Jefferson's Books on Wine

Thomas Jefferson was familiar with or owned over 20 books related to viticulture and wine in his library. One of the earliest books on agriculture we know he owned that discussed viticulture, appears to have been Philip Miller's The gardeners dictionary (1768). He often referenced this work in his Garden Book, with the first mention being in 1769.

In 1773, Jefferson recorded in his Garden Book on April 2, "planted 50. vines of various kinds from the Forest." The following year on April 6, 1774, he added, "Planted 30. vines just below where the new garden wall will run ... 8 of them at the Westermost end of the row were Spanish Raisins from Colo Bland's, next to them were 16. native vines from Winslow's in New Kent, and at the Eastermost end were 6. native vines of Monticello. they were planted by some Tuscan Vignerons who came over with mr Mazzei [Betts, Garden Book 52].

He acquired books while in Europe between 1784 to 1789, and continued to do so after returning to the United States. Among these volumes, Jefferson often recommended the work, Traité théorique et pratique sur la culture de la vigne (1801) by Chaptal, Rozier, Parmentier and Ussieux, and referred to it as "the best ever published on the vine & on wines" [Thomas Jefferson's Catalogue of Books on Agriculture, ca. 16 Dec. 1809, enclosed in Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Cary Nicholas, 16 Dec. 1809, PTJ:RS 2:81-83].

Viticulture, Wine and Winemaking

Adlum, John. A memoir on the cultivation of the vine in America, and the best mode of making wine. Washington: Printed by Davis and Force, Franklin's Head, Pennsylvania Avenue, 1823. [Details]

Bidet, Nicolas. Traité sur la nature et sur la culture de la vigne, sur le vin, la façon de le faire et la manière de le bien gouverner, à l'usage des différens vignobles du royaume de France. Paris: chez Savoye, 1759. [Details]

Cadet-de-Vaux, Antoine-Alexis. Instruction sur l'art de faire le vin. A Paris: de l'imprimerie de H. Agasse, [1800]. [Details]

Chaptal, Jean-Antoine-Claude et al. Traité théorique et pratique sur la culture de la vigne: avec l'art de faire le vin, les eaux-de-vie, esprit-de-vin, vinaigres simples et composés. A Paris: chez Delalain, fils, libraire, ... de l'imprimerie de Marchant, [1801]. [Details - Copy 1 and Copy 2]

Charpentier de Cossigny, Joseph François. Observations sur "L'art de faire le vin" par Mr. J. A. Chaptal. Paris: Imprimerie de Gagnard, Lenormant, et Martinet, 1807. [Details]

Fabbroni, Adamo. Dell'arte di fare il vino : ragionamento. Firenze: G. Tofani, 1787. [Details]

Gardiner, John, and David Hepburn. The American gardener containing ample directions for working a kitchen garden, every month in the year, and copious instructions for the cultivation of flower gardens, vineyards, nurseries, hop-yards, green houses, and hot houses. City of Washington: Printed by Samuel H. Smith, for the authors, 1804. [Details - Copy 1 and Copy 2]

Gardiner, John, David Hepburn and John Randolph. The American gardener containing ample directions for working a kitchen garden, every month in the year, and copious instructions for the cultivation of flower gardens, vineyards, nurseries, hop-yards, green houses, and hot houses. Georgetown, D.C.: Joseph Milligan, 1818. [Details]

Johnson, S. W. Rural economy: containing a treatise on pisé building; as recommended by the Board of Agriculture in Great Britain, with improvements by the author; on buildings in general; particularly on the arrangement of those belonging to farms: on the culture of the vine, and on turnpike roads. New-Brunswick, N.J.: Printed by William Elliot for I. Riley & Co., New-York, 1806. [Details - Copy 1 and Copy 2]

Lastri, Marco Antonio. Corso di agricoltura di un accademico georgofilo autore della Biblioteca georgica. Firenze: Stamperia del giglio, 1801-1803. [Details]

McMahon, Bernard. The American gardener's calendar; adapted to the climates and seasons of the United States. Containing a complete account of all the work necessary to be done in the kitchen-garden, fruit-garden, orchard, vineyard, nursery, pleasure-ground, flower-garden, green-house, hot-house, and forcing frames, for every month in the year. Philadelphia: Printed by B. Graves, ... for the author, 1806. [Details - Copy 1 and Copy 2]

Maupin. Essai sur l'art de faire le vin rouge, le vin blanc et le cidre: avec des vuës pour la plantation de la vigne en Normandie & dans quelques autres de nos provinces septentrionales. A Paris: chez Musier fils libraire Quai des Augustins(IS), Musier, J. B. G., figlio; Valleyre, il vecchio, 1767. [Details]

Maupin. L'art de la vigne : contenant une nouvelle méthode économique de cultiver la vigne. A Paris: chez Musier, libraire, 1779. [Details]

Maupin. Nouvelle méthode, non encore publiée, pour planter et cultiver la vigne : a beaucoup moins de frais : et en augmenter le rapport, jointe à la Théorie ou leçon sur le temps le plus convenable de couper la vendange. A Paris: chez Musier; Gobreau, 1782. [Details]

Maupin. Eclaircissements nécessaires ou défense de mes découvertes concernant la vigne, le vin les terres, les grains. A Paris: chez Musier et Gobreau, 1785. [Details]

Maupin. Manuel des vignerons de tous les pays, ou moyens perpétuels d'économies & d'améliorations, comme il n'yen a guères, pour soulager & décharger tous les pays vignobles ... A Paris: chez l'auteur, 1789. [Details]

Miller, Philip. The gardeners dictionary: containing the best and newest methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit, flower garden, and nursery; as also for performing the practical parts of agriculture: including the management of vineyards, with the methods of making and preserving the wine, according to the present practice of the most skilful vignerons in the several wine countries in Europe. London: Printed for the author, and sold by John and Francis Rivington, [etc.], 1759 & 1768. [Details - Copy 1 (1768 ed.) and Copy 2 (1759 ed.)]

Miller, Philip. Dictionnaire des jardiniers, contenant les méthodes les plus sûres et les plus modernes pour cultiver et améliorer les jardins potagers, à fruits, à fleurs et les pépinières, ainsi que pour réformer les anciennes pratiques d'agriculture; avec des moyens nouveaux de faire et conserver le vin, suivant les procédés actuellement en usage parmi les vignerons les plus instruits de plusieurs pays de l'Europe. A Paris: chez Guillot, 1785. [Details]

Miller, Philip. The gardeners kalendar; directing what works are necessary to be performed every month in the kitchen, fruit, and pleasure-gardens, as also in the conservatory and nursery ... London : Printed for the author; and sold by John Rivington [etc.], 1765. [Details]

Soderini, Giovanni Vittore. Trattato della coltivazione della viti e del frutto, che se ne può cavare. In Firenze: appresso Domenico Maria Manni, [1734]. [Details]

Ronconi, Ignazio. Dizionario d'agricultura, o sia, La coltivazione Italiana: in cui si contiene la coltura, e conservazione de' diversi prodotti riguardanti le terre seminative, i prati, i boschi, le vigne, ed i giardini. In Venezia: Per Francesco Sansoni, 1783. [Details]

Trinci, Cosimo. L'agricoltore sperimentato, ovvero, Regole generali sopra l'agricoltura. Venezia: presso Giuseppe Rossi qu. Bortolo, 1796. [Copy 1 (1796) and Copy 2]

Williams, Edward. Virginia: more especially the south part thereof, richly and truly valued: viz. the fertile Carolana, and no lesse excellent isle of Roanoak, of latitude from 31. to 37. degr. relating the meanes of raysing infinite profits to the adventurers and planters. The second edition, with addition of the Discovery of silkworms, with their benefit. And implanting of mulberry trees. Also the dressing of vines, for the rich trade of making wines in Virginia. Together with the making of the saw-mill, very usefull in Virginia, for cutting of timber and clapbord to build withall, and its conversion to many as profitable uses. London : Printed by T.H. for John Stephenson, 1650. [Details]

Related Links

Jefferson and Wine (from the TJ Encyclopedia)

Monticello's Vineyards (from the TJ Encyclopedia)

Dining with Jefferson (from "A Day in the Life")


Endrina Tay
April 2013