After writing about the 18th century vineyards of Washington County, Maryland I decided to take a look at the earliest accounts of winemaking in Maryland. Tenis Pale has lately been credited as first making wine in Maryland back in 1648. He was a member of the New Albion Colony which included land in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The original petition of June 1632, which was sent to King Charles I, for the Colony of New Albion included the plan to “settle there 300 Inhabitants for making of Wine, Saulte and iron”.
There were certainly grapevines observed in what was to become Maryland during the 16th century. Giovanni di Pier Andrea di Bernardo da Verrazzano was an Italian sailing officer in the service of the French. His explorations of the east coast of America included a landing in the Chincoteague/Assateague area. Here he noted:
We saw in this…
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