Home > History of Wine > “…has produced two bunches of grapes; a fact which would not be believed…” September 09, 1775

“…has produced two bunches of grapes; a fact which would not be believed…” September 09, 1775


Colonel Robert Bolling, Jr passed away in July 1775.  Two months later an unsigned article appeared in the Virginia Gazette describing the successful growth of Colonel Bolling’s slips.  It also mentioned finding promising wild grapes, which would have certainly pleased Andrew Estave.  The vineyard in Albermarle was not properly tended to thus ending the dispute between Colonel Robert Bolling Jr. and Andrew Estave.

From the Virginia Gazette, Dixon and Hunter, September 09, 1775, Page 2 (history.org)

Circumstances of intelligence, proving the excellence of the soil and climate of Virginia, which, to the astonishment of those who came from the best parts of Europe, have been, by many, thought to be bad.

 Of 184 plants of oranges, citrons, lemons, &c. put into boxes in Italy, in the month of October, landed in Virginia in June last (when of course they would have but small remains of life) and set in the earth in Albermarle about the latter end of the same month, there are now an hundred and thirty odd which have put out new and luxuriant shoots.  Two thirds of the vines which were planted under the same disadvantages have likewise put out new shoots.  The olive plants are all living.

The vines planted by Mr. Bolling in the county of Buckingham, although managed according to the directions of the French writes of the 48th and 49th degrees of latitude, are in a condition to yield wine the ensuring year, if well attended to.  The slips planted by that Gentleman the last year, after the method of the vignerons of Europe inhabiting a climate similar to our own, have now the appearance of vines 3 to 4 years old.  A slip planted by him in the spring of the present year has produced two bunches of grapes; a fact which would not be believed in the wine countries of the old world.

Two kinds of wild grapes have been discovered, of the most promising quality for making good wine when they shall be improved by cultivation, and doubtless more may be discovered.

The olive trees planted in Albermarle, under the Blue Ridge of mountains, about two months before the remarkable fruit of the

From the Virginia Gazette, Dixon and Hunter, September 09, 1775, Page 3 (history.org)

5th of May 1774, are now in a more thriving condition than it is thought they would have been under the like circumstance in any of the old countries of Europe.

This country is certainly calculated to produce, in perfection, every thing of the growth of the temperate zones; and may, by industry, be rendered abundant, happy, and rich, if it’s inhabitants can be persuaded to bet the better of their diffidence of it’s climate as to things which it will most readily yield.

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