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the distribution of wine in America produced loud howls of protest from his competitors. The Federal Trade Commission looked into the charges and found, in a decision not issued until 1976, that Gallo was indeed guilty of what it called “exclusionary marketing policies,” or in plain words, of squeezing out the competition by whatever means offered. The standard method was simply to get a financial hold on the distributor and then tell him what to do: hire Gallo men as salesmen and sell nothing but Gallo wine.38 If he failed to obey, he would lose the Gallo

the Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits not far behind in interest and infl uence.3 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 wine in America 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

plau- 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 Wines in America, its inaugural edition published in 1973, the most compre- hensive look at American winemaking since Prohibition. A small number of local wines were

, sometimes contradictory arrangement that passed through several distinct phases and that affected the country in different ways at different times. Since the his- tory of wine in America is bound up with the fortunes of Prohibition, the changing de- velopments in the drama that took place between the passage of the Eighteenth Amend- ment, which established it, and the Twenty-first, which repealed it, should be briefly sketched. THE PHASES OF PROHIBITION At first, Prohibition seemed to work, especially if one took a restricted view of its aims. If, as has been plausibly

are what you will get. Ca- bernet and Chardonnay have so dominated the idea of premium wine in America that they inevitably inspired a reaction: ABC—“anything but Cabernet” or “anything but Chardonnay”—became a slogan for the rebellious. So far, the main alternative has been Merlot, a grape that has had a simply meteoric rise in favor during the past decade. In 1990 there were 7,500 acres of Merlot in California; in 2003 there were 52,000 acres. The Merlot boom has by no means put an end to the search for different and inter- esting grapes in California. Some

Agriculture and Food Systems, edited by Neal K. Van Alfen. San Diego: Elsevier. Pierce, N. B. 1892. The California Vine Disease: A Preliminary Report of Inves- tigations. Washington, DC: Government Printing Offi ce. Pinker, S. 1997. How the Mind Works. New York: W. W. Norton. Pinney, T. 1989. A History of Wine in America: From the Beginnings to Prohi- bition. Berkeley: University of California Press. . 2005. A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pitte, J. R., and B. DeBevoise. 2008. Bordeaux/Burgundy: A

high a latitude. Though it is powerfully 1 3 FROM THE DISCOVERY TO THE REVOLUTION A modern rendering of the joyous moment at which Tyrker the German found grapes grow- ing in Vinland. The episode begins the history of wine in America; the questions surrounding it will probably never be satisfactorily answered. (Drawing by Frederick Trench Chapman in Einer Haugen, Voyages to Vinland [1942]) tempting to believe that the Vikings really did discover grapes in their Vinland, the evidence is all against them unless we suppose that the climate of the region was

., 6 (1858)^275. 34. Charles Mackay, Illustrated London News, 20 March 1858, p. 297. Catawba has had a singular success among the poets. In addition to the effusions of Longfellow and Mackay, another, by one William Fosdick, appeared in the Cincinnati Daily Commercial of n December 1855: the poet apos- trophizes the grape as, among other things, "the rarest of all vines the fair Catawba." 35. Isabella Trotter, First Impressions of the New World on Two Travellers from the Old (London, 1859), p. 207. 36. W. J. Flagg, "Wine in America, and American Wine," Harper

: Basic Books, 2001); and Susan Strasser, Charles McGovern, and Matthias Judt, eds., Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 8. Th omas Pinney, A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 224–52; James T. Lapsley, Bottled Poetry: Napa Winemaking fr om Prohibition to the Modern Era (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 181–209. For the general expansion of viticulture and winemaking across the

the moment, in the present chapter I have a different agenda. Here I will labor to persuade every reader of the debt of honor we owe to wine- making’s ill-advised, unhinged losers. Much of the charm in a career making wine in America is the imper- ative for pioneering. This is in contrast to European oenologues, who enter an industry hidebound in tradition, with winemaking procedures, styles, and markets thoroughly entrenched for centuries. Their science, though certainly scholarly, possesses a self-congratulatory tone, as if to answer the question, “How can