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Harper’s Weekly (March 7, 1863). N ic hol a s L ong wort h • 25 in this country that would both grow and yield an at least drinkable wine. In the early years of the nineteenth century, that situation began to change as more and more chance hybrids were discovered and brought into culti- vation — Lenoir, Herbemont, Isabella, and a great number of others whose names have now been forgotten. Chief among these newcomers was the grape called Catawba, whose introduction begins the second chapter in the history of American wine growing. The fame of the grape was owing

Twenty-first Amendment in 1933. The Eighteenth Amendment, enforced by the Volstead Act (the National Prohibition Act), banned the manufacture, sale, transportation, impor- tation, and exportation of intoxicating liquors.1 Prohibition cut an indelible swath across American wine history, re- turning a thriving wine industry to its infancy. A handful of wineries survived, ones that availed themselves of Prohibition’s three legislative loopholes for wine production or consumption: use for medicinal pur- poses, with a physician’s prescription; sacramental or ritual use; or

viaggio d'istruzione negli Stati Uniti d'America, pp. 144-145; Frank Schoonmaker and T o m Marvel , American Wines, pp. 61-62; George Husmann, Grape Culture and Wine Making in California, p. 15. 7 T h e exact date of the introduction of the vine into California is still a matter of dispute. Although there is no conclusive evidence to determine the exact date, the various sources agree that it was between 1769 and 1771. Hubert H. Bancroft believes vineyards were planted in the first permanent Spanish settlements between 1769 and 1773. 8 George A. Pettit, " T h e

spots in the South, and the northwestern corner were still where grapes were grown and where what might em- phatically be called American wines were made. For all of the wine made outside Cali- fornia came from pure native varieties (the muscadines in the South, the Concord in the rest of the country) or from the so-called native hybrids, containing more or less vinifera admixture in their blood. More precisely, the wines sold as eastern wines could and did contain up to 25 percent of California wine, and the rest came from native varieties.3 There were thus two

at Napa's dominance in the pub- 2 James T. Lapsley lie's mind, but the reality of American wine drinkers' equation of Napa with wine quality is a cold marketing fact of life for all California pro- ducers. The primacy of the Napa address in the minds of wine consum- ers is evidenced in two representative statistics. First, just under one quarter of all of California's more than eight hundred wineries are lo- cated in Napa County, creating a concentration of wineries per square mile unrivaled anywhere else in the nation. Second, reflecting the mar- keting cachet

.” Wine Spectator, June 15. LeMay, Marc-Henry. 1995. Bordeaux et ses vins: Classés par ordre de mérite dans chaque commune. Bordeaux: Éditions Feret. Bibliography 169 Letablier, M.T., and C. Delfosse. 1995. “Genèse d’une convention de qualité: Cas des appellations d’origine fromagères.” In La grande transformation de l’agriculture, ed. G. Allaire and R. Boyer. Paris: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. Loubère, Leo. The Red and the White. Albany: State University of New York, 1978. Lukacs, Paul. 2000. Vintage: The Rise of American Wine. New York: Houghton

foxiness refers to. Furthermore, that aroma is preponderantly defined as "musky," that is, "having a musky taste or smell, like a fox-grape" (Funk and Wagnalls, Standard Dictionary of the English Language, 1895); "the musk-like flavor of the wild VitisLabrusca" (Bailey, Evolution of Our Native Fruits^ "the strong, musky, odor and flavor is peculiar to this species" (Munson, Foundations of American Grape Culture, 1909); "the musky wine the native grapes yielded" (Peter Quimme, Signet Book of American Wine [New York, 1975]). Like most of our descriptive terms for tastes


boom, in the 1880s? Who were the heroes in this story in the 1850s and 1860s? The fourth mystery is really an unanswered question. What is the history of the Zinfandel between the 1880s and 1960s? This history has never been written. In attempting to answer that question, I’ll explain why I call it the “stealth grape” in the years before Prohibition, and I’ll show how Prohibition made the name “Zinfandel” a part of the American wine vocabulary in a way that it had never been before. I’ll also explain how Zinfandel meant two very different things to consumers in the

dining room. Only a waiter could do that. At that time, everybody started with a cocktail for the first course and then drank mugs of coffee with the rest of the dinner. (There was even a judging of which coffee went best with which pork chop!) Because of the Balkanized state of American wine laws and because of the reigning social mores, my first twenty years in the United States were pretty much wine-less. When we moved to the Napa Valley, in 1960,1 again had to wonder and laugh. The little town of Yountville had an old Veterans' Home on its out- skirts, housing over


Castellina in Chianti in 2003. As we traveled Chianti’s rural roads, we discovered a shared love of this land—its PREFACE x iv • P R E F A C E countryside and its culture. From that year on, we returned every September in time for the vendemmia (harvest). Bill gave a winemaking course to a small group of American wine students, and Fran introduced the budding winemakers to the culture and history of Tuscany. Then we began our Sicilian journey in 2008. In telling the story of Sicily, we came to understand yet another truth it shares with Chianti. Like Sicily