Thursday, May 31, 2012

The History of Virginia and Maryland Wines - from Jefferson and Adlum

I've always been fascinated by history, and the textbook-like A History of Wine in America, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to Prohibition was one of the first books I read when researching early wine making.  This volume allocates several chapters to discussing the role of vineyards and wine making in colonial America and gives the reader a basic introduction to early Mid-Atlantic wine making. My summer reading list has now been augmented by two books that expands this introduction for both Virginia and Maryland respectively:  Beyond Jefferson's Vines: The Evolution of Quality Wine in Virginia and Maryland Wine: A Full-Bodied History

Richard Leahy, a former East Coast Editor for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, has been covering the Virginia wine industry for the past 25 years so is well suited to describe the transition of the Commonwealth's wine industry from a few pioneers to today's vinifera revolution. Best of all, Leahy covers all geographic regions in Virginia, so don't expect just a Monticello-centric dissertation. This summer the author will be conducting book signings at various wineries and festivals starting this weekend at the Vintage Virginia festival. You can also find him at DuCard Vineyards - Father’s Day Celebration June 16, 2012, 12pm to 5pm;  Paradise Springs Winery  - June 22, 2012, 3pm to 5pm; Potomac Point Winery -  July 19, 2012, 6pm to 9pm for Wine Club Members only; Williamsburg Winery  -July 22nd, 2012, 12pm to 4pm; The Winery at Bull Run - August 25th, 2012, 12pm to 4:30 pm; and the Reston Grape Grape Festival - September 8th & 9th 2012 (all day).

Regina McCarthy is currently the marketing coordinator for the Maryland Wineries Association and researched the evolution of the Maryland wine industry from the first plantings in 1648 to the 50 or so wineries today. Everyone should be particularly interested in the role of Philip Wagner, founder of Boordy Vineyards, in igniting the post-Prohibition wine industry in the Mid-Atlantic through the adoption of hybrid grapes. Regina might have a few book signings planned during Maryland Wine Week but you can catch her this weekend at the Hunt Valley Great Grapes. On June 9th 2012 she will also be signing books at Nicks of Calvert from 1–4 p.m.; then June 23: Barnes & Noble, Bel Air from 2–4 p.m.; and finally, June 23: Barnes & Noble, Power Plant, Baltimore from 5–7 p.m.

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