winemaking was probably the Sugar Act of 1764; this laid a duty for the first time on the Portuguese wines—Madeira included—that the colonists by long habit had regarded as immune from all duties. As one of Franklin's friends said on that melancholy occasion, "We must then drink wine of our own making or none at all." 
But Franklin did not need so drastic a reason to be active in favor of American wine. In the years before and after 1765 he had been busily encouraging the development of native wines. One anecdote told by the Boston merchant and judge Edmund Quincy is illustrative. Sometime—perhaps in the 1750s—Quincy met Franklin when the latter was on a visit to Boston, and heard Franklin say that the "Rhenish grape Vines" had lately been planted in Philadelphia with good success. Quincy remarked that he would like to have some for his Massachusetts garden, and thought nothing more of the matter until, some weeks later, he received cuttings of such vines in two parcels, one sent by water and one by land. On later meeting Franklin, Quincy learned that Franklin had not only taken the unasked trouble and expense of sending the vines but had had to obtain them some seventy miles from Philadelphia, his information about their growing in the city being mistaken. The young John Adams, who records the story, sums it up as an instance of Franklin's benevolence: all his trouble was "purely for the sake of doing good in the world by propagating the Rhenish wines thro these provinces. And Mr. Quincy has some of them now growing in his garden."  In 1761 Franklin wrote to Quincy wishing him "success in your attempts to make wine from American grapes," but
whether "American grapes" means simply any grapes grown in America, or that Quincy had abandoned his Rhenish grapes for natives we cannot know.  Terminology was so loose in those days that one can never be sure.
A rising expectation that wine could be grown in America characterized the last few years before the Revolution; it has an interesting echo in a proposal made to Franklin in 1772. He was then in London, representing not only Pennsylvania but Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts as well; he was thus the man of preeminent authority and influence in all matters affecting the political and economic life of the colonies. If a projector or speculator had a notion for getting rich in the colonies, Franklin was obviously the man he would want to make sure of. One such ambitious person was the flamboyant Thomas O'Gorman, an Irish adventurer turned respectable Burgundian winegrower (as the fortunes of the Hennessys, Bartons, Lynches, and others suggest, there seems to be some secret affinity between the Irish and the French wine trade—some maintain that even Haut Brion is really O'Brien frenchified). O'Gorman, after serving with the French armies against the English, was made a chevalier, and, thanks to his Irish good looks, married a sister of that strange Chevalier D'Eon who lived sometimes as a man and sometimes as a woman. The marriage brought O'Gorman a large dowry in the form of Burgundian vineyards, which supported him until the French Revolution at last sent him back to Ireland. Long before that, however, in 1772, the rumors of the prospects of winegrowing in the colonies had somehow reached the chevalier, and he came forward with the plan of a winegrowing scheme in the colonies for which he tried to get Franklin's support. The key question was obtaining a parliamentary subsidy; in the vexed state of relations between England and her colonies that, however, was out of the question. Franklin recommended the chevalier to apply to the promoters of a new American colony in the Ohio lands, but their scheme soon collapsed, though not before Franklin had received a gift of wine from O'Gorman's Burgundian estate, vintage 1772: "a Hogshead of the right sort for you," as the chevalier described it. 
An even more interesting gift of wine was received by Franklin from a Pennsylvania Quaker named Thomas Livezey, who operated a mill on the Wissahickon near Philadelphia. In June 1767 Livezey sent to England a dozen bottles of American wine that he had made "from our small wild grape, which grows in great plenty in our woodland"; another dozen followed later in the year. "I heartily wish it may arrive safe," Livezey wrote, "and warm the hearts of everyone who tastes it, with a love for America."  It may only have been Franklin's diplomatic tact, but in thanking Livezey he affirmed that the wine "has been found excellent by many good judges," and in particular by Franklin's London wine merchant, who was "very desirous of knowing what quantity of it might be had and at what price."  One wonders whether Philip Mazzei was one of the judges to whom this American wine was submitted, and whether it had anything to do with his decision to try winegrowing in America? Livezey continued to make wine along the banks of the Wissahickon; tradition says that he sank several barrels of it in the stream to keep
it safe during the Revolution, and that one or two bottles of the wine thus preserved were still extant in the twentieth century. 
Another Philadelphian, the naturalist and traveller John Bartram, was thinking about winemaking in this decade. After his journey of botanical exploration through the South in 1765, Bartram wrote to the Reverend Jared Eliot, the pioneer American agricultural writer, that he had found a promising grape (probably a muscadine) in Carolina and hoped to be able to propagate it and others in sufficient quantity to furnish a winemaking industry. Bartram's motive was the cause of temperance: most Americans being "eager after strong liquors and spirits," wine was a highly desirable alternative.  The argument is so familiar in the history of this subject that one is compelled to accept the conclusion that Americans, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, were formidable drinkers. What success Bartram had we do not know. About twenty years later, Johann Schoepf wrote that many sorts of American vines, collected by the elder Bartram, could be seen in Bartram's Gardens in Philadelphia, then conducted by William, the son. Schoepf reported that the grapes improved under cultivation, a frequently met assertion much easier to make than to prove. 
Winegrowing was evidently much in the air around Philadelphia at the end of the 1760s. Samples of wine from native grapes, produced by R. S. Jones, by Dr. Francis Alison, and by Dr. Philip Syng, were exhibited at the American Philosophical Society in 1768.  In the same year John Leacock, a retired Philadelphia
silversmith, and later the author of patriotic dramas, began planting for himself and other interested experimenters at his farm in Lower Merion Township "white, blue, and purple grapes, as well as Lisbon and Muscadine vines." Some of these Leacock received from other local growers, some were from foreign sources. At the end of 1772 he was encouraged enough to inform the American Philosophical Society that he meant to undertake a public vineyard "for the good of all the Provinces, from which might be drawn such vines or cuttings free of all expence, as might best suit each province." To finance this philanthropic project, Leacock proposed a public lottery—then a popular and legal form of money-raising in Pennsylvania—and actually issued tickets in 1773 for his "Public Vineyard Cash Lottery." By 1775 Leacock had experience enough of the afflictions that ravaged his vinifera vines—rot, insects, and weather—to wonder whether native vines might not be the answer. But, as with so many other efforts at this time, the Revolution put an end to Leacock's work. He left his farm in 1777 in advance of the British occupation of Philadelphia, and does not seem ever to have returned to it.
The Royal Society of Arts Competition
Across the river from Philadelphia, in the province of New Jersey, two other notable efforts at winegrowing were also begun before the Revolution. In 1758 the then newly founded London Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce offered a premium of £ 100 to the first colonist to produce five tuns of red or white wine of acceptable quality from grapes grown in the colonies (a tun equals 252 gallons). The prize offer was renewed until 1765, but no winner appeared, and it was then dropped. Meantime, the gentlemen of the society had reconsidered the question and had sensibly concluded that good vineyards must precede good wine. It is possible that Franklin had something to do with this commonsense conclusion: he had become a member of the society in 1759, shortly after his arrival in London, and he was active in it thereafter. He presided, for example, over the meeting of the society in 1761 at which it was resolved to commission the famous Philip Miller, of the Chelsea Botanical Garden, to write a treatise on viticulture expressly for the American colonies (just the sort of thing that Franklin would encourage), though Miller did not in fact produce one.
In any case, in 1762 the society offered a premium of £ 200 for the largest vineyard of wine grapes, of no fewer than 500 vines, to be planted by 1767 in the colonies north of the Delaware, and another of equal value for one in the colonies south of the river. Second prizes of £ 50 each were also assigned to each region. This challenge called forth a successful response, the first prize being awarded to Edward Antill (1701-70), a country gentleman then living at Raritan Landing, near New Brunswick, New Jersey. Like other experimental vineyardists in America, then and now, Antill was animated not merely by the hope of financial gain but by the enthusiast's wish to make the country abound in vines and wine. People laughed at
his vineyard, Antill wrote in 1765 ("I have been thought by some Gentlemen as well as by Farmers, very whimsical in attempting a Vineyard"), but he could not believe that nature could be opposed to it—"as if America alone was to be denied those cheering comforts which Nature with bountiful hand stretches forth to the rest of the world."
The records of the society (now the Royal Society of Arts) preserve Antill's correspondence and allow us to see his vineyard in greater detail than any other in early America. He began planting French and Italian vines in 1764, on the south side of a hill facing a public road so that his experiment could be advertised to the skeptics. He also offered cuttings and instruction to those who showed an interest; it was the same missionary zeal that led him to compose what is now identified as the first specifically American treatise on viticulture. This work entitled "An Essay on the Cultivation of the Vine, and the Making of Wine, Suited to the Different Climates in North-America," was submitted to the American Philosophical Society in June of 1769 but not published until 1771, the year after Antill's death, when it was published in the Transactions of the society, whose original purpose, as expressed by Ben Franklin in 1743, included the "improvements of vegetable juices, as ciders, wines, etc." The American spirit of improvement with which Antill wrote is nicely expressed at the beginning of his "Essay":
I know full well that this undertaking being new to my countrymen, the people of America, will meet many discouraging fears and apprehensions, lest it may not succeed. The fear of being pointed at or ridiculed, will hinder many: The apprehension of being at a certain expence, without the experience of a certain return, will hinder more from making the attempt; but let not these thoughts trouble you, nor make you afraid.
Antill's knowledge that anyone trying to grow European grapes would be laughed at—we recall that Bolling in Virginia complained of the "little Heroes" who ridiculed his activity—shows that by this time in colonial history the question was firmly settled in the popular mind: European grapes would not grow here.
Antill heavily favored the European vine, and though he was keenly aware of the ignorance that hedged in all his experiments, he writes as though he already had a clear idea of the qualities of the available European varieties in this country. For a "fine rhenish," he wrote a correspondent in 1768, there were the white muscadine and others; some of the "best white wine" came from the Melie blanc; the "black Orleans" and the "blue Cluster" were the "best and true burgundy," and so on. Despite the very positive recommendations, these were necessarily the expressions of hope rather than the record of experience. Antill did not wholly disregard the native grape: indeed, he said that he had collected "the best sort of native vines of America by way of trial." But he did not live long enough to carry out extended trials of his native grapes, and he expressed doubt about them in his "Essay on the Cultivation of the Vine": "They will," he thought, "undergo a hard struggle indeed, before they will submit to a low and humble state."
By 1765 Antill had 800 vines and a nursery. According to the certificate attesting his claim to the Society of Arts' £ 200 premium, the vines were planted six feet apart in the rows and the rows separated by five feet; the whole was fenced and well cultivated. No one knew better than Antill how much had yet to be learned, and he clearly saw the need for systematic and cooperative work if the colonies were to achieve a successful viticulture; he wrote his "Essay" partly to stimulate such response. He urged the Society of Arts to publish a cheap guide to viticulture for use in America, where experience was lacking and where books were few and expensive. He also proposed in 1768 that the colonies establish a public vineyard by subscription —indeed, Leacock's plan for such a vineyard in 1773 was in acknowledged imitation of Antill's earlier plan: neither came to anything, though in the middle of the nineteenth century there was a public vineyard in Washington, D.C., a belated realization of an early idea.
Though Antill took the prize for a colonial vineyard, he had close competition from William Alexander (1726-83), commonly styled Lord Stirling on account of his claim (never officially allowed) to the lapsed earldom of Stirling. Alexander had imported vines and planted them in vineyards in New York and New Jersey as early as 1763; he did so with a keen sense of the uncertainties of the enterprise: "Of all the vines of Europe, we do not yet know which of them will suit this climate; and until that is ascertained by experiment, our people will not plant vineyards; few of us are able, and a much less number willing, to make the experiment." By 1767 Alexander had 2,100 vines planted at his estate of Basking Ridge, Somerset County, New Jersey, and claimed the society's premium of £ 200; according to the document presented to the society, the vines were "chiefly Burgundy, Orleans, Black, White and Red Frontiniac, Muscadine, Portugals and Tokays." The rival claims of Alexander and of Antill evidently caused a quarrel within the society, for though the responsible committee adjudged the prize to Alexander, the society as a whole disagreed: the first prize went to Antill for his smaller vineyard; the second prize was not awarded; and a special gold medal went to Alexander.
Antill's original vineyard cannot have survived very long, for Antill seems to have sold his place in 1768, a year after he had won his prize for his work. By 1783, according to the report of the German traveller Johann David Schoepf, Antill's negligent heirs had let the vineyard "fall into decay, because it demanded too much work"; it does not figure in the list of vineyards systematically visited in 1796 by John James Dufour. Yet Antill's experiments succeeded in stirring up some interest in viticulture among his neighbors. In 1806, long after Antill's death, S. W. Johnson of New Brunswick published a treatise on the cultivation of the vine in which he shows himself familiar with Antill's example. From it we learn that the vineyard planted by Antill had been restored by the current owner of the estate, Miles Smith, who cultivated there a number of vinifera varieties. Johnson named two or three other vineyardists in New Jersey, who "do honour to the state" and who may also be counted as heirs to Antill's work.
As for Alexander's vineyard, it is not likely to have survived the death of its
proprietor in 1783. On the outbreak of the Revolution, Alexander went on active service in the patriot cause and served with distinction as a general officer until his death at Albany. Like Washington, he had no time to pursue the planter's activities that he preferred, and he did not again reside at Basking Ridge; within a few years of his death the estate was described as derelict.
The London society did not score any obvious triumph in the colonies, but it did contribute to a development of lasting importance to American winegrowing by helping to turn attention to the native grape varieties. Taking a retrospective view of the New Jersey experiments of Alexander and Antill, the secretary of the society concluded that the chances of vinifera were doubtful: "but the society's measures," he added, "have occasioned trials of the native vines of America, which were before only considered as wild useless plants, that promise much better success." In consequence, the society offered a new gold medal in 1768, this time for a vineyard of no fewer than 2,000 plants of the "indiginous native vines." The medal was still among the society's list of awards in 1775, and, although in the next year the Revolution put an end to such encouragements from mother country to colony, the public announcement in favor of native vines perhaps had some effect—the society's offers and the policy behind them were evidently carefully watched by influential colonists. By this point in the baffling search for an American wine, the conviction at last seemed to be growing that a practical basis could be found only in the native plant.
The observation that American viticulture would be based on American varieties was, of course, as old as the attempt to grow grapes in the New World, or, more precisely, as old as the discovery that native grapes grew in North America. Thomas Harriot's Briefe and True Report of 1588 had prophesied that when the native grapes were "planted and husbanded as they should be, an important commodity in wines can be established." Robert Johnson, in his Nova Britannia of 1609, affirmed that the colonists of Virginia, "by replanting and making tame the vines that naturally grow there" would soon make good wine; Lord De La Warr in 1610 was confident that the "naturall vines" would, once they had been tamed and trained, yield "a perfect grape and fruitfull vintage." The same vision had appeared to many another speculative pioneer on looking at the abundant and rudely flourishing vines of the uncleared woods. Sir William Berkeley is reported to have successfully cultivated the wild grapes of Virginia for winemaking before his death in 1677. William Penn, in 1683, had thoughts of domesticating the native grape; Sir Nathaniel Johnson had evidently made the effort in South Carolina in the first decade of the eighteenth century, as did Robert Beverley in Virginia. Other instances of such early interest in sticking to the native varieties might be named, and I dwell on the point at such length because it is often said in print that nobody gave any thought to the native varieties until many, many years after the original settlements had been made. That is clearly not true. Yet it/s true that nobody had the patience, or the good luck, or the faith, to carry out the necessary labor, or to hit the right conditions, or to endure the uncertain waiting. More to the point, no one
knew what to do. The science of controlled plant hybridizing was still in the future, and though hybrids were no doubt naturally generated, they were random and unnoticed. It was only a stroke of luck that, at last, brought the Alexander to notice and pointed a way to the future; for many years to come all hybrids introduced for winegrowing were to be equally accidental and equally misunderstood, more often than not being identified as vinifera.
Under the circumstances, one need not wonder at the long time it took for the Americans to give up on vinifera after repeated, unvarying failure, decade after decade, in place after place. They had nothing else to turn to, really. Hardly any unameliorated variety of the native grape makes a tolerable, let alone satisfactory, wine by itself; the causes of the failure of vinifera were not understood and so could be denied by wishful thinking; and the qualities of the European vine were known. The wine from its grapes was familiar and good. For all these reasons it was inevitable that the fruitless experiment of growing vinifera should be stubbornly persisted in. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, the wish to have such wine as one gets from vinifera seems finally to have been yielding to the perception that Americans, if they were to make any wine of their own at all, would perforce have to invent their own grapes. That was the turning point, going back to the accidental discovery of the Alexander. One authority has observed that the eighteenth century in America was, in agricultural matters, a period of "singular lethargy," so that the "agricultural legacy of the colonies to the states was scant and of little worth." But the introduction of the native hybrid grape makes a significant exception to that general proposition. After the Revolution, the important history of American wine in the eastern settlements is the history of experiment with native grapes.
The Contribution of Continental Emigrants: the Huguenots and St. Pierre
Many individuals of all European nations made their way to the English colonies of North America from the earliest days. In addition, there were many organized efforts—often for speculative rather than philanthropic purposes—to settle whole groups of non-English Protestant peoples to help develop the colonial economy. France, Switzerland, and the German-speaking territories were the prime sources, and more often than not it was winemaking, a work no Englishman was born to, that furnished the main object of such settlements. In this history, the French Huguenots come first.
The earliest group of Huguenot emigrés has already been mentioned, the group that was sent at the expense of King Charles II to South Carolina in 1680 to undertake "ye manufacture of silkes, oyles, wines, etc." The forty-five persons. who came for that purpose seem to have been diverted to other work very quickly, and, as we know, no winegrowing tradition was ever established in Carolina. The
idea always persisted, though, and in the promotional literature attending any effort to bring over continental emigrés, the prospect of a flourishing viticulture was inevitably made one of the leading attractions. The settlement arranged by the Swiss promoter Jean Pierre Purry at Purrysburgh in South Carolina is an example. Beginning in 1724 Purry proposed various schemes to the British authorities to bring over large numbers of Swiss, including exiled Huguenots living in Switzerland. After some false starts, he succeeded in 1731 in bringing over a contingent of mixed French and Swiss Protestants, who were settled on land granted to Purry on the banks of the Savannah, not very many miles up the river from the spot that was to be the site of Oglethorpe's Savannah in 1733. The kind of blandishment by which Purry attracted his colonists appears in his tract entitled Proposals of Mr. Peter Purry, of Newfchatel, For Encouragement of Such Swiss Protestants as Should Agree to Accompany him to Carolina , published in 1731. "The woods are full of wild vines, bearing 5 or 6 sorts of grapes naturally," Purry wrote; for want of vine dressers, no wine but Madeira was drunk in South Carolina, and there, he suggested, lay the opportunity for the French and Swiss. They could take over from the Portuguese the lucrative task of supplying wine to the colony. Purry's project was assisted by Governor Robert Johnson, who was interested in winegrowing for South Carolina (see above, p. 55). The contemporary reports of Purrysburgh make no mention of viticulture, however, and it seems safe to conclude that it was not even seriously begun, despite the expectations and the traditions of the Huguenots.
A third organized migration of Huguenots to South Carolina did make a determined effort to establish vineyards there. This was the community called New Bordeaux, whose origins may be traced to 1763, when some of the many Huguenots still living in London petitioned the Board of Trade for lands along the Savannah River, where they proposed "to apply themselves principally to the cultivation of vines and of silk." The petition was favorably received, and in 1764 some 132 French Protestants were sent to land lying near the Savannah River on Long Cane Creek, many miles above the Purrysburgh settlement. There, amidst the 26,000 acres of their grant, the French laid out their town of New Bordeaux; as the still-surviving map of the original survey shows, of the 800 acres of the town tract, 175 acres were reserved, "to be divided into 4-acre lots for vineyards and olive gardens." It may have been of these settlers' early efforts at winemaking that William Stork spoke in his Description of East Florida (1769), saying: "I have drank a red of the growth of that province [South Carolina] little inferior to Burgundy."
Whatever effort they made towards developing their vineyards was powerfully reinforced in 1768, when the community was joined by another migration of French Protestants under the leadership of Louis de Mesnil de St. Pierre. St. Pierre's original intention had been to take his people to Nova Scotia, but accident brought them to South Carolina instead. They could not have had viticulture in mind from the beginning: Nova Scotia was no place for the vine (though there are now vineyards and several small wineries there), and St. Pierre, a Norman, did not belong to the wine regions of France. Once in New Bordeaux, however, he devoted himself
to viticulture with a determined zeal. The land, he wrote enthusiastically, "rose into gentle declivities, interspersed with delightful vales of small extent": soil, water, climate, all were perfect for growing wine grapes, so that—the conclusion is painfully familiar—"we may venture to pronounce the success infallible."
The immediate effect of St. Pierre's work was evident in the next year, when the colonists of New Bordeaux petitioned the colonial assembly for new vines and were granted ~700 for their purchase. By 1771 St. Pierre had formed a plan to promote the cultivation of vines at New Bordeaux through an ambitious scheme of importing both cuttings and professional vignerons from Europe. St. Pierre first took his proposals to the governor and assembly of South Carolina for the necessary appropriation, and though a committee reported favorably and the assembly was sympathetic, he did not get his money. Nevertheless, he was already importing vines from Europe and planting them at New Bordeaux.
His next step was to go to England to press his ideas upon the home authorities. According to his own report, St. Pierre took wine from South Carolina with him to London and submitted it to Lord Hillsborough, then secretary for the American colonies, but received no encouragement. It was later said that Hillsborough was paid £ 250,000 by the French to dampen the enterprise, since the French were terrified lest South Carolina take away the American wine trade! How likely a story this is need not be argued. St. Pierre had better success with the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, for those gentlemen in January 1772 awarded him a gold medal in recognition of his samples of wines, indigo, and silk.
Though disappointed in his first effort to gain official support, St. Pierre was not a man to give up without a struggle; from the offices of the minister he appealed directly to the public by attempting to float a public subscription of £ 4,000 for the "Society for the Encouragement of the Culture of Vine Yards at New Bordeaux," which would undertake to plant not less than fifty acres of vines within three years. A fellow South Carolinian, the retired merchant and statesman Henry Laurens, was then in London and had at first acted as St. Pierre's patron. When St. Pierre determined on his scheme of a public subscription, however, he and Laurens differed: Laurens refused to "subscribe Money in order to induce and lead on other People," and St. Pierre turned from him in anger. Since Laurens, as we have seen, dreamed of a time when South Carolina's wines would float down its rivers to the markets of the world, his refusal to assist St. Pierre's speculation was obviously not that of a man ill-disposed to winegrowing. St. Pierre's enthusiasm evidently could not persuade the more experienced Laurens.
The public subscription failed, but St. Pierre kept up the fight. Some weeks afterwards he published a second proposal under the emphatic heading of The Great Utility of establishing the Culture of Vines . . . And the absolute Necessity of Supporting the Infant Colony of Wrench Protestants settled at New Bordeaux in South Carolina, who have brought the Culture of Vines, and the Art of raising Silk to Perfection . This appeal assured the British public that it need not fear the same failure that had overtaken all other such ventures: the difference at New Bordeaux lay in the French—"At
New Bordeaux the Vine is taken care of, and properly cultivated, by Persons bred from their Cradles in Vineyards." He had sent 60,000 Burgundian vines to South Carolina since his first proposals were made, St. Pierre said, and had another 100,000 at his disposal, as well as a number of rigneron families ready to go.
When the response to this offer was again unsatisfactory, St. Pierre turned back to the government, this time appealing to Parliament for a grant to pay for the expenses of shipping out his 100,000 plants and 150 new settlers, "all vignerons to a man." What he asked from Parliament was £ 4,200 at 5 percent interest for ten years, and that was but a part of the expense that he envisaged. At the same time he addressed the Treasury, praying for "encouragement upon him and his infant colony." The Board of Trade endorsed St. Pierre's claim, saying that it "could not fail of being usefull to this kingdom," but these good words were all that St. Pierre got for his pains. Or rather, almost all: he did receive a grant of 5,000 acres, an extraordinary grant to an individual at that time.
His energetic campaign against English pockets kept St. Pierre busy with his pen. Besides his two appeals to the public at large, his petition to Parliament, and various other supporting memorials and petitions to the Treasury and the Board of Trade, he produced for potential subscribers and emigrants alike an apology and a treatise combined, entitled The Art of Planting and Cultivating the Fine, as also of Making, Fining, and Preserving Wines, etc . (London, 1772). His strategy in the book is to stress the good that winegrowing in Carolina will create for England: it will divert the colonists away from competition with England's manufactures; it will improve the breed and increase the population—for "whence is France so fruitful in men, but by the use of the juice of the grape?"; by the trade in wine, British seamen and shipbuilders will gain employment, thereby improving the national defense as well; so, too, the employment created will prevent British workers from being lost to foreign parts. With all this to follow from planting vines at New Bordeaux, how could one hesitate? Especially when the flourishing of native vines gave "sure proof of the success of the present enterprise"?
The part of St. Pierre's book given over to viticultural instruction follows European practices. Though St. Pierre says that he visited France for the purpose, and though he seems to have done a conscientious piece of homework, he is not aware of any inadequacy in stating, as he does, that "I have confined my researches to the three wine countries of Orleans, Champagne, and Burgundy." The convergence of dates for the first three treatises by American winegrowers on viticulture—Antill's essay in 1771, St. Pierre's book in 1772, and Bolling's MS in 1774—is striking evidence of how interest in the subject was intensifying immediately before the Revolution. But it is also notable that all three of these take for granted that American viticulture will be founded on the European grape, and that no special reference to American conditions is therefore necessary. St. Pierre's book is now chiefly interesting for its expression of the author's entire confidence in what he is doing: winegrowing must succeed in America, St. Pierre insists, even though he cannot put much wine of his own making into evidence.
Neither the English government nor the English public came through for St.
Pierre, though it was said that King George requested him to carry on under the king's private patronage. Somehow he managed to complete a part of his scheme. He returned to South Carolina at the end of 1772 with a group of vignerons recruited for his project. They had travelled by way of Madeira, where St. Pierre had acquired another large collection of vines. And at New Bordeaux they would have found things in flourishing condition, for we learn from a report written in June of 1772 that the vineyards already planted there were doing extremely well, so well that no one doubted of ultimate success. A shipment of European vines had also arrived in Charleston, the correspondent noted, where they had been set out to root and where, he added, people were stealing them, so popular was the idea of winegrowing.
"My vineyard is thriving," St. Pierre wrote after his return to New Bordeaux: "Others beside mine are in perfect good order, and next year we shall have a good deal of wine as well as silk made here .... of all the vines planted last March, some of which I brought from Madeira, none have miscarried but are now in full growth." Two, at least, of the "others" who were cultivating the vine at New Bordeaux may be identified. One was not a Frenchman but a neighboring German named Christopher Sherb, a native of the valley of the Neckar in Württemberg, who had planted a vineyard on his farm at Broad River, not far from New Bordeaux. Starting with a few cuttings of German vines obtained from settlers in Orangeburg, by 1770 he had a vineyard of 1,539 vines, including both vinifera and natives. The yield was tiny—25 gallons in 1768 and 80 gallons of "tolerable white wine" in 1769, good enough to be sold at a dollar a gallon and to win a £ 50 bounty from the always attentive London Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in 1770. Sherb's example helped to confirm St. Pierre in his belief that South Carolina was a region destined for winemaking.
The other identifiable grower from the region of New Bordeaux was John Lewis Gervais (1741-95), a Frenchman of Huguenot origin who came to South Carolina in 1764. There he was befriended by Henry Laurens, always interested in viticulture in Carolina, who gave him land at New Bordeaux. Gervais seems to have made vine plantings there for Laurens as well as for himself. When he was visited by the official surveyor to the English Board of Trade, John De Brahm, Gervais had his vines trained according to a method that De Brahm thought admirably adapted to the conditions of the South. The growers of New Bordeaux, De Brahm says, had discovered that
the grape vine needs no support, neither of sticks or frames, but prospers by being winded on the ground, and piled up in a manner, that the vine itself forms a kind of close bower, (or as the French call it a chapele) where, under it shades its own ground to retain all moisture, which also covers and preserves the blossom of the grapes against vernal Frost, and the grapes themselves against the violent scorching summer heat.
Writing about 1771, De Brahm was not able to say anything about the wine of New Bordeaux. As usual in the colonial story, it was just around the corner: "As
for the goodness of the wine itself, its decovery [the discovery of its qualities?] may, without doubt be very shortly expected." So wrote De Brahm, who visited New Bordeaux and believed in its future; he thought that since South Carolina lay between 30 and 35 degrees of latitude, and since the Jesuit fathers were known to have produced wine in Mexico between 25 and 30 degrees of latitude for the refreshment of the Acapulco galleons, winegrowing must succeed in South Carolina.
When William Bartram travelled through South Carolina in June 1775, he was entertained at St. Pierre's residence, Orange Hill, which stood on a hill looking out over the Savannah River and into Georgia, where winegrowing had been tried years before; Bartram found St. Pierre tending "a very thriving vineyard consisting of about five acres" at New Bordeaux. Since St. Pierre had been there since 1768, he was one of the very few of colonial vineyardists who actually persisted long enough to have produced anything (Robert Beverley in Virginia and the Carrolls in Maryland were others). Whether he was as hopeful in 1775 as he had been at the beginning of the decade we do not know. Bartram says nothing about St. Pierre's wine, if there was any. In any case, the Revolution put an end to the enterprise. St. Pierre joined the South Carolinian patriots in the war and was, according to a contemporary note, made "Lieutenant to a Small Fort in the back Country where he lives upon his pay of £ 30-a year." St. Pierre was killed on an expedition against the Indians, and that "untimely end," as a later memorialist wrote, "overturned the establishment in its infancy." New Bordeaux itself, never very flourishing, dwindled to the crossroads that it now is, where a marker records the site of the old Huguenot church.
Other Huguenot Communities
To go back almost a hundred years, in 1685 a large migration of Protestants from France had taken place in response to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, whereby Louis XIV suddenly withdrew from the Huguenots the legal protection that they had secured a century earlier. Though the French government tried to prevent a Huguenot emigration, thousands left the country. There was a general scramble among the proprietors and promoters of American colonies to attract these unlucky people, for they were intelligent, industrious, skilled, well-behaved, and right-thinking—the ideal colonists, in short, and very unlike the average of the marginal types who could be lured into the American backwoods. Landlords in Virginia, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts all tried to put their attractions before various Huguenot communities. Virginia managed to secure some: as early as 1686 one Virginia promoter, with an eye upon the Huguenots, advertised his property in Stafford County as "naturally inclined to vines." A Huguenot traveller, Durand de Dauphiné, visiting Stafford County the next year, was much struck by the promising terrain and by the wild vines there; he made, he says, some "good" wine from the grapes, and recommended them for cultivation. His
account was published in Europe in 1687, but it apparently did not succeed in attracting any Huguenots and did not lead to any winegrowing development in Stafford County.
In 1700 a large body of Huguenots arrived in Virginia under the special auspices of King William and settled on a 10,000-acre tract along the James River donated by the colony. Here, at Manakin Town (near present-day Richmond) they had succeeded by 1702 in making a "claret" from native grapes that was reported to be "pleasant, strong, and full body'd wine." The information, recorded by the historian and viticulturist Robert Beverley, was evidence to him that the native vines needed only to be properly cultivated to become the source of excellent wine and evidently had much to do in starting him on his own experiments. The opinion of Beverley is confirmed by the Swiss traveller Louis Michel, who visited Manakin Town in 1702 and was impressed by the incredibly large vines growing there, from which, he wrote, the French "make fairly good wine, a beginning has been made to graft them, the prospects are fine." The prospects soon changed for the worse: according to the Carolina historian John Lawson, the French at Manakin Town found themselves hemmed in by other colonists, who took up all the land around them, and so most of them departed for Carolina, where their minister assured Lawson that "their intent was to propagate vines, as far as their present circumstances would permit, provided they could get any slips of vines, that would do."
In Florida, at the same time that New Smyrna was being built in East Florida, the home government attempted to do something for unpopulated and unremunerative West Florida by sending over, in 1766, a band of forty-six French Protestants to pursue their arts of winemaking and silk producing. They were settled at a place called Campbell Town, east of Pensacola, but conditions there were so wild and unpromising that failure was quick and complete. The group was badly led, the incidence of disease was very high, and within four years all the French were either dead or had left the province. This was, I think, the last instance in which London officials tried to create a colonial enterprise by the expedient of simply dumping a band of Huguenots upon the land, with most dire results for the poor Huguenots themselves.
Beyond the South, there were other, isolated Huguenot communities that attempted winegrowing. Those in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island have already' been mentioned. In Pennsylvania, the first winemaker whose name we know was the Huguenot Gabriel Rappel, whose "good claret" pleased William Penn in 1683; another of the earliest was Jacob Pellison, also a Huguenot, as was Andrew Doz, who planted and tended William Penn's vineyard of French vines at Lemon Hill on the Schuylkill. Doz, naturalized in England in 1682, came over to Pennsylvania in that same year; Penn called him a "hot" man but honest. The vineyard, which was begun in 1683, stood on 200 acres of land and was described in 1684 by the German Pastorius as a "fine vineyard of French vines." "Its growth," Pastorius added, "is a pleasure to behold and brought into my reflections, as I looked upon it, the fifteenth chapter of John."
Two years later, another witness reported that "the Governours Vineyard goes on very well." In 1690 the property was patented to Doz himself for a rental of 100 vine cuttings payable annually to Penn as proprietor. From that arrangement it seems clear that the experiment of vine growing was still in process after its beginning seven years earlier. It would be interesting to know whether any of the European vines survived as late as that.
William Penn himself was particularly active in seeking to attract Huguenot emigrants to Pennsylvania, and used the prospect of viticulture as a recruiting inducement. His promotional tract of 1683, A Letter from William Penn . . . Containing a General Description of the Said Province , was translated into French and published at The Hague in order to reach the French Protestant community exiled in the Low Countries. In his new province, Penn wrote, were "grapes of diverse sorts" that "only want skilful Vinerons to make good use of them." Penn's pamphlet, though written with an eye on prospective French colonists, is ostensibly addressed to the Free Society of Traders in Pennsylvania, incorporated by Penn in London; he concludes by telling this body that the great objects of the colony, the "Promotion of Wine" and the manufacture of linen, are likely to be best served by Frenchmen: "To that end, I would advise you to send for some thousands of plants out of France, with some Vinerons, and People of the other vocation." Penn's efforts at recruiting had good results. Many religious refugees made their way to the colony, Huguenots among them; but the French were soon assimilated into the general community rather than maintaining a separate identity. They may have undertaken viticulture at first, but their dispersal through the community meant that those who persisted at it did so as individuals. As Penn told the Board of Trade in 1697, in Pennsylvania "both Germans and French make wine yearly, white and red, but not in quantity for export."
The best known of Huguenot settlements in America are those of New York State, at New Paltz and New Rochelle, the one going back to the mid seventeenth century, the other founded towards the end of it. In neither does there seem to have been any attempt at winegrowing, despite the likelihood of their sites and the practice of the neighboring colonies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The Contribution of Continental Emigrants: the Germans
After the Huguenots, the continental emigrants most often associated with experimental viticulture in America were German-speaking Protestants of the many varieties native to Switzerland, Austria, and the different German states. Some had been uprooted by the wars of Louis XIV, whose national aims were mixed with the cause of Catholicism against Protestantism. Others were put in motion simply by the attractions of the New World, often compounded by persecution at home Pietists, Palatines, Mennonites, Mystics, Moravians, Salzburgers, and others came to the English colonies in such numbers that by the Revolution, it has been esti-
mated, there were some quarter of a million inhabitants of German blood in the colonies.
The first settlement of German Protestants, in this case the people then called Pietists, was made under the auspices of William Penn at Germantown in Pennsylvania in 1683. Winemaking was part of the original intention of the settlers; Francis Pastorius, the leader of the colony, brought vines with him, but they were accidentally spoiled by sea water after they had already arrived in Delaware Bay. No doubt some experiments were made; as late as 1700 Pastorius wrote that the people of Germantown were "especially anxious to advance the cultivation of the vine." But the promise of the town seal, showing a grapevine, a flax blossom, and a weaver's shuttle, was not fully realized: Germantown's weaving prospered, but its wine industry did not.
A second German community was established in 1709 by Protestant refugees from the Rhenish Palatinate (the Rheinpfalz as it is now called), devastated by the War of the Spanish Succession. Thousands of these Germans, from one of the most famous viticultural regions of Europe, had made their way to England, where the English were sympathetic but sorely perplexed to know what to do with them. One answer was to export them to the colonies, usually with the thought of putting to work their talents as winegrowers: had they not come from the very heart of the German wine country? So it was with the group sent over in 1709 under Pastor Joshua von Kocherthal. The gentlemen of the Board of Trade and Plantations proposed that the Palatines, as they were called, should be sent to Virginia or other regions of the continent (they were evidently not very particular) "where the air is clear and healthful" in order to make wine. Kocherthal reported to the board from America that the country was certainly fit for winemaking and that the long history of failure was owing only to "inexperience and want of skill." He mentions Beverley's work in Virginia, which was attracting much notice, and he adds the interesting detail that the Pennsylvania Germans had devised methods for grape growing better suited to American conditions than those of the French. The first contingent of Palatines—more than 2,000 of them—was, however, settled on the Hudson River at Newburgh rather than in Virginia or Pennsylvania. They had a hard struggle to get established, and the official instructions were for them to produce supplies for the English navy rather than wine. Under the circumstances viticulture does not seem to have been seriously tried, though the region is one that must have reminded many of the Palatines of their native Rhineland.
A second contingent of Palatines was sent to the North Carolina coast in company with a number of Swiss emigrants under the charge of Baron Christopher de Graffenried of Bern and of the Swiss traveller Louis Michel: the interests of both men seem to have been largely speculative. The possibility of growing wine was one of the inducements held out to the members of this group, who founded the settlement of New Bern in 1710. Probably some experiments were made, without enough promise to encourage sustained work. New Bern thus provides the model for two later German-speaking colonies in the South already noticed, that of the
Swiss and French at Purrysburgh in South Carolina in 1732 and that of the Salzburgers just across the Savannah River from Purrysburgh, at Ebenezer in Georgia. In both places the manufacture of silk and the production of wine had been part of the original intention, but in both winegrowing was quickly dropped.
One might conclude from this summary account of French and German contributions to early colonial winegrowing that they failed quite as emphatically as the English. Practically speaking, no doubt they did. No continuing, substantial production of wine developed out of any of the trials made by French, German, or Swiss—not to mention those of the Italian Mazzei or the Portuguese Jew De Lyon. But their participation in the early efforts to grow wine in this country helps to make it clear that the consistent failure was not owing to ignorance of established methods. The English may not have known what they were about, but the others brought with them a long tradition. Another, more positive point, is that despite the uniform failure of all who tried winegrowing in the American colonies, it was especially the continental immigrants rather than the English who kept on trying. Their matter-of-course relation to wine as a daily necessity of diet was of incalculable importance in finally establishing an industry. The best-known names in the winegrowing trade that did eventually develop in this country are the names of non-English families, who fulfilled a promise that their ancestors could not, but whose ancestors gave the example. The Germans seem to predominate—Kohler, Frohling, Muench, Husmann, Krug, Gundlach, and Dreyfus come to mind at once. But then, in this country, the Germans always outnumbered the French, who were never enthusiastic about emigration without the stimulus of religious persecution. However, the French are part of it too: Pellier, Lefranc, Vignes, and Champlin are only a few of the French names on the list of successful pioneers. The Italians now seem to be almost synonymous with winemaking in America, especially in California, but theirs is really a later story. Enough to say now that without the diffusive influence of Germans and French, the idea of winegrowing in America would not have persisted as it did, nor would the actual achievement have taken the form that it has now.