Enologists.” Wines and Vines 40 (August 1959): 31–32.
———. “The Response of Wine to Aging, Part IV: The Influence of Variety.” Wines and
Vines 31 (May 1950): 28–31.
———. “Some Comments on WineinAmerica.” Wine and Food 36 (Winter 1942):
———. “Some Facts and Fancies about Winemaking and Wines.” Report to the Wine
Institute Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, 13 May 1955. Copy in the Roy Brady
papers, University of California, Davis, Shields Library.
———. “Wine Production Problems of California Grapes, Part I.” Wine Review 17 (January
Vineyards. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1869.
. "WineinAmerica." Harper's Magazine 41 (June 1870): 106-14.
Fletcher, S. W. "A History of Fruit Growing in Virginia." In Proceedings of the 33 th Annual Meeting of
the Virginia Horticultural Society. Staunton, Va., 1932.
Flint, Timothy. Recollections of the Last Ten Years. Boston: Cummings, Hilliard, 1826.
Fontaine, John. The Journal of John Fontaine. Ed. Edward Porter Alexander. Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial
Williamsburg Foundation, 1972.
Force, Peter, ed. Tracts Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress
as the fastest-
growing varietal wineinAmerican markets
between 2006 and 2011, with increased sales at
all price points. Wine imports to the States
from Germany also nearly tripled between
1999 and 2007, rising from 1.2 to 3.2 million
cases, of which Riesling was a substantial
share. As early as 1990, Washington surpassed
California as the area of greatest Riesling pro-
duction in the States, and it is now home to the
world’s largest Riesling producer, the formida-
ble Chateau Ste. Michelle.
The suitability of certain varieties to certain
The fact that one might get spoiled wine if one ordered it in restaurants partly ac-
counts for the neglect of wineinAmerican life. But only partly: the main reason would
seem to be that many—perhaps most—Americans had very little familiarity with any
wine at all, and practically none with American wine. Mrak’s report about the indiffer-
ence to wine even among such well-fed and well-traveled professionals as one would see
at a gathering of American doctors is confirmed by other contemporary evidence. A
glance at the catalogs of wine merchants and
Champagne Trade in England
History of the Wine Trade in England
History of WineinAmerica (Pinney), 232,
Hitchcock, Alfred, 65
Hofherr, Jim and Pat, 239
Hôtel Beau Rivage, 28
Hotel Madrid, 77
Hotel Schwan, 110
Hotel St. Bernard, 258
Howell Mountain, 167, 213, 214
Hugot, Hubert, 69
Hundred Glories of French Cooking
( Courtine), 11
Husmann, George, 165, 231, 237, 244
Husmann, Johann, 234
ice wine, 161 – 162
In Search of Wine (Berry), 204
India Joze, 157, 163
Inglenook, 129, 130, 139
from Haraszthy to the Beginnings of
Prohibition,” in The Book of California Wine, ed. Davis Muscatine, Maynard
Amerine, and Bob Thompson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984).
11 Thomas Pinney, A History of WineinAmerica: From Prohibition to the Present
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), p. 2.
12 “Prohibition,” in The Oxford Companion to Wine, p. 552.
13 Cyril Penn, “What Is Quality?” Wine Business Monthly 8 (May 2001): 11.
14 Ibid., p. 12.
15 Ibid., p. 13.
18 Ibid., p. 13.
19 Kermit Lynch, Adventures on the Wine Route: A
the Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits not far behind in interest and
In September 2003 Wine Spectator columnist Matt Kramer, author of several infl uen-
tial books on wine, wrote a column called “The Next Really Big Red,” in which he made
a bold prediction: “The most exciting wineinAmerica today,” he claimed, “is Syrah. I’d
love to say that it’s Pinot Noir, but I cannot tell a lie. It’s Syrah that’s slated for stardom.”4
236 • I R R A T I O N A L E X U B E R A N C E
It was, he said, more than just a question of its being popular. “Really Big
sible that some of California’s early Rhône variety producers may have drawn from
Grenache inspired by the passions of Walter Clore.
Concurrent with these eff orts, Washington’s potential for grape growing was being
assessed, starting in the mid-1960s when Leon Adams, a wine journalist from the Bay
Area, came to Washington to evaluate the region. Adams was researching his seminal
publication WinesinAmerica, its inaugural edition published in 1973, the most compre-
hensive look at American winemaking since Prohibition. A small number of local wines
that the 2003 diplomatic stand-off cost the
French wine industry $124 million.11
With high taxes and labor pushing up costs, bankers or management
consultants might advise France to take the high road and leave the pro-
duction of bulk wine to low-cost producers in Chile, Argentina, Aus-
tralia, and South Africa. The whirling vortex of cute and clear English-
language labels and large marketing budgets has largely passed over
France. French wineinAmerica has often been marketed—if at all—on
the strength of its tradition and prestige. That strategy works at the
though he remains unknown.1
But who first put California wine on the map? And did so in a lasting way?
To those who have studied the question, the answer seems to be a German
immigrant named Charles Kohler, whose life story is characterized by many
of the elements that mark the history of wineinAmerica. In the first place,
he was a German, and Germans have had more to do with bringing about
the culture of wine in this country than any other nationality. In the second
place, he did not come from a wine-growing region; neither did the Germans
who founded wine