In this Book

Pioneering American Wine
summary
This volume collects the most important writings on viticulture by Nicholas Herbemont (1771-1839), who is widely considered the finest practicing winemaker of the early United States. Included are his two major treatises on viticulture, thirty-one other published pieces on vine growing and wine making, and essays that outline his agrarian philosophy. Over the course of his career, Herbemont cultivated more than three hundred varieties of grapes in a garden the size of a city block in Columbia, South Carolina, and in a vineyard at his plantation, Palmyra, just outside the city.

Born in France, Herbemont carefully tested the most widely held methods of growing, pruning, processing, and fermentation in use in Europe to see which proved effective in the southern environment. His treatise "Wine Making," first published in the American Farmer in 1833, became for a generation the most widely read and reliable American guide to the art of producing potable vintage.

David S. Shields, in his introductory essay, positions Herbemont not only as important to the history of viticulture in America but also as a notable proponent of agricultural reform in the South. Herbemont advocated such practices as crop rotation and soil replenishment and was an outspoken critic of slave-based cotton culture.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-29
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  1. Part One. Maxims
  2. pp. 31-36
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  1. Part Two. Treatises
  1. Wine Making (January 23, 1833)
  2. pp. 86-105
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  1. Part Three. Published Letters on Grape Growing and Wine Making
  1. Requisites for Success in Grape Cultivation (January 22, 1820)
  2. pp. 109-112
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  1. Acculturation of French Vines (December 6, 1822)
  2. pp. 113-116
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  1. On the Culture of the Grape (August 20, 1826)
  2. pp. 117-123
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  1. On the Use of Sugar in Making Wine (August 27, 1826)
  2. pp. 124-129
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  1. Speech to the Agricultural Society of S.C. on the Benefits of Publicly-Sponsored Grape Cultivation (February 17, 1827)
  2. pp. 130-134
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  1. Memorial to the Senate of South Carolina (December 1826)
  2. pp. 135-138
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  1. Domestic Wine (December 23, 1826)
  2. pp. 139-140
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  1. American Wine (January 18, 1828)
  2. pp. 141-143
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  1. Pruning Grape Vines (April 20, 1828)
  2. pp. 144-148
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  1. Letter to Nicholas Longworth on the Grape Vine (March 19, 1829)
  2. pp. 149-156
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  1. Cultivation of the Grape (August 12, 1829)
  2. pp. 157-160
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  1. Letter to Edward Stabler on Wine-Making (September 9, 1829)
  2. pp. 161-166
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  1. On the Proper Distance for Planting a Vineyard (December 7, 1829)
  2. pp. 167-171
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  1. Pruning Frost-Nipped Vines (March 22, 1830)
  2. pp. 172-175
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  1. On the Culture of the Grape Vine, with Observations on the Practice Recommended by Various Writers (March 30, 1830)
  2. pp. 176-182
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  1. Letter to an Alabama Planter (July 9, 1830)
  2. pp. 183-188
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  1. On the Formation of Vine-Yards of Native Vines, and the Ingrafting of Grape-Vines (September 4, 1830)
  2. pp. 189-194
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  1. Table Grapes (October 26, 1830)
  2. pp. 195-200
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  1. Herbemont's Madeira (May 27, 1831)
  2. pp. 201-202
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  1. Observations on the Rot of the Grape, and Grafting of Foreign Vines on Native Stocks (September 4, 1831)
  2. pp. 203-205
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  1. Afflictions (September 24, 1831)
  2. pp. 206-209
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  1. Letter to George Fitzhugh, Jr. (September 2, 1832)
  2. pp. 210-212
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  1. Observations on the Planting of the Vine and Rot in Grapes (May 28, 1833)
  2. pp. 213-218
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  1. Letter to Edmund Ruffin (November 18, 1833)
  2. pp. 219-223
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  1. On the Causes of Failure in Vine Culture and Wine Making (November 15, 1834)
  2. pp. 224-229
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  1. Origin of "Herbemont's Madeira" Grape (February 1835)
  2. pp. 230-231
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  1. Difference of the Growth, Culture, and Product of Grape Vines, in the United States and in Europe (April 29, 1836)
  2. pp. 232-237
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  1. On the Suitableness of Warm Climates for Wine Making (February 15, 1837)
  2. pp. 238-240
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  1. Grape Culture in South Carolina (September 9, 1837)
  2. pp. 241-244
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  1. Letter to Sidney Weller on Grape and Silk Culture (March 8, 1838)
  2. pp. 245-247
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  1. Part Four. Agrarian Essays
  1. Observations Suggested by the Late Occurrences in Charleston, by a Member of the Board of Public Works, of the State of South-Carolina (1822)
  2. pp. 251-260
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  1. Address to the President and Members of the United Agricultural Society of South-Carolina, at Their Sitting in Columbia (December 1, 1828)
  2. pp. 261-267
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  1. Honesty Is the Best Policy (March 1832)
  2. pp. 268-274
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  1. On the Moral Discipline and Treatment of Slaves (February 1836)
  2. pp. 275-279
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  1. Bibliographical Essay
  2. pp. 281-287
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  1. Bibliography of Primary Sources on Wine Making in America, 1810-1840
  2. pp. 289-292
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 293-299
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