Search Results

You are looking at 21 - 30 of 328 items :

  • "grape growing" x
Clear All

h e history of grape growing parallels the history of Western culture. Since early times the vine has accompanied civilization. T h e Phoenicians brought the vine from Asia and propagated it on the Mediterranean islands. From there it moved westward with the spread of civilization; first to Greece, then to Rome, Spain, and France. Dr. J . Art- haud, a historian of the vine, believed that before commer- cial relations existed between nations it was possible to de- termine the degree of a people's progress by a study of their knowledge of wines (oenology).4


many a shared laugh. Chris Howell wrote such a thoughtful and challenging review of our original book proposal that we were prompted to seek him out for further information, which he provided unstintingly, both about his work at Cain Vineyards and about more general aspects of grape growing and winemaking. Chris and Napa Valley’s resident geologist/winemaker John Livingston invited us to accompany them on a “Terroir Tour” of Napa, a package they oªered at the 2001 Napa Valley Wine Auction. The buyers, Chuck McMinn of Vineyard 29 and his Silicon Valley colleague Chuck


intended as an introduction to the study of the agricultural and economic history of what has become one of California's major sources of revenue. Although the pre-1830 period has the typical romantic flavor of early California history, grape growing and wine production were commercially unimportant. For this reason the early period has been treated only in broad outline. The prologue is based very largely upon secondary works and monographic material. Only in matters where my own study of the sources has been thorough have I ventured to disagree with the chief

perme- ated and, in many respects, dominated the agricultural thinking of California.7 Significant during this decade was the emergence of the two separate viticultural interests characteristic of present- day California—grape growing as distinct from wine mak- ing.8 Before this time the two had been inseparable. The vineyardist was grower, manufacturer, and merchant. T h e famous retailers of California wine—Kohler , Sansevain, Wolfskill, Haraszthy, Delmas—were also proprietors of ex- tensive vineyards. The San Francisco grape market of the 'fifties

. 42 • G e org e H us m a n n Yet despite these manifold afflictions and disappointments, he never lost an eager hopefulness that refused to despair. The last word in the last book he published breathes the same spirit with which he began his work as grape grower and winemaker forty years before: “What should hinder us from becoming the greatest grape growing nation on earth? . . . I hope that the sun of 1900 may rise on the most prosperous wineland the world ever saw, on the most prosperous, happy and sober commonwealth on the shores of the Pacific, the

P A R T THE INDUSTRY ACROSS THE NATION 4 This page intentionally left blank 14 The Eastern United States: From the Civil War to Prohibition W inemaking in the United States east of the Rocky Moun-tains—or rather east of the Sierra—gradually consoli- dated and extended the work that had been begun before the Civil War. There were no striking new departures, and the scale of grape growing and of wine production never was large enough to be very visible to Americans, the great majority of whom lived in the eastern states. The ordinary American was still anything

regulation handicapped the development of a serious wine industry in the state. Nevertheless, a small and persistent viticultural eff ort has carved a niche in eastern Washington for more than a century and a half, and in fact at least one Rhône variety fi gures prominently in those eff orts. When the state’s potential was fi nally realized in the late seventies and early eighties, the Columbia Valley would prove to be one of the most enviable environments for grape growing in the country—and Rhône varieties would occupy a prominent place. 16 THE AMERICAN RHÔNE IN

pounded the earth open in each spot we wanted to plant rootstock. Once the rootstock took hold we grafted on the initial Sangiovese canes that Dad apparently got from Italy, and most of them promptly died. We sourced the next round of canes from Robert Pepi, who was about a year and a half ahead of us in planting Sangiovese in Napa Val- ley. These took beautifully to the rootstock, and we were in business. I thought I knew grape growing pretty well by that point, but Sangio- vese was a whole new creature. Once it got going, this variety wanted to 190 / A Vineyard

the hospitality room again I heard the sound of giggling. I walked in and there was Hanns Kornell on the fl oor playing with my children. Then he looked up and said to his hospitality guy in that great accent, “Get these kids some chocolates!” It was the last time I saw him. But to this day I still hear that voice in my head telling me to get my hands out of my pockets. Throughout this period Dad was juggling two careers— education and grape growing. His fi rst classroom stint was at a new continuation school in Napa called Temescal, created for students who


fascinating conversations confirms, generational shifts produce many things—above all, enormous potential. Today’s winegrowers and winemakers, so many more than before, and more and more women among them, proceed with the confidence and clarity accruing to them from the ac- cumulated experience, technological expertise, and craft of their predeces- sors. If this flourishing new crop maintains its focus, it will distill even fur- ther the essence of individual vision, recalibrating its sense of purpose while pursuing new regions and grape varieties to plant. As grape growing