Course: Understanding Wine

Class 8: Discovering the New World

early plantings in the u.s.

The Eastern states were home to the first vineyards in the United States, with the earliest recorded plantings in Virginia during the early 17th century.

One of Virginia's most famous vineyards was originally planted in 1773 by Thomas Jefferson near his home in Monticello. At the time, most of the vitis vinifera planted on the east coast was weakened or killed by local pests and diseases, for which there were no antidotes.

Today, wine grapes thrive along the East Coast from Georgia to Massachusetts.



Historic Plantings

Vinifera planted in New York during the 1600s met a similar demise. It wasn't until the early 1800s that disease-resistant American labrusca species were planted in the Hudson River Valley.


Ready to enroll? First, you must register for a membership to Your membership benefits include:

FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School

Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes

FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are

E-newsletters with advance ratings

Editors’ blogs

Food and wine matching tool

And much more

Log In If You're Already a Member

Please log in using your email address and password for Wine Spectator School students who enrolled before 7.4.10, log in with your email address and school password or get more info here.

Forgot Password?

By clicking "Log in" you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Wine Spectator Online

Read our FAQ for more information

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences