In this Book

Empire of Vines
buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary

The lush, sun-drenched vineyards of California evoke a romantic, agrarian image of winemaking, though in reality the industry reflects American agribusiness at its most successful. Nonetheless, as author Erica Hannickel shows, this fantasy is deeply rooted in the history of grape cultivation in America. Empire of Vines traces the development of wine culture as grape growing expanded from New York to the Midwest before gaining ascendancy in California—a progression that illustrates viticulture's centrality to the nineteenth-century American projects of national expansion and the formation of a national culture.

Empire of Vines details the ways would-be gentleman farmers, ambitious speculators, horticulturalists, and writers of all kinds deployed the animating myths of American wine culture, including the classical myth of Bacchus, the cult of terroir, and the fantasy of pastoral republicanism. Promoted by figures as varied as horticulturalist Andrew Jackson Downing, novelist Charles Chesnutt, railroad baron Leland Stanford, and Cincinnati land speculator Nicholas Longworth (also known as the father of American wine), these myths naturalized claims to land for grape cultivation and legitimated national expansion. Vineyards were simultaneously lush and controlled, bearing fruit at once culturally refined and naturally robust, laying claim to both earthy authenticity and social pedigree. The history of wine culture thus reveals nineteenth-century Americans' fascination with the relationship between nature and culture.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-3
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page
  2. pp. 4-4
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Copyright Page
  2. pp. 5-5
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Dedication Page
  2. pp. 6-9
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. 10-11
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: Grape Culture, National Culture
  2. pp. 1-16
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. Tributaries of the Grape
  2. pp. 17-61
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Propagating Empire
  2. pp. 62-93
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Landscapes of Fruit and Profit
  2. pp. 94-127
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Fear of Hybrid Grapes and Men
  2. pp. 128-154
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. California Wine Meets its “Destiny”
  2. pp. 155-193
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. The Danger of a Vineyard Romance
  2. pp. 194-224
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Epilogue: An Empire of Wine
  2. pp. 225-234
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-274
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 275-282
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 283-296
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 297-302
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.