Wines of Eastern North America: From Prohibition to the Present-A History and Desk Reference

Overview

In 1975 there were 125 wineries in eastern North America. By 2013 there were more than 2,400. How and why the eastern United States and Canada became a major wine region of the world is the subject of this history. Unlike winemakers in California with its Mediterranean climate, the pioneers who founded the industry after Prohibition—1933 in the United States and 1927 in Ontario—had to overcome natural obstacles such as subzero cold in winter and high humidity in the summer that favored diseases devastating to ...

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Wines of Eastern North America: From Prohibition to the Present - A History and Desk Reference

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Overview

In 1975 there were 125 wineries in eastern North America. By 2013 there were more than 2,400. How and why the eastern United States and Canada became a major wine region of the world is the subject of this history. Unlike winemakers in California with its Mediterranean climate, the pioneers who founded the industry after Prohibition—1933 in the United States and 1927 in Ontario—had to overcome natural obstacles such as subzero cold in winter and high humidity in the summer that favored diseases devastating to grapevines. Enologists and viticulturists at Eastern research stations began to find grapevine varieties that could survive in the East and make world-class wines. These pioneers were followed by an increasing number of dedicated growers and winemakers who fought in each of their states to get laws dating back to Prohibition changed so that an industry could begin.

Hudson Cattell, a leading authority on the wines of the East, in this book presents a comprehensive history of the growth of the industry from Prohibition to today. He draws on extensive archival research and his more than thirty-five years as a wine journalist specializing in the grape and wine industry of the wines of eastern North America. The second section of the book adds detail to the history in the form of multiple appendixes that can be referred to time and again. Included here is information on the origin of grapes used for wine in the East, the crosses used in developing the French hybrids and other varieties, how the grapes were named, and the types of wines made in the East and when. Cattell also provides a state-by-state history of the earliest wineries that led the way.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Eastern American wine expert Cattell has gathered history, horticulture, wine evaluation, and more into an easily navigated reference. The first half of the book traces the history of winemaking in Eastern North America, from the settling of the first Europeans in the 16th century to the present. Cattell writes of successes and failures in importing old-world grape varieties, developing hybrids with wild and well-known grape varietals, and growing the commercial wine industry. Generous use of photos and maps illustrate the spread of the field from New York to the continental divide. The second part includes seven appendixes, copious notes, a bibliography, and an index. The appendixes cover the origins of Eastern wine grapes, descriptions of Eastern wine types, and early wine history, among other topics."—Library Journal

"Hudson Cattell is the only person who could have written this book, for it rests on an intimate and detailed knowledge of the eastern American wine industry that he alone can have acquired. One may say, in fact, that he has been writing the book for the last thirty-eight years. . . . Cattell was in touch with everything that was going on in those expansive years from the 1970s; he knew everyone worth knowing and inteviewed most of them; he visited the whole territory and wrote about what he found there, obscure enterprises as well as the bigger and more splendid ones. . . . If you wanted to know what had been done and was doing on the eastern wine scene, you asked Hudson Cattell first. And now he has published a book that tells us, not everything he knows, but far more than anyone else has, so far, provided us. We should thank Hudson Cattell for what he has given us, a book that anyone with an interest in American wine should have."—Thomas Pinney, Wayward Tendrils Quarterly

"In Eastern North America, the biodiversity of ecosystems and the exponential growth of new generation vineyards and wineries makes this broad region unique in the world of wine. One can go on the Internet and search for wines made in any eastern American state or Canadian province. What you will not find in cyberspace, however, is the backstory of the incredibly difficult challenges—social, political, scientific, and environmental—faced by individuals who wanted to advance the business of growing table wine here. Hudson Cattell's book offers deep historical perspective and agricultural detail regarding the ongoing challenges facing eastern grape growers, wine makers, and wine sellers."—Lucie Morton, internationally known viticulturist, ampelographer, and author of Winegrowing in Eastern America: An Illustrated Guide to Viticulture East of the Rockies

"During the last several decades, wineries in the eastern region of the United States have become an increasingly important part of the American wine industry as quality has increased and cost has declined making them economically viable producers. Hudson Cattell tells the fascinating story of the development of the eastern segment of the American wine industry from repeal of Prohibition to the present, providing a captivating historical account of the economic, political, social, and environmental forces, as well as the people, that shaped it. This definitive volume on the history of North American wine is a must-read for anyone interested in the American wine industry. The detailed appendixes and extensive bibliography make it an invaluable reference book in the personal libraries of wine enthusiasts."—James A. Thornton, Eastern Michigan University, author of American Wine Economics

From the Publisher
"In Eastern North America, the biodiversity of ecosystems and the exponential growth of new generation vineyards and wineries makes this broad region unique in the world of wine. One can go on the Internet and search for wines made in any eastern American state or Canadian province. What you will not find in cyberspace, however, is the backstory of the incredibly difficult challenges—social, political, scientific, and environmental—faced by individuals who wanted to advance the business of growing table wine here. Hudson Cattell's book offers deep historical perspective and agricultural detail regarding the ongoing challenges facing eastern grape growers, wine makers, and wine sellers."—Lucie Morton, internationally known viticulturist, ampelographer, and author of Winegrowing in Eastern America: An Illustrated Guide to Viticulture East of the Rockies
Library Journal
01/01/2014
Eastern American wine expert Cattell (Wine East magazine; coauthor, Pennsylvania Wine: A History) has gathered history, horticulture, wine evaluation, and more into an easily navigated reference. The first half of the book traces the history of winemaking in Eastern North America, from the settling of the first Europeans in the 16th century to the present. Cattell writes of successes and failures in importing old-world grape varieties, developing hybrids with wild and well-known grape varietals, and growing the commercial wine industry. Generous use of photos and maps illustrate the spread of the field from New York to the continental divide. The second part includes seven appendixes, copious notes, a bibliography, and an index (not seen). The appendixes cover the origins of Eastern wine grapes, descriptions of Eastern wine types, and early wine history, among other topics. However, the appendix that contains the American viticultural areas of the East would be more useful if it also listed the predominant varietals grown in the areas. VERDICT This excellent reference will be especially in demand east of the continental divide.—Ann Weber, Bellarmine Coll. Prep., San Jose, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801451980
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 391
  • Sales rank: 781,528
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Hudson Cattell cofounded and edited Wine East magazine for more than twenty-five years and continues to contribute a "Wine East" section to Wines & Vines. He is a partner of L & H Photojournalism in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on Eastern grapes and wines. His most recent book, written with Linda Jones McKee, is Pennsylvania Wine: A History.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Prohibition and Its Aftermath

2. Philip Wagner and the Arrival of the French Hybrids

3. Dr. Konstantin Frank and Pro-Vinifera Crusade

4. Vineyards and Wineries before Farm Winery Legislation

5. Farm Winery Laws and Their Effects

6. The Industry Develops in the 1970s

7. Building the Infrastructure in the 1970s

8. Winery Events and Marketing in the 1970s

9. Growing Pains in the 1980s

10. Wine Promotion in the 1980s

11. Temperance, Neo-Prohibition, and the French Paradox

12. Consolidation in the 1990s

13. The New Century

Appendixes

A: The Origins of Eastern Wine Grapes
B: How the French Hybrids Were Named
C: Five Historic Grapevine Acquisitions during the 1930s and 1940s
D: Eastern Wine Types
E: Early Wine History, State by State F: The First American Wine Course
G: American Viticultural Areas in the East

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