A History of Wine in America from the Beginnings to Prohibition: From the Beginnings to Prohibition

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University of California Press, Jan 1, 1989 - Cooking - 553 pages
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The Vikings called North America "Vinland," the land of wine. Giovanni de Verrazzano, the Italian explorer who first described the grapes of the New World, was sure that "they would yield excellent wines." And when the English settlers found grapes growing so thickly that they covered the ground down to the very seashore, they concluded that "in all the world the like abundance is not to be found." Thus, from the very beginning the promise of America was, in part, the alluring promise of wine. How that promise was repeatedly baffled, how its realization was gradually begun, and how at last it has been triumphantly fulfilled is the story told in this book.
It is a story that touches on nearly every section of the United States and includes the whole range of American society from the founders to the latest immigrants. Germans in Pennsylvania, Swiss in Georgia, Minorcans in Florida, Italians in Arkansas, French in Kansas, Chinese in California--all contributed to the domestication of Bacchus in the New World. So too did innumerable individuals, institutions, and organizations. Prominent politicians, obscure farmers, eager amateurs, sober scientists: these and all the other kinds and conditions of American men and women figure in the story. The history of wine in America is, in many ways, the history of American origins and of American enterprise in microcosm.
While much of that history has been lost to sight, especially after Prohibition, the recovery of the record has been the goal of many investigators over the years, and the results are here brought together for the first time. The Vikings called North America "Vinland," the land of wine. Giovanni de Verrazzano, the Italian explorer who first described the grapes of the New World, was sure that "they would yield excellent wines." And when the English settlers found grapes growing so thickly that they covered the ground down to the very seashore, they concluded that "in all the world the like abundance is not to be found." Thus, from the very beginning the promise of America was, in part, the alluring promise of wine. How that promise was repeatedly baffled, how its realization was gradually begun, and how at last it has been triumphantly fulfilled is the story told in this book.
It is a story that touches on nearly every section of the United States and includes the whole range of American society from the founders to the latest immigrants. Germans in Pennsylvania, Swiss in Georgia, Minorcans in Florida, Italians in Arkansas, French in Kansas, Chinese in California--all contributed to the domestication of Bacchus in the New World. So too did innumerable individuals, institutions, and organizations. Prominent politicians, obscure farmers, eager amateurs, sober scientists: these and all the other kinds and conditions of American men and women figure in the story. The history of wine in America is, in many ways, the history of American origins and of American enterprise in microcosm.
While much of that history has been lost to sight, especially after Prohibition, the recovery of the record has been the goal of many investigators over the years, and the results are here brought together for the first time.
 

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This book came up in search results displaying an outrageous lie: page 326, third paragraph
"Just south of Los Angeles, Remi Nadeau, once mayor of Los Angeles, developed a mammoth vineyard of over
2000 acres beginning in the early 1880s; poor Nadeau committed suicide in 1887..."
DAMIEN MARCHESSAULT is the one idiot L.A mayor who shot himself.
Rémi Nadeau owned the vineyard described above, and absolutely cannot be described as
"poor Nadeau".Quote Los Angeles Times, 1887:
" A PROMINENT AND OLD-TIME CITIZEN PASSES AWAY,
a man whose own energy lifted him from miller to millionaire -
owner of the largest vineyard in the world.
Remi Nadeau, one of the oldest, wealthiest and best-known citizens of Los Angeles county,
died at his residence, corner of Fifth and Olive streets, between 4 and 5 o'clock yesterday morning.
He had been suffering from liver, kidney and heart troubles for three months..."
THE NADEAU HOTEL, never heard of it? Most modern building of its time, elevators and all,
which was later demolished and sold to the Times to build their new headquarters - the current ones.
Non mais, quel manque de respect (how disrespectful can one get?)
How many more "facts" in this book are just plain rubbish?
 

Contents

THE GEORGIA EXPERIMENT
40
VIRGINIA AND THE SOUTH IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
55
OTHER COLONIES AND COMMUNITIES BEFORE THE REVOLUTION
83
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDUSTRY
105
THE EARLY REPUBLIC CONTINUED I 30
130
THE SPREAD OF COMMERCIAL WINEGROWING I 56
156
EASTERN VITICULTURE COMES OF AGE
203
THE DEVELOPMENT OF CALIFORNIA
231
12
310
13
341
THE INDUSTRY ACROSS THE NATION
371
15
404
16
425
Fox Grapes and Foxiness
443
Works Cited
505
Index
525

THE HARASZTHY LEGEND
269
THE FATE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
285

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About the author (1989)

Thomas Pinney is William M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of the Department of English at Pomona College. He has published scholarly work on George Eliot, Lord Macaulay, and Rudyard Kipling. A History of Wine in America is the outcome of his long-standing interest in American wines dating back to his graduate school days.

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