Archive for September, 2013

The 1990 López de Heredia, Viña Gravonia

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Lou opened his bottle of 1990 López de Heredia, Viña Gravonia earlier this year.  I meant to publish my tasting note for some time but could not find my picture of the bottle from that night so for this post I have used my sole bottle.   The wine itself seems shockingly young with good acidity which leaves the impression it is evolving at a glacial pace.  I have no experience with this wine so it is hard to predict its future.  There were some notes of maturity.  If these continue to develop it should give the wine additional complexity and elevate the experience.   If you are fortunate to have this vintage in your cellar, rest assured that there is no rush to drink it.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


1990 R. López de Heredia Vina Tondonia, Viña Gravonia, Rioja –
Imported by Constantine Wines.  This wine is 100% Viura which was aged in barrels for at least two years.  Alcohol 12%.  Tasted over several nights the color was a light golden yellow with a nose of fine wood and berries.  In the mouth the flavors were a little honied with old wood, tart yellow fruit, and delicate berries.  The flavors were more compact with some bottled age notes coming out but the wine itself was young.  The flavors were a little ripe at first with acidity on the sides of the tongue and back of the throat as the tangy finish developed.  ***/***(*) Now-2023.


Four From France

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Of the four wines below you may drink the 2012 Domaine La Ferme Saint-Martin, La gerine while the 2009 Domaine La Casenove, La Garrigue ages.  The later was surprisingly well balanced and remained tight over two nights so definitely leave it alone in the cellar.  The 2009 Domaine du Traginer, Collioure is approachable at this point but I would cellar it to develop complexity.   I gather the 2011 Axel Prufer, Four du roi, Le temps de cerises is a “natural wine”.  The nose is certainly unique and stimulating to smell.  Otherwise it is a grapey wine to drink now.  It was not my preferred style.  The Domaine La Casenove was purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the rest at Chambers Street Wines.


2009 Domaine La Casenove, La Garrigue, Cotes Catalanes – $18
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, and 30% Syrah.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose remained tight with whiffs of herbs and black fruit.  In the mouth were concentrated ripe fruit, a hint of woodbox, and a Bordeaux like nature.  With air there were focused ripe, black fruit, cool acidity before becoming dry and firm in the finish.  There was good clean, balance all around so this wine should develop quite well.  **(*) 2015-2025.


2009 Domaine du Traginer, Collioure – $19
Imported by De Maison Selections.  This wine is a blend of 25% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 25% Carignan.  Alcohol 13.5%,  The wine starts a little soft and encompassing then builds good blue fruit with texture and some tartness.  The tannins were enjoyable and evident in the finish, along with acidity.  This is a young but approachable example of affordable Collioure.  **(*) 2015-2022.


2012 Domaine La Ferme Saint-Martin, La gerine, Ventoux – $13
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  Alcohol 13%.  The flavors were a little tart with red fruit and orange peel that became a little round.  The ripe citric acidity on the tongue mixed with the orange and red flavors.  The wine was on the lighter side but had serious, young fruit.  Despite the fruity  structure this is an early drinking wine.  ** Now-2014.


2011 Axel Prufer, Four du roi, Le temps de cerises – $23
Imported by Fruit of the Vines. This wine is a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 30% Carignan, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon with was produced using carbonic maceration and no sulphur. Alcohol 12%.  The nose bore a mixture of old and vintage perfumes, evocative of a 1980s “country store.”  The wine was prickly at first then settled down, like a grapey natural wine with red fruit.  The flavors were acidity driven with plenty of mid-plate acidity and the tiniest Pilsner hint.  ** Now.


West Coast Wines

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Of some recently tasted wines from the West coast my favorite was the 2010 Stolpman, Syrah Estate.  Being aromatic and flavorful it was a wine I just wanted to drink.   Next I would have to include the 2010 Windsor Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon.  Clearly a wine from California, its approachable style will make it hard to leave in the cellar.  The Stolpman was purchased at Wishing Well Liquors, the Balboa in Seattle, the Montebruno and Matthew Rorick at Chambers Street Wines, and the rest at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Windsor Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley – $26
Alcohol 14.1%.  The light to medium strength nose was of blue and black berries and leather with a sense of California richness.  The fruit followed the nose but had more tart, red fruit.  The flavors were expansive with leather and salivating acidity on the front of the tongue.  It showed some underlying structure with a big personality but not heady.  It retained tart flavors on the tongue tip.  **(*) Now-2020.


2006 Ravenswood, Merlot, Sangiacomo, Sonoma Valley – $22
Alcohol 14.9%.  The nose bore maturing aromas with a very fine scent of woodbox.  The maturing red fruit had some weight, mixing nicely with woodbox flavors, salivating acidity, and some spice.  There was some black fruit with weight at first then the wine became drier with salivating acidity.  There were spicy tannins and black fruit in the finish which was a little rough.  It left wood box and a savory aspect in the aftertaste.  Will last but good now.  ** Now-2017.


2001 Liparita, Merlot, Napa Valley – $15
Alcohol 14.5%.  There was an evergreen nose with underlying mulberry aromas and some tea.  The mouth followed the nose with ripe, expansive, red hard cherry flavors.  Though mature it still developed with a ending with a slightly rough finish with drying tannins.  A second bottle was more advanced with black olive notes.  ** Now


2010 Stolpman, Syrah Estate, Santa Ynez Valley –
This wine is a blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier.  Alcohol 14.1%.  The nose was perfumed with berries and a little vanilla.  The mouth had a lively start with slightly tangy fresh and red red and black fruit.  The acidity came out in the finish.  There were soft, billowy flavors which made the wine approachable.  It left a tangy and tingly aftertaste on the lips and tongue tip.  Nice wine.  ***  Now-2016.


2010 Balboa, Syrah, Walla Walla Valley – $34
This wine is 100% Syrah which was hand harvested, fermented in open top stainless steel tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and 16 months of aging in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 15%.  There was some fragrance to the modern nose.  In the mouth the flavors were firm and modern with a little tart and tang to the black fruit.  It had a powdery nature with acidity on the sides and back of the tongue.  It took on some weight with a subtle toast and smoke in the aftertaste.  With air it developed a good middle with more tangy black and red fruit.  Not my preferred style.  ** 2015-2023.


2010 Montebruno, Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills – $26
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from vines planted in 1998.  The fruit was fermented in open top vats with indigenous yeasts then aged for almost 12 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was lighter as was the nose of light green peppercorns.  In the mouth the flavors were acidity driven with lighter weight red fruit on the tongue tip. The cooler fruit was thinner in flavor but still mouth filling.  There was a pepper bit and a hint of cardboard.  * Now.


2012 Matthew Rorick Wines, Valdiguie – $19
This wine is 100% Napa Gamay Noir sourced from 20 year old vines and aged for four months in very old barrels.  Alcohol 12.2%.  Lighter red flavors mixed with graphite and acidity. * Now-2014.


Mourvedre Based Wines from Domaine de la Marfée

September 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Thierry Hasard moved from accounting to winemaking in 1997.  His estate, Domaine de la Marfée is composed of nine hectares of vines scattered across a dozen plots.  These plots are located within Saint Georges Orcs.  He has farmed biodynamically since 2003, ploughs a little in his vineyard so as to leave the earth alive, and uses just a little sulphur.  Both of the young wines featured in this post contain a significant proportion of Mourvedre and saw similar treatment.  The Mourvedre for the Della Francesca is sourced from two specific parcels which are clearly lovely.  While the 2010 Domaine de la Marfée, Les Gamines will come around, spend the extra money to get the 2010 Domaine de la Marfée, Della Francesca.  Particularly if you are a fan of Mourvedre.  These wines were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.


2010 Domaine de la Marfée, Les Gamines, Languedoc – $17
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.   This wine is a blend of 50% Mourvedre, 40% Syrah, and 10% Grenache from vines on soils of stony, calcareous clay and chert.   It was aged for two years in used barriques.  Alcohol 13.8%.  There was a little toast and dark fruit on the nose.  In the mouth the wine was young and firm with dry flavors of black fruit.  There was structure in the wine with flavors which were leaner but still maintained some robustness.  The wine was almost tart, a little puckering with fine, drying tannins in the finish.  **(*) 2015-2023.


2010 Domaine de la Marfée, Della Francesca, Languedoc – $24
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is 80% Mourvedre and 20% something else,  sourced from two small parcels on soils of stony, calcareous clay.   It was aged for two years in used barriques.  Alcohol 14.2%.  The flavors were pungent with macerated mixed berries, black fruit then stone notes with more berry flavors.  There was a fine, pebbly texture of black fruit and stones with a slight earthiness.  This was a nice young wine and remained approachable throughout the evening until it eventually tightened up.  *** Now-2023.


Three From Domaine Laguerre in Roussillon

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Eric Laguerre took over the family estate Domaine Laguerre in 1999.  He farms 40 hectares of vines on the foothills between the Pyrenees and the Corbieres.  The vines are located on soils of sandy granite at 500 meters.  Natural composts are used in the vineyards instead of chemicals.  Vineyard tasks such as ploughing and pruning are carried out according to the lunar cycle.  The fruit is hand harvested.

The 2011 Laguerre, le passage is a decent wine for drinking right now.  Far more interesting and at the same price, the 2011 Laguerre, Eos really expresses the sandy granite soils.  With its attractive floral fruit you may drink this wine now or over the short-term.  The 2009 Laguerre, Le Ciste is in an awkward, youthful stage.  The fruit is attractive right now but the wine really needs time to resolve and integrate its tannins.  My recommendation is to pick up the Eos and Le Ciste.  These wines were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.


2011 Domaine Laguerre, le passage, Cotes du Roussillon – $14
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 80% Carignan, 10% Grenache, and 10% Syrah which was fermented in then aged in barrels for eight months.  Alcohol 13%.  The grapier nose mixed with some spices.  The flavors were grapier in the mouth with black and purple fruit, watering acidity, and a hint of sweet spice.  This was a touch lighter than the Eos and is best for current drinking.  ** Now-2014.


2011 Domaine Laguerre, Eos, Cotes du Roussillon – $14
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah which was fermented in tank then aged for 18 months in barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  The unusual nose made way to similar flavors in the mouth.  There was a little fat to the rather floral flavors with fine gravelly stones and a structural firmness in the finish.  The aftertaste brought a little citrus and wood.  With extended air the ripe stone note continued along with pleasantly present acidity.  This wine grew on me.  **(*) 2014-2019.


2009 Domaine Laguerre, Le Ciste, Cotes du Roussillon – $16
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan which is fermented in concrete tank then aged 12-15 months in casks and barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was very tight with a little heat.  The flavors became tighter with air leaving cool, dense, black fruit which was a touch spicy.  The drying tannins matched the baking spices and dry flavors.  There really was good fruit, with a touch of glycerine, which could almost envelope the structure but the tannic structure oscillated in nature, separating from the flavors  at times.  Leave it in the cellar.  **(*) 2016-2021.


Very Old Vines and Old Tinajas

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Just a quick, belated post for today.  The wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt continue to define a new style of Chilean wine for me, including the 2010 Luyt, Huasa de Pilen Alto featured below.  To this group I would add the 2012 De Martino, Viejas Tinajas which is minimally produced in rather old earthenware tinajas.  Whereas the Luyt was a little earthy and animale the De Martino was more clean and delicate with its red fruit.  Try them both! These wines were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.


2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Huasa de Pilen Alto, Maule – $23
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Pais sourced from 180 year old vines located on soils of clay and decomposed granite at 580 meters produced using carbonic maceration.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was earthy with a little pepper note.  The mouth follows the noe with tart red fruit that mixes with citrus.  The flavors were dry with acidity on the tongue and a woodsy note in the finish.  With air there was a hint of raciness, a little ethereal flavor, and brighter red fruit.  It was a little animale with grapey tannins and a hint of yeast.  *** Now-2014.


2012 De Martino, Cinsault, Viejas Tinajas, Secano Interior – $24
Imported by Opici Wines.  This wine is 100% Cinsault from old bush vines on granite soils fermented with indigenous yeasts in 100-year old earthen ware amphora.  No pumps are used to remove the wine from the tinajas.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was of red strawberries.  In the mouth the red fruit showed some hard candy and a good, ripe core.  There was watering acidity, inky notes, and a generally cool aspect.  There were moderate and ripe tannins in the structure, some levity, and it eventually developed approachable notes of baking spices.  This was best after one hour of air.  *** Now-2015.Chile3

“Cultivated with so much success”: The Vines and Vineyards of Washington, D.C. 1799-1833

September 20, 2013 1 comment

Early residents of Washington, D.C. could purchase plants and trees from both local and distant nurseries.  For example, those who gave money to Mr. Leflet in 1799 to purchase fruit trees from his proposed nursery near Georgetown, could pick them up from the house of Francis Motter.[1]  As early as February 10, 1802,[2] Theo. Holt advertised as a seedsman and nurseryman with a “Nursery Garden” located near the Eastern Branch[3].  On January 28, 1803, he listed fruit trees, flower shrubs, rakes, imported roots, and other items for sale.  The Strawberry Hill Nursery near New York advertised locally in the Washington Federalist on March 11, 1803, as “containing the most extensive collection of European and American Fruits &c.”[4] Incredibly, they would deliver forest and flower shrubs without expense.  Both local and distant nurseries are of interest because they were a potential source of grapevines for the early gardens, vineries, and vineyards of Washington, D.C.  They also demonstrate the market for grapevines and the varieties which were in favor.  This post is concerned with the period just prior to when Congress held its first session in Washington, D.C. to formation of the Columbian Horticultural Society.

George Town and Federal City, or City of Washington. Atkins & Nightingale. 1801. No. 2002695146. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

George Town and Federal City, or City of Washington. Atkins & NIghtingale. 1801. No. 2002695146. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

John A. Saul described 19th century nurseries of Washington, D.C. in his April 9, 1906, address on Tree Culture, or a Sketch of Nurseries in the District of Columbia.[5]  He found only three nurseries “of any considerable extent” and several others with more limited business.  He considered the major nurserymen to be John Adlum, Joshua Peirce, and his own relative John Saul.  He made note of other nursery references he came across including Adam Linday’s advertisement for grape cuttings on March 20, 1830.  John Saul’s nursery was in business at a later date so he is not featured in this post.  Thomas Pinney focused in on John Adlum in his A History of Wine in America, From the Beginnings to Prohibition so I shall place John Adlum in context but not in much depth.[6]  What follows is a chronology of the newspaper advertisements in Washington, D.C. for the sale of grapevines followed by a chronology of vineyards.


In 1816 Mr. Smith published A Chorographical and Statistical Description of the District of Columbia.[7]  Mr. Smith describes the nursery of Mr. Main as located two miles from Georgetown “on a hill of steep ascent, elevated about a hundred feet above the level of the river.”  Mr. Main was a 60 year old Bachelor from Scotland who learned about gardening on the “banks of the Tweed.”  He rented a 60 acre plot of land for 20 years at 200 Guineas.  At the time of publication “[t]welve of these years have already elapsed.”  He had selected the east side of the hill for the cultivation of the black Hamburg and “white chassela” vines.  His cultivation succeeded for three years but on the fourth year there was an unusually warm November followed by a frost.  This “split the vinestalk one foot upwards from the surface of the ground, and thus destroyed all the hopes of the proprietor.”    Mr. Smith comments Mr. Main did not have enough money to procure additional vines, “except on a small scale, and merely for the purpose of furnishing plants for sale, for which he found there was little demand.”  He then turned his attention to “the indigenous thorn” of which “he sells a great number annually.”  Mr. Smith states that 50,000 year-old thorns were sold to a Virginia planter.

Thomas Main advertised his nursery near the Little Falls of the Potomac River as specializing in thorns for hedges on December 30, 1803.[8]  On September 29, 1810 he described his nursery as near Georgetown and appeared to continue a specialization in thorns[9].  By February 24, 1814, Thomas Main had passed away but the executor of his estate, William Bunyie, advertised the sale of seeds and vegetables at his store.[10]  At the nursery there were “thousand plants of the Pyracantha”, hedge thorns, and a variety of fruit trees amongst other plants.

Between Mr. Smith’s Chorographical and Thomas Main’s advertisements, we may date his vineyard.   According to Mr. Smith’s book published in 1816, the vineyard was located on a hill where there was a nursery of trees.  Twelve years had elapsed since Thomas Main rented the property for his nursery thus suggesting the first year of rental was 1804, at the latest.  However, in December 1803, Thomas Main was only advertising 40,000 “American white Thorns”, which he did not switch to until after the destruction of his vineyard.  Given that the vineyard was destroyed in a November, it would be unlikely that Thomas Main would be able to sell such a quantity of thorns one month later.  Thus the advertisement suggests he first cultivated vines in 1799 through 1802 when they were destroyed.  Thomas Main was certainly in the Georgetown area for he had a letter at the Post Office on April 1, 1800.[11]  While I have yet to uncover direct evidence of the chronology for his vineyard but the circumstantial evidence is suggestive.  I have searched for weather reports but have not yet found any for those specific years.

During the 1820s nurseries in other cities continued to advertise in the newspapers of Washington, D.C.  Benjamin Prince advertised the Old American Nursery at Flushing Landing near New York with grape vines for sale amongst other fruits as early as February, 4 1820.[12]  Bartram’s Botanic Garden and Nursery, located four miles from Philadelphia, ran an advertisement on March 6, 1828.  This nursery had close to 100 different vines “including the finest Wine and Tables Grapes, from France and Germany” of which most “will stand the climate of the middle states and bear well.”  As for quality it was noted, “They are equal to any that can be procured from the Long Island Nursery, and are one-third cheaper.”  Local orders were taken at the book store of Bartow and Brannan at Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street.[13]  Alphonse Loubat established his vineyard at New Utrecht, in what is now the Brooklyn water front, during the 1820s.  On October 9, 1828 he place one of many advertisements listing some 72,000 grapevine roots grown on his 35 acre vineyard.[14]  He even offered subscriptions for importing grapevine roots from France at the Washington, D.C. office of Thomas W. Pairo.    On November 1, 1832 Sinclair & Moore of the Pratt Street wharf in Baltimore listed several one and two year old “Rooted Grape Plants”.[15]  Those suited for the local climate were Catawba, Isabella, Constantia, Bland, Herbemonts Madeira, White Sweet Water, Golden Chasselas, and “Lenoir or Red Wine Grape.”

There were local nurseries within Washington, D.C. such as that of James Thompson at Maryland Avenue between the Capitol and Potomac Bridge.[16]  Unfortunately this was seized on March 11, 1824 due to four writs of fieri facias.  More successful were the nurseries of Joshua Peirce, John Adlum, and Adam Lindsay.  Together the provided a source of grapevines between 1821 and 1831.

The next local nursery to advertise the sale of grapevines is that of Joshua Peirce.  He advertised on December 28, 1821 that he had taken over the nursery run by his father.[17]  He had “a great variety of choice and well selected fruit trees”, ornamental trees, shrubs, fruit, and grapevines.  He was also willing to exchange for cuttings, seeds, and roots of anything not in his collection.  Items could be purchased at David Shoemaker, Jr. near the General Post office or at J. Fay’s seed store on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Joshua’s father, Isaac Peirce appears to have been located in Georgetown as early as April 8, 1802, for he had a letter at the Post Office.[18]  On December 14, 1814 he advertised the sale of 100 different types of apple trees composed of 20,000 individual trees at his nursery on Rock Creek three miles from Georgetown.  Isaac Peirce never advertised the sale of grape vines so it is possible they were of minor interest.  Joshua Peirce received the land by deed from his father on October 10, 1823.  According to John Saul the property was located “at the mouth of Piney Branch, and running north.  It contained eighty-two acres, two roods, and twenty-eight perches.”  The house was located at Klingle Road and Beach Driveway.  There was a second property of 54 acres was centered on R and S Streets and 14th and 15th Streets.  This property acted as an extension of the prime Linnaean Hills nursery.

Linnean Hill, Historic American Building Survey, Albert S. Burns. 1934-1935. No. HABS DC,WASH,123--1.Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Linnean Hill, Historic American Building Survey, Albert S. Burns. 1934-1935. No. HABS DC,WASH,123–1.Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

On February 18, 1824 Joshua Peirce advertised his nursery as “on Rock Creek, near Washington” with the signature “JOSHUA PEIRCE, Linnaean Hill.”[19]  Applications were now taken by Thomas Levering near the General Post Office and Edward M. Linthicum at Bridge and High Street in Georgetown.  His advertisement of December 28, 1828 lists that he has “on hand about 1000 vines of the native Grapes, such as are cultivated with so much success in the neighbouring vineyard for wine”[20]  By February 27, 1832 his collection grew to 12-15,000 grape cuttings of Catawba, Isabella, Bland, and Constantia, native varieties.[21]  These had been “cultivated with so much success in the neighboring vineyards.”  Apparently at least one more vineyard was being cultivated since his previous advertisement.  One year later on February 27, 1733 Joshua Peirce grapevine inventory was smaller for he only advertised “A few thousand cuttings of the Catawba, Isabella, and Constantine grapes”.  The Bland and native varieties disappeared from his list.

Home of John Adlum, Facing Southwest. Saul, John. Records of Columbia Historical Society, Vol 10. Google.

Home of John Adlum, Facing Southwest. Saul, John. Records of Columbia Historical Society, Vol 10. Google.

Thomas Pinney supports the view that John Adlum was the “Father of American Viticulture.”  John Adlum purchased three properties consisting of 45 acres from John Heugh on December 4, 1816, one acre and 36 perches from Joseph Nourse on June 11, 1819, and two tracts of 93 acres and one quarter acre from James Dunlop on February 4, 1820.  John Saul locates Adlum’s house at the southeast corner of his property which is now Connecticut Avenue and Peirce Mill Road.  The Peirce Mill Road being named after the road which went between Isaac Peirce’s mill and Georgetown. John Adlum first describes his vineyard on November 8, 1822 in a letter dated September 17, 1822.[22]  He describes his 0.4 acre “small Vineyard” planted with cuttings in 1820.  He had a total of one acre of bearing vines with four more acres that should come into production in 1823.  His plans included planting five more acres during the Spring of 1823 for a total vineyard size of 10 acres.

For the spring of 1823 he intended to offer “several thousand cuttings of vines for sale, of various kinds, foreign and domestic.”  Indeed  a little over one year after Joshua Peirce first advertised the sale of grape vines John Adlum advertised several thousand cuttings for sale at his Vineyard on February 22, 1823.[23]  Of the varieties offered, he implies he made wine from the Tokay, Constantia, Bland Madeira, Schuylkill, Muscadell, and Munier or Miller Burgundy.  Of those he had not made wine include the Worthington, Columbia, Red juice, Elkton grape, very large, Carolina Muscadine, Real Madeira, Frontinac, Sweet Water, and Royal Muscadine.  John Adlum continued to advertise his grape cuttings and wine, later known as “white or red Adlumnian” wine until July 18, 1832.[24]

Vine Hill is first advertised for rent by Thomas W. Pairo on April 7, 1828.  It contained a vineyard of one thousand grapevines comprised of 25-30 different types of European table and wine grapes.  Three hundred of the vines were in the bearing state.  By March 18, 1830, the Vine Hill vineyard had grown to 5-6,000 grape vines. That is a significant increase in only two years for a property up for rent.  On March 3, 1831, Thomas W. Pairo advertised his own 3,000 young grapevines with roots one to three years of age.  These were a mixture of foreign and domestic vines.  This advertisement clears up the earlier confusion I pointed out in my post “Near the President’s House”: The Advertisements of William Cox, Wine Merchant, Washington, DC 1826-1827.  In that post I suspected that Thomas W. Pairo’s vineyard was actually Vine Hill and now I believe they were separate.

Commandant's house at the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C. 1859-1864. NO. U.S. GEOG FILE - Washington, D.C.--United States Government Buildings--Marine Barracks.  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Commandant’s house at the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C. 1859-1864. NO. U.S. GEOG FILE – Washington, D.C.–United States Government Buildings–Marine Barracks. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Adam Lindsay first advertised the “A LARGE quantity of Cuttings of the finest Grapes” which were for sale at his vineyard near the Navy Hospital three-quarters of a mile East of the Capitol.[25]  These advertisements ran until March 30, 1830.  The following year on March 3, 1831 Adam Lindsay advertises his “Cottage Vineyard” as having for sale “Cuttings of the best varieties of Grape, procured from France, Spain, Italy, and the shores of the Mediterranean” as well as native grapes.[26]  A few years later Adam Lindsay places an advertisement stating his vineyard “is between Pennsylvania Avenue and East Capitol street, not far from the Marine Hospital.”[27]  This location is verified by an early advertisement on July 21, 1809, when he placed his dwelling house and store located on East Capitol Street up for rent.[28]  Adam Linday’s description of the Navy Hospital and Marine Hospital imply that he had, at some point, vineyards at two different locations.  The hospital at the Navy Yard was created sometime prior to 1802 and the hospital at the Marine Barracks was created prior to 1835.[29]


The local sale of grapevines suggests a demand by local vineyards.  In my post Bomford, Lindsay, and Smith: The Early Vineyards of Washington ,D.C. I detail three different vineyards.  Colonel Bomford first planted his vineyard between 1816 and 1824 and it was still in existence on March 18, 1830 when it was known as Vine Hill.  Adam Linday’s first vineyard was initially mentioned in 1830 so it might have been planted around 1827. Samuel Harrison Smith had a vineyard at his Sidney estate which would have been planted around 1826 and still in existence in 1830.

There were other earlier vineyards as well.  On April 23, 1810, Thomas W. Pairo advertised the country seat of the late Mr. Thomas Hewitt which contained about 200 European Grape Vines within the five acre lot.[30]  The seat was located on a “Handsome HILL east of Mr. Barlow’s within a mile from the President’s House.”  On September 17, 1810, another advertisement was placed refining the location as “the hill between Mr. J. Barlow’s and Mr. M. Nourse’s.”  The lot was now 8 acres with a second 25 acre lot available.[31]  It contained “a small Vineyard of excellent European Grape Vines.”  Mr. Nourse’s house is now the administration building for Sidwell Friends School on Wisconsin Avenue.

On August 15, 1815, a two story brick house of unspecified location was advertised for sale or rent.[32]  It contained an “excellent garden” with grape vines.  On February 25, 1825, Thomas W. Pairo and William Prout announced they were going into a partnership.  As a result Thomas W. Pairo advertised his three-story brick house at F Street and 12th Street for rent.[33]  Attached to the house was a garden with “upwards of 200 of the best European Grape Vines, all in a bearing state.”  On April 5, 1826, Clement Fox advertised a 100 acre plantation two miles from Georgetown on the Turnpike Road at the heights above the town.[34]  It contained “a Vineyard of several acres.”

On March 24, 1829, the sale of a 50 acre farm, three miles due north of the Capitol was advertised.[35]  It contained an orchard with 300 apple and peach trees and a “flourishing Vineyard of 800 Vines.”  Inquires could be made to Colonel William Doughly at the Navy Yard or James H. Doughly at the General Post Office.  Give the description I suspect this was the Pleasant Hill Vineyard.  On July 21, 1830, Thomas Mustin began a series of advertisements for the Pleasant Hill Vineyard.[36]  This estate was located 3.5 miles north of the Capitol in the “immediate neighborhood of Rock Creek Church.”  It contained an apple and peach orchard and “a thriving young vineyard, of five or six acres, now in the bearing state.”  Apparently it remained unrented for on August 30, 1831, Thomas Mustin advertised the sale of his grapes as a “fine crop of this delicious fruit”.[37]  The varietals included White Sweet water, Catawba, Isabella, Constantia, and Schuylkill Muscadell which were “now turning, and will be fully ripe in eight or ten days.” He offered a reduced price if taken directly from the vineyard.

View of Georgetown D.C. E. Sachse & Co. 1855. No. PGA - Sachse (E.) & Company--View of Georgetown D.C. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

View of Georgetown D.C. E. Sachse & Co. 1855. No. PGA – Sachse (E.) & Company–View of Georgetown D.C. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The estate of Charle Varle, formerly owned by Mrs. Sarah Love, was advertised for sale on March 3, 1830.[38]  It was located 1.25 miles from the western edge of Georgetown near the turnpike leading to Fredericktown.  This is presumably the present Maryland Route 355.  Within the 99 acre estate was a vineyard which had “produced excellent grapes for several years.”  If it had born fruit for three years, the first crop would have occurred in 1827 suggesting it was planted around 1824.

[1] Date: Friday, November 15, 1799                   Paper: Centinel of Liberty (Georgetown, DC)   Volume: IV   Issue: 51   Page: 2
[2] Date: Wednesday, February 10, 1802           Paper: Washington Federalist (Georgetown, DC)   Volume: II   Issue: 241   Page: 3
[3] Date: Friday, January 28, 1803        Paper: Washington Federalist (Georgetown, DC)   Issue: 424   Page: 3
[4] Date: Friday, March 11, 1803          Paper: Washington Federalist (Georgetown, DC)   Issue: 442   Page: 2
[5] Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, Volume 10. 1907. URL:
[6] Pinney, Thomas. A History of Wine in American, From the Beginnings to Prohibition. 1989. URL:
[7] Smith. A Chorographical and Statistical Description of the District of Columbia. 1816. URL:
[8] Date: Friday, December 30, 1803                   Paper: Washington Federalist (Georgetown, DC)   Issue: 567   Page: 1
[9] Date: Saturday, September 29, 1810             Paper: Independent American (Georgetown, DC)   Volume: II   Issue: 183   Page: 1
[10] Date: Saturday, September 29, 1810            Paper: Independent American (Georgetown, DC)   Volume: II   Issue: 183   Page: 1
[11] Date: Friday, May 9, 1800               Paper: Centinel of Liberty (Georgetown, DC)   Volume: V   Issue: 36   Page: 4
[12] Friday, February 4, 1820                 Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: 8   Issue: 2204   Page: 4
[13] Date: Thursday, March 6, 1828      Paper: United States Telegraph (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: III   Issue: 29   Page: 3
[14] Date: Thursday, October 9, 1828                   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XVI   Issue: 4896   Page: 1
[15] Date: Thursday, November 1, 1832               Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XX   Issue: 6157   Page: 2
[16] Date: Thursday, March 11, 1824   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XII   Issue: 8478   Page: 1
[17] Date: Friday, December 28, 1821                  Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: IX   Issue: 2795   Page: 3CE
[18] Date: Thursday, April 8, 1802         Paper: Washington Federalist (Georgetown, DC)   Volume: II   Issue: 289   Page: 3
[19] Date: Wednesday, February 18, 1824          Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XII   Issue: 8459
[20] Date: Saturday, December 20, 1828             Paper: United States Telegraph (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: III   Issue: 148   Page: 1
[21] Date: Monday, February 27, 1832                 Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XX   Issue: 5945   Page: 1
[22] Date: Friday, November 8, 1822   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: X   Issue: 3064   Page: 2
[23] Date: Saturday, February 22, 1823                Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XI   Issue: 8153   Page: 1
[24] Date: Wednesday, July 18, 1832   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XX   Issue: 6066   Page: 1
[25] Date: Tuesday, March 16, 1830     Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XVIII   Issue: 5341   Page: 3
[26] Date: Thursday, March 3, 1831      Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XIX   Issue: 5639   Page: 1
[27] Date: Tuesday, July 30, 1833          Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XXI   Issue: 6387   Page: 3
[28] Date: Friday, July 21, 1809              Paper: National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 4
[29] Farwholt, A. Historical Notes and Roster of Senior and Commanding Medical Officers at U.S. Naval Hospitals at Washington, D.C. 1935. URL:
[30] Date: Monday, April 23, 1810        Paper: National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 4
[31] Date: Monday, September 17, 1810             Paper: National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 4
[32] Date: Thursday, August 31, 1815                   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: III   Issue: 826   Page: 4
[33] Date: Saturday, February 5, 1825                  Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XIII   Issue: 3759   Page: 4
[34] Date: Wednesday, April 5, 1826   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XIV   Issue: 4119   Page: 3
[35] Date: Tuesday, March 24, 1829     Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XVII   Issue: 5037   Page: 1
[36] Date: Wednesday, July 21, 1830   Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XVIII   Issue: 5448   Page: 3
[37] Date: Tuesday, August 30, 1831     Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XIX   Issue: 5792   Page: 4
[38] Date: Monday, May 3, 1830            Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XVIII   Issue: 5381   Page: 1