16 May 1789: importing wine-making to the USA

Saturday… (…) Take Tea with Mr. Jefferson and talk with him about the Culture of the Vine, to which he has attended particularly in the best Cantons of Burgundy, Champaigne and Bourdeaux. In Conversation with a Vigneron this Day he tells me that in good Seasons they make une Pièce from three Roods, which is about twenty Gallons per Rood, and of course an Acre would give at this Rate above three thousand Gallons of Wine, & this from a Soil of very indifferent Quality. The Wine is small and of indifferent Flavor. But admitting that only one Crop be obtained in three Years and that the Culture &ca. should be worth one half the Produce, it would leave five hundred Gallons which at 6d per Gallon is annually £12.10., a very great Produce and I suspect exagerated by the Vigneron. It might however be worth a Trial in America & as far as I can yet judge, a steep gravelly Hill with a South Western Exposure would produce best. (…)

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 80.

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