Five hundred years ago, when the first European immigrants began arriving, they realized they were missing a very important part of their daily lives From a culture that drinks wine as a lifeblood, I imagine it must have come as a shock to involuntarily jump on the wagon Shipping wine from Europe proved extremely expensive, as most imports usually are  However, the settlers were delighted to find grapevines growing wild all up and down the East Coast.

The earliest recordings of wine making were by the French Huguenot settlers in Jacksonville, FL, around 1562 The new wine makers soon began to realize that the native American vines were not the same vines as their homeland, and not nearly as palatable This led to attempts at importing and growing the European vine, vitis vinifera The vines were met with numerous hardships with pests and diseases that challenged the European vines but the American grapes, vitis labrusca, were immune to.

The European grapes were fighting a losing battle and the wine makers turned to the American vine for small production every day drinking wine In 1683, William Penn planted the first vineyard in Pennsylvania The vines were a cross breed of American and French vines, creating the hybrid grape, Alexander This grape was successful in holding up against the native diseases and today is the main grape varietal grown on the East Coast.