the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana—are a special case
in the grape-growing world. This is the home of Pierce’s disease, a mortal enemy to most
grapes; it flourishes especially in the warm lowlands, so grapegrowing—with one
exception—is largely barred in those regions. The exception is Vitis rotundifolia, which
appears to have reached an accommodation with Pierce’s disease in some long-ago botan-
ical age.19 Florida is, in effect, all low-lying, warm, humid land; so is much of Louisiana.
In both states viticulture is practically
This history is a first attempt to tell the story of grapegrowing and winemaking in
the United States from the beginning and in detail. Now that winegrowing in the
United States has succeeded so brilliantly after long years of frustration, and now
that it is beginning once again to spread to nearly every state in the union, it seems
to me particularly fitting that the many obscure and forgotten people and their
work lying behind that success should be brought out into the light. It is also in-
structive to see how many names celebrated in other
Parker’s influence is so great that many wineries have styled their
wines into what he calls “hedonistic fruit bombs” simply to please his
palate. Why does one man’s palate decide the winners and losers in the
world of wine? Why are consumers at risk of confronting a sea of
undifferentiated wine? In a word, politics.
Critics and commentators widely acknowledge the importance of the
growing area and winemaking style in creating what ends up in the
bottle. But, more than wine consumers realize, politics matters, too.
Politics determines not only which grapesgrow where
. Though there were undoubtedly
many vineyards on the islands, the islanders’
incomes were mostly derived from the raisining
of grapes, not from turning them into wine.
Unlike today, when the bulk of Lipari wine
grapesgrows on the island of Salina (historically
always the greenest of the Aeolian isles), with
very small pockets on a few others (Vulcano,
Stromboli, Panarea, and Lipari), other islands
had a florid viticulture at the end of the seven-
teenth century (Campis 1980). At that time,
Lipari, Salina, Panarea, and surprisingly, Filicudi
grape and wine were already typical of this cor-
ner of northern Lombardy in ancient Roman
times: we have no way of knowing if the two
really are that old, though Don Celso Lotteri,
the parson of the town of Villa, wrote that in the
first century b.c. the Roman founders of the
towns of Villa, Scanzo, and Rosciate believed
their local red grapes special and began produc-
tion of a Moscato wine that quickly became one
of the most expensive of those times (Lotteri
1852). A 1340 document attests to the grapegrowing locally, so it has been hanging
years ago, to the Lower
Eocene, or roughly 55 million to 48 million
years ago), and Euganean marls (which have a
high clay content and were deposited in the
Lower Eocene and Oligocene, or 33.9 million to
28.4 million years ago). In terms most relevant
to grapegrowing and winemaking, it is impor-
tant to remember that the Colli Euganei
denomination is characterized by essentially
two major soil types: volcanic and calcareous
marl (with a small section where alluvial soils
dominate). Moscato Giallo has long called the
Colli Euganei home (Zamorani et al. 1987
show. And though
Refosco Nostrano’s larger grapes ensure a higher
pulp-to-skin ratio, the tannins are not exactly
wimpy—a sensation that is reinforced by note-
worthy acidity. (Refosco Nostrano wines tend to
be slightly higher in acidity than those made
with other Refoscos.)
248 the grape varieties and their specific terroirs
ments where grapegrowing has always been
looked at mostly as a hobby or as a way to make
wine for family and friends. This may yet prove
to be a very good terroir for white grapes, the
caveat being that historically Faedis’s upper
; John F. Von
Daacke, "'Sparkling Catawba': GrapeGrowing and Wine Making in Cincinnati, 1800-1870" (M.A.
thesis, University of Cincinnati, 1964), p. 7.
77. Niles3 Weekly Register 4 (24 July 1813): 344.
78. William Cobbett, in Lindley, ed., Indiana as Seen by Early Travellers, p. 508: 17 June 1817.
79. Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (Boston, 1826), pp. 59-60.
80. Lindley, ed., Indiana as Seen by Early Travellers, p. 522.
81. Dufour, Vine-Dresser's Guide, p. 33.
82. Ferret Dufour, Swiss Settlement, p. 25.
83. Dufour, Vine-Dresser's Guide, p. u.
of California Press, 2008.
Hargrave, Louisa Thomas. The Vineyard: The Pleasures and Perils of Creating an
American Family Winery. New York: Viking, 2003.
Hart, James D. A Companion to California. New ed. Berkeley: University of Cali-
fornia Press, 1987.
Hawkes, Ellen. Blood and Wine: The Unauthorized Story of the Gallo Wine Empire.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.
Heintz, William. California’s Napa Valley. San Francisco: Scottwall Associates,
Husmann, George. American GrapeGrowing and Wine Making. New York: Orange
———. The Cultivation of
we refer to today as criollas. They depended, however,
on local technology: it was the irrigation engineering of the Inca emperor Pachacutec,
the builder of Machu Picchu, that enabled the first vineyards to be planted south of
Lima in 1548. As the conquistadores ventured farther south and east, grapegrowing
and winemaking spread into Chile and northern Argentina.
Pedro de Valdivia, one of Pizarro’s most trusted officers, settled Santiago (in 1541), La
Serena (1544), and Concepción (1550). As he moved south, he was met with brave resis-
tance by the native