York County Wine Convention, 1829
York County was quite a hotbed of viticulture and viniculture in the first half of the nineteenth century. A long article in the August 18, 1829 York Recorder reads, in part:
A stated meeting of the Wine Association of York County was held on Saturday… at the Vineyard of Mr. Geo. Upp, near the borough of York. According to the Constitution of said society, the premiums…were awarded to those persons who exhibited the best and purest domestic wine, made from their own grapes. About twenty samples of wine made at the different Vineyards in the county of York…were exhibited. Of these specimens some were red, some pale, and others of the colour of the Tokay wine.”
First premium was awarded to Charles Nes, made from French Madeira and Schuylkill Muscateli grapes, from grapes grown at his vineyard about three miles from York.
Thomas Eichelberger and Mr. Mallary won the second premium; they used grapes similar to those used by Nes.
Jonathan Jessop and company obtained third premium with their pale wine. It was made with Tokay, a native American grape.
The judges, Joseph Donaldson, C.A. Barnitz and John Welsh said there were so many fine wines submitted that they “had great difficulty in making up their opinions,” but they only had three prizes to award.
The article concludes:
“After the report was accepted by the association, the members and visitors partook freely of the wine produced as samples, and all concurred in the justness of the report and the decision made by the Judges. Of the number of specimens produced, not one was pronounce indifferent. The wine wants by age to make it, not only a palatable, but an agreeable liquor.”
The links below will take you to my previous York Sunday News column and blog posts of York County’s wine history: