vinifera, it was also true
that it could profitably grow native American grapes as well. On the western, maritime
side of the state, they were the only choice. A labrusca variety known locally as Island
Belle had been the basis of a small grape-growing industry along Puget Sound going
back to the late nineteenth century. After Repeal, the first newly bonded winery in Wash-
ington, the St. Charles Winery on Stretch Island in Puget Sound, began making wine
from Island Belle grapes; it was soon joined by two more wineries and by two grape-
juice processors as well, all
nearby benchland property and urged him to get
to know other Italian grape-growing families.
“I had become enamored of the traditions of the neighborhood, which were condi-
tioned to a large extent by the Italian farmers who lived here when we came. And they
all had their zinfandel lore, it’s what they fussed over and what they drank at home and
sold to Gallo down the road. It was the grape of the Dry Creek Valley, going back as far
as anyone knew. I fell in love with the whole thing,” he explains, “with farming, with
old timers, with the lore and being Italian
organizes and coordinates the activities
required to produce and sell wine to consumers. This includes all activi-
ties related to grapegrowing, wine production, and wine distribution.
This entity is legally organized as a proprietorship, partnership, corpora-
tion, or limited liability company and can make binding contracts in its
152 | The Wine Firm
own name. It is owned by a single individual, group of individuals, or
another fi rm. The owner may be motivated by profi t or nonprofi t objec-
tives. To organize and coordinate the production and sale of wine, the
, Berkeley. A folder of various manuscript notes on the life
and activities of Charles Kohler with several pages about Agoston Haraszthy
as well as California viniculture generally.
3 San Francisco Merchant, April 29, 1887, pp. 1-2.
4 Kohler M S , p. 1.
5 Charles Kohler, "Wine Production in California," M S (1878), p. 3. This
manuscript is also in the Bancroft Library; it is a detailed account of the
activities of this pioneer in grapegrowing and wine making in California with
notes and comments on various viticultural personalities during Kohler's life-
's produce, called the land
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 Newfoundland2—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 tell-
ers of the saga.4 No wild grapesgrow in so
,” as one writer has rhapsodized. Whatever it is, grapegrow-
ers and winemakers all seem to agree that it’s highly desirable, and therefore they are all
pretty sure that they have it.
To simplify, let’s call terroir the expression, through the grapes grown in a specific loca-
tion, of the soil, climate, weather, elevation, latitude, and orientation of that place. It is the
unique stamp of that particular site. If you apply that definition in the most generous and
generic way, it’s pretty clear that terroir in fact does exist everywhere. We all have terroir.
conquistadors were required to carry grapevines wherever their
explorations took them. They brought the first plantings of the noble Vitis
vinifera grape to California from Spain via Mexico. Deemed essential to their cul-
tural mission, grapes grown from these cuttings were used by the Spanish padres
to make wine for the administration of the Sacraments. Hernán Cortés, after his
invasion of Mexico in the early sixteenth century, found native grapesgrowing
near Mexico City. The Spanish conquistadors tried to make wine from them but
had little success. A devout and pious man
by viticulturalist Markus Kel-
ler. Finally, climate is scrutinized from the point of view of the grape itself, in selections
from Richard Smart and Rudolf Geiger.
Note: As the international wine community is acutely aware, changeability is no
longer limited to yearly weather, but applies to longer-term climate trends as well. The
implications of climate change for grapes, wines and terroir itself are examined in Chap-
ter Nine, “The Future of Terroir.”
LINES AND LIMITS
The vast majority of wine grapesgrow in two geographical and climate bands, one in the
. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah II (Brooklyn: Moriah
Offset, 1973), sec. 45, p. 63, col. 2: A woman who is trustworthy and known to
be G-d fearing may serve as a Mashgicha (feminine of Mashgiach), a supervi-
sor of Kosher food production. This applies only in certain circumstances such
as a widow needing to sustain herself and her children.
18. Tillich quoted in Fuller, Religion and Wine, p. viii.
19. John 2:7–10; Matthew 26:27–28.
170 / Notes to Pages 8–9
20. Richard P. Vine et al., Winemaking: From GrapeGrowing to Marketplace
(New York: Chapman and
carried on after Hilgard, and all possibility of doing so had been cut
174 • M ay n a r d A m e r i n e
off by Prohibition. Now A. J. Winkler, the professor of viticulture at Davis,
was preparing to renew and extend this project, which would obviously be
the work of years and would require competent help.
In rough outline, this was Winkler’s plan: he would, each season over a
course of years, gather samples of every variety of wine grape grown in Cali-
fornia from every grape-growing region in the state, from Oregon to Mexico
and from the Pacific to the Sierra