Thomas Jefferson

"Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale" Rembrandt Peale: (1805) [cropped] image is in the public domain

“Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale” Rembrandt Peale: (1805) [cropped] image is in the public domain

Thomas Jefferson was an advocate for the wine industry and had  aspirations for the production of wine in Virginia. There are many quotes captured by Jefferson detailing his love for wine, including the line in his letter to Thomas Appleton in 1816 stating “wines a necessary of life with me.” Many historians have gone on declaring Jefferson to be the father of American wine due to his passion and efforts to further the industry in the state.

He had planted vines on his estate, Monticello, beginning in 1771 with high hopes for Virginia’s wine industry. It has been noted Jefferson even became an investor in a group, along with George Washington, George Mason, and an estimated 24 others who became collectively known as the Virginia Wine Company. This group offered Philip Mazzei the money and assistance to grow vinifera grape vines on his estate in Virginia to aid in the production of wine.

Despite Jefferson’s successes in other life attempts, wine would not become one of them. His attempts to start up wine production in Virginia was fruitless…Jefferson never did successfully produce a bottle of wine.

Check out this short YouTube video posted by PublicRadioAmerica on “Thomas Jefferson’s Love Affair — With Wine”

 

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