From Demon to Darling
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From Demon to Darling
A LEGAL HISTORY OF WINEINAMERICA
Foreword by Margrit Biever Mondavi
U N I V E R S I T Y O F C A L I F O R N I A P R E S S
B E R K E L E Y L O S A N G E L E S L O N D O N
University of California Press, one of the most distin-
guished university presses in the United States, enriches
lives around the world by advancing scholarship in the
humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its
activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation
and by philanthropic
WineinAmerica is a story of fits and starts, of lost opportunities followed
by progress, and then by setback. Much of this can be traced to wine's agri-
cultural roots. Whereas the Founding Fathers were prepared to support a
domestic wine industry, farmers lacked the expertise and plant material to
grow decent-quality wine grapes. The propagation of hybridized vines
solved that problem, but the winemakers then had to contend with adulter-
ated wines already on the market. Just when the industry began to establish
a reputation for quality, phylloxera
. Several later
updated editions followed.
Mondavi, Robert. Harvest of Joy. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1998.
Olken, Charles E., Earl Singer, and Norman Roby. The Connoisseurs’ Handbook of California
Wines. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980. A second edition appeared in 1982, and a third
in 1984, both published by Knopf.
Peninou, Ernest P. A History of the Orleans Hill Vineyard and Winery of Arpad Haraszthy and
Company. Winters, Calif.: Winters Express, 1983.
Pinney, Thomas. A History of WineinAmerica: From the Beginnings to Prohibition. Berkeley:
University of California
late in January. In 2002, ten thou-
sand people tasted their choice of more than six hundred wines from roughly
three hundred California producers. This alone is impressive, and unmatched
by any tasting of a single varietal anywhere in the world. More important,
however, and most encouraging for the future of wine as a part of our culture,
has been the attitude of the majority of tasters. They are judging what is in the
glass rather than the name on the label—a sure sign of a maturing attitude to-
In 1998, geneticist Dr. Carole Meredith of the
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This book is a continuation of my History of WineinAmerica: From the Beginnings to Pro-
hibition, published by the University of California Press in 1989. Although the two books
are connected, they have had to take very diªerent forms. The task of the first volume
was mainly to recover the story of repeated eªorts to establish a wine industry that re-
peatedly failed and then, because they had failed, had been forgotten. In many places the
surviving record was vestigial or almost nonexistent. It was possible, then, to think of
distributors, mobsters, environmentalists, regulators, and critics all
have a hand in producing, selling, and delivering the glass of wine we
will drink tonight.
Previous books have told the story of wineinAmerica. Others have
examined wine in France. But no other book has ever looked at the two
countries side by side, studying the different paths taken by winemakers
in France and America to produce the quality wines we enjoy today. Bat-
tles with the soil and society have had different victors in each country,
and these outcomes have influenced both the rise in
assigned the control of intoxicating liquors to the states, allowing
I N T R O D U C T I O N 3
those that wished to remain dry to do so. Each state, and sometimes each
county and city, chose its particular approach to liquor control on the the-
ory that the only enforceable laws are those that the local community will
accept. As a result, there are literally hundreds of different regulatory sys-
tems for wineinAmerica. In addition, the federal government has its own
comprehensive set of liquor laws and regulations, which cover many of the
same subjects as those of the
ally every interested historian and wine writer for almost a hundred years. I
cracked the concrete monolith of this myth in the 1970s by going back to the
xviii / preface
period between 1852 and 1880 and examining the contemporary record, the
primary sources from which a true history could be pieced together. And I
went to the East Coast to examine the primary sources there, which gave a
fairly clear picture of the Zinfandel’s arrival on that coast in the late 1820s.
In 1989 historian Thomas Pinney wrote, in his History of WineinAmerica,
, Indiana Wine, p. 41.
24. Ibid., p. 54.
25. P. Dufour, Swiss Settlement, pp. 151 – 52.
26. Thomas Pinney, A History of WineinAmerica (Berkeley: University of Cali-
fornia Press, 1989), p. 122.
27. Dufour is remembered locally in the Kentucky Wine and Vine Fest in Nich-
olasville, a few miles from First Vineyard.
28. P. Dufour, “Early History of Switzerland County,” p. 35.
29. P. Dufour, Swiss Settlement, p. 70.
30. Liberty Hyde Bailey, Sketch of the Evolution of Our Native Fruits (New York:
Macmillan, 1898), p. 44; J. J. Dufour, p. 25. Jancis Robinson (Vines, Grapes
Dufour, Perret. The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County, Indiana. Edited by
Harlow Lindley. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1925.
Gabler, James M. Wine into Words: A History and Bibliography of Wine Books in the
English Language. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Bacchus Press, 2004.
Gohdes, Clarence. Scuppernong: North Carolina’s Grape and Its Wines. Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 1982.
Flagg, William J. “WineinAmerica and American Wine.” Harper’s New Monthly
Magazine 41 (June 1870): 106 – 14.
Florence, Jack W. Legacy of a Village: Italian Swiss Colony