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1 The Beginnings, 1000-1700
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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."[1] 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[2] —were in fact not grapes at all but the plants of the wild cranberry. [3] 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. [4] No wild grapes grow in so high a latitude. Though it is powerfully


A modern rendering of the joyous moment at which Tyrker the German found
 grapes growing in Vinland. The episode begins the history of wine in America;
 the questions surrounding it will probably never be satisfactorily answered. 
(Drawing by Frederick Trench Chapman in Einer Haugen.  Voyages to Vinland  [1942])

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. [5]

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. [6] 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. [7] 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." [8] 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. [9] The Pilgrims in New England found the species now called Vitis labrusca growing profusely in the woods around their settlements. [10] 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; [11] 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. [12] 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. [13]

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


Sketch-map of Raleigh's Virginia (that is, the North Carolina coast), September 1585. The note at the far 
right of the sketch reads: "Here were great store of great red grapis veri pleasant." Grapes were thus among 
the first things to greet the English in the New World. (From D. B. Quinn, ed.,  The Roanoke Voyages, 
 [1955]; original in the Public Record Office, London)


"The arriual of the Englishemen in Virginia": drawing by John White, engraved by Theodor de Bry, 
based on the sketch-map shown in Fig. 2. The drawing represents grapes under the word "Weapemeoc"
 in a position corresponding to that indicated on the sketch-map. (Theodor de Bry,  America , part
 I [Frankfurt am Main, 1590]; Huntington Library)

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.[14] 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


The characteristic native grape of the American South,  Vitis rotundifolia . the muscadine. 
often loosely referred to as "Scuppernong." Flourishing especially in the Carolinas, it was 
probably the source of the first American wine and was the basis of Virginia Dare, once the 
most popular wine in America. (From Liberty Hyde Bailey.  Sketch of the Evolution of Our
 Native Fruits

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.[15] 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.[16] 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."[17] 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."[18] 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.[19]

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."[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25]

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."[26] 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.[27]

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."[28]

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.[29] 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."[30] 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.[31] 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."[32] 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";[33] 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."[34] "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.[35] 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."[36] 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?[37]

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."[38] 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).[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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."[42] 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."[43] 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.[44] 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."[45] 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."[46] 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.[47] 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."[48] 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.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51] In the next year, at the king's command,[52] 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.[53] 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.[54]

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


The royal seal of King James I, from John Bonoeil's
 His Maiesties Gracious Letter  to the Earle of South-
 . . . (London, 1622). Written at the tobacco-
hating, wine-loving king's command, this work offered 
instruction in wine-making to all the Virginia settlers.
 It begins the literature of wine in America. (Huntington Library)

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.[55]

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."[56] 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-


The beginning of Bonoeil's instructions to Virginia winemakers. The book, we
 are told, was "laughed to scorn" by the Virginians, who were too busy growing
 tobacco to trouble themselves with the uncertainties of winemaking. Note the 
very early reference to the "Fox-Grape." (Huntington Library)


ginia—one writer describes Jamestown in the 1620s as a model of the boomtown economy[57] —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."[58]

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.[59]

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).[60] 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."[61]

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."[62] 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."[63] 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


Glass wine bottles from the seventeenth century found at Jamestown, Virginia. Thousands of such 
bottles have been found, but they can only occasionally have contained Virginia wine. Most of what
 the Virginians drank had to be imported, and much of that was bad. (From John L. Cotter and J. Paul 
Hudson, New Discoveries at Jamestown  [1967])

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.[64]

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.[65]

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.[66] 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


The poet George Sandys (1578—1644), who went out to Virginia as treasurer 
of the colony in 1621, was responsible for encouraging the agriculture and 
manufactures of the struggling settlement. He planted a vineyard of his own 
and reported optimistically about the prospects of winegrowing. (From
 Richard Beale Davis,  George Sandys  [1955])

Company was expiring, the General Assembly passed a law requiring twenty vines to be planted for every male over twenty years of age.[67] 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.[68]

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."[69]


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."[70] 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."[71]

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."[72] 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.[73] 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.[74] 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.[75] 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."[76] 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."[77] 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.[78]

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,[79] 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.[80]

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."[81] 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.[82] 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."[83]

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."[84] 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.[85]

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-


The effects of black rot (Guignardia bidwellii ), the most widespread and 
destructive of the fungus diseases that plague the grape east of the 
Rocky Mountains, (From U.S. Department of Agriculture,  Report, 1885 )

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."[86] 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."[87]

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.[88] 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."[89] 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. [90] The Pilgrims of course saw "vines everywhere" at Plymouth Bay, as William Bradford wrote, [91] 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"[92] 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[93] 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. [94]

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. [95] 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. [96]

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; [97] 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. [98] 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. [99] 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. . . . [100]

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)." [101] 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. [102]

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. [103] 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. [104] 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." [105] 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, [106] 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


William Penn took French vines with him to Pennsylvania in 1682, his first trip to 
the colony he had founded, and in the next year had his French  vignerons  lay out
 vineyards. The portrait shows him as he appeared around 1696. (Drawing by Francis 
Place; Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

colony, Penn recorded that he had drunk a "good claret" made of native grapes by a French Huguenot refugee, Captain Gabriel Rappel. [107] 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. [108]

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." [109]

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. [110] 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. [111] 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). [112] 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." [113] 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. [114] Wine made from this is reported, with the uncritical optimism of all such early responses, to have been "as good as the best burgundy." [115] 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." [116] 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


Seal of Germantown, Pennsylvania: the three leaves of the 
clover bear a weaver's spool, a flax blossom, and, on the 
right, a grape vine, to show that the German Pietists who
 founded the town in 1683 meant to live from winegrowing
 and weaving, (Masthead ornament from the  Germantown
 [Germantown Historical Society], Fall 1986)

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";[117] such land would be highly profitable, it was argued, for an "acre in the Canaries" then produced £ 60 per annum, [118] 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." [119] 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";[120] 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; [121] 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. [122] 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." [123] 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. [124]

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." [125] 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. [126]


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." [127] 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. [128] 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. [129] 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. [130]

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"[131] —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." [132] 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." [133] 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"[134] —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";[135] 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." [136]

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";[137] another contemporary, John Lawson, tells us that Johnson had "rejected all exotic vines, and makes his wine from the natural black grape of Carolina." [138] 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." [139]

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." [140] 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." [141] 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." [142]

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. [143]


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