The American politician Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was in Shadwell in the US state Virginia born the son of a tobacco grower. As one of the pioneers for a free America, he formulated the first draft of the Declaration of Independence United States, From 1785 to 1789 he was US ambassador to Paris and visited many wine-growing regions in France and Italy in 1787 and 1788 to study viticulture. He gave detailed descriptions of the Bordeaux wines and rated the best wineries; among them Château Carbonnieux (Graves) and Château-Grillet (Rhône). His ranking was at the famous Bordeaux classification 1855 involved in the decision. He sent 30 bottles of the 1787 visited to his friend and first US President George Washington (1732-1799) Château d'Yquem,
In 1801 he was elected third US President and after his re-election in 1805 he was the tallest American until 1809. During this time he set up an extensive wine cellar with mainly French cult wines such as the top wineries Château Latour and Château Lafite-Rothschild on. The second achieved a bottle of 1787 from his possession at one auction in December 1985 Christie's a fancy prize. Owned by the German rarity collector Hardy Rodenstock (1941-2018) bottle was sold for 105,000 pounds ($ 175,000) to the American publisher Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) auctioned. Another wine owned by Jefferson was a Chateau Margaux 1787, which was offered for $ 500,000 but was never sold. So he would be most expensive wine in the world (see there in detail). Werin bottles from his former possession that are still available today usually bear the initials “Th: J” incised into the bottles.
Jefferson had a high respect for agriculture throughout his life and worked on his Monticello estate from 1770 Virginia Intensive viticulture for over 30 years. He also had a moral motive because he was convinced that the only way to keep Americans from consuming stronger alcoholic beverages was to have the right wine culture and sufficient wine quantities. He wrote: “No nation is drunk when wine is cheap. This is the only antidote to the deadly poison whiskey " . This was supported by a law in 1791. All alcoholic beverages are subject to an excise tax, except for wine made in America. He kept experimenting with imported ones cuttings from Europe and appointed Anthony Giannini (1747-1824), an Italian from Tuscany, as estate manager. This was with Philip Mazzei (1730-1816) who planted the first vineyards in Virginia with his neighbor and friend Jefferson.
But all attempts with European cuttings failed, they were all by the phylloxera destroyed. Later Thomas Jefferson tried to accept the peculiarities of the American vines. He has now tried out numerous local ones American vines and encouraged many others to do so. In a letter in 1783 he reports in detail about a wine from the species Vitis vulpina, In another letter in 1817 he spoke about one from the Scuppernong produced wine very positively. With John Adlum (1759-1836) of the variety Catawba in Ohio as the first to grow, he had regular contact by letter and received a wine made from it in 1823. His dream of making the United States a top wine-growing nation never came true.