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Adlum John

The US viticulture pioneer John Adlum (1759-1836) is considered "the father of American viticulture". After a military career in the War of Independence, he became a surveyor and moved with his family to the Federal District of Washington, DC in 1814. Two years later, he bought land in what is now the Northwest residential district of Cleveland Park and began to take up viticulture. He first tried to grow vines from Europe, but these succumbed to diseases such as mildew and phylloxera. Around 1820, he received the historic Catawba variety, which he later named, from a Scholl family in the US state of Maryland. The vine had already arrived there from North Carolina a few years earlier. The Scholl family claimed that the variety was a Tokay vine from Hungary. Adlum planted it on 200 acres at his vineyard, The Vineyard. He later determined that it could not be a Tokay vine at all.

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