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Deal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
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Piott, Steven L. Giving Voters a Voice: Th e
exploded onto the scene by virtue of its clever packaging and astutely made wines, which
seduced sweeter- toothed American consumers with a dollop of residual sugar from a
postfermentation addition of grape juice concentrate, the level of which changes with
vintage but is usually around 8 grams per litre (g/L). Yellowtail quickly leapfrogged other
established Australian brands such as Lindemans and Rosemount, which had been expe-
riencing success in the United States, and is now the best- selling Australian wineinAmerica.
One of the few people willing to speak to
German wines have always been
sweet”; the patience needed to age dry Rieslings
to their peak; the high prices of Charta wines,
owing partially to the strength of the German
mark; and a “f lat market for German premium
winesinAmerica” (H. Goldberg 1993). How-
ever, influential importers (initially the likes of
Schoonmaker and Valckenberg, then Terry
Theise and Rudi Wiest) were slow to adopt
dry wines, finding few exemplars to their taste
until well into the 1990s. The Theise and Wiest
portfolios now show substantial shares of
trocken wines. In 2013, Theise
The best-known American winemaker was probably Paul Garrett, who had a genius
for promotion and who had, before Prohibition, made his Virginia Dare the most popu-
lar wineinAmerica—or so Garrett himself claimed. His headquarters were now in New
York, for he still had winemaking properties in the East, where he lived in baronial splen-
dor in a house on Bluff Point, commanding a prospect of the vineyards of Lake Keuka
in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He remained, however, a part of the Fruit Indus-
tries cooperative that he had organized earlier and so was
were lifted. In short, confidence had returned, at least until the next vintage season came
around. As it happened, 1951 began the cycle anew: a big harvest and a big inventory led
to a new slide in prices.
One need not follow these ups and downs in detail, but it should simply be noted here
that the outlook in 1950—some five years after the end of the war, when the future of
wineinAmerica had been declared to be unboundedly splendid—seemed in truth quite
P O S T W A R D I S A P P O I N T M E N T S • 159
discouraging. It looked, indeed, uncomfortably
Despite what seems to be the free-and-easy tradition of labeling wineinAmerica, nei-
ther the trade nor the regulatory authorities were ever indifferent to the question, though
there was more legislation than enforcement. California, for example, passed the Pure
Wine Law in 1887, providing for the use of a stamp or label to certify that the wine had
met the o‹cial standards. The law was violently opposed, and soon after its passage its
key provision, the requirement for a stamp of purity, was overturned on appeal: a few
wineries continued to use the stamp, but they
goats for the colonies’ failure.
In France, the colonists’ failure to make wineinAmerica is often
ascribed to a lack of tradition. Although it is true that the English
lacked experience in viticulture, biology and entomology were proba-
bly more to blame. The imported grapes succumbed to local pests, and
the abundant local grapes made undrinkable wine.
Vitis vinifera has been the vine for European wine grapes since
before Roman times. This plant provided the leaves that Dionysus
twined in his hair and the seeds that have been found in Egyptian
tombs. The thin
from Bordeaux to Berlin than from Napa
to New Jersey. Consumers, too, have to negotiate local and state laws
that can ban the sale of alcohol outright or restrict sale not only by the
age of the purchaser but also by time, day of the week, and location.
Although some of these barriers are being pruned like a vine after har-
vest—or, in some cases, uprooted altogether—their roots are deep, and
change has been only recent.
Baptists and Bootleggers
The Strange Bedfellows of American Wine
PROHIBITION’S VICIOUS HANGOVER
Part of the resistance to winein
” for a mere $500. Armed with a commission from the governor of Califor-
nia and its legislature, Haraszthy toured Europe’s wine regions, including “Dijon,
Gevrey, Chambertin, and Clos Vougeot,” returning in 1862 with cuttings from some
unknown number of “varieties.” In A History of WineinAmerica, Thomas Pinney
observes that Haraszthy first claimed to have imported 1,400 varieties, then reduced
his claim to 300, and finally published a catalog oªering 492 varieties for sale—
including pinot noir. But Haraszthy’s venture was surrounded by a jumble of confu-
can seem like an outlier. It’s possible
to ripen or burn the exotic elements out of the wine, but such practices may be some sort
of Faustian bargain: without that exotic element, Syrah would seem to be missing its soul.
Along with Pinot Noir, Syrah is arguably the most soulful red wineinAmerican soil.
Syrah frequently has impressive fruit, but to judge Syrah on fruit alone is to sell its
merits short. It is the variety’s most consistent feature: a dark, plummy, deep core of
blue-black fruits, currant, cassis, blueberry, mulberry, plum, or the darkest of