Living: Shaking California's Throne

Good vineyards are popping out all over

Thomas Jefferson, who knew well the wines of France and Italy, dreamed of growing great vintages in Virginia To no avail. European vines, planted by Italian workers at his estate near Charlottesville, soon succumbed to insects and disease. For almost two centuries it was considered impossible to raise in the East South or Midwest—anywhere save California—any vine but the American Vitis labmsca, whose fermented grapes have an acid, musky, "foxy" flavor.

Now, on Jefferson's old acreage Vitis vinifera, the noble vine of Europe is being grown....

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