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Massachusetts

The state with the capital Boston is one of the six states of the so called New England on the Atlantic northeast coast of the USA. According to the latest research, European seafarers already entered the American mainland here around the year 1000 AD. Thus, the "discovery" of America already took place 500 years before Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), who only reached the island Guanahani in 1492. It is considered as secured that this happened at the place of the today's city Boston, namely by the Icelander Leif Eriksson. He found numerous wild vines in the woods with huge grapes hanging from the trees - he called the area "Vinland" (which probably does not mean "wine country").

With the famous "Mayflower", 102 Puritan Pilgrim Fathers landed on November 11, 1620 at the easternmost point of the USA, Cape Cod, after a journey of 66 days. Seven days later they founded the colony "New-Plymouth". They soon tried to make wine from the wild vines. This was unsuccessful, however, because the varieties of the species Vitis labrusca growing here had the strong foxton, which was unpleasant for Europeans. In 1849, near the town of Concord, the farmer Ephraim Wales Bull (1806-1895) selected the famous red grape variety from wild vine seeds, which he named after the town. It is still one of the most successful American vines today.

Today two areas are classified as AVA, these are Martha's Vineyard (this largest New England island has nothing to do with the famous vineyard of the same name in Napa Valley, California) and Southeastern New England (the second area is shared with the two states of Connecticut and Rhode Island). Most of the vineyards are located in the area around Worcester and also on some offshore islands in Massachusetts Bay. There are very often winter frosts, only on the coast the climate is more moderate. Because of its mild climate, the Cape Cod Peninsula is famous as a holiday area for the rich (for example the Kennedys).

Traditionally, many hybrids are still common here, which were made popular by the American winegrowing pioneer Philip Wagner (1904-1996) from the beginning of the 1940s. European varieties are now increasingly being cultivated. As in all New England, much fruit wine is produced from berries, pears and apples. The most important of the nearly 20 wineries are Broad Hill Vineyards (Holliston), Cape Code Winery, Chicama Vineyards (West Tisbury on the above mentioned island), Mellea Farm Vineyards (Dudley), Nashboba Valley Winery - where beer is also brewed (Bolton), Afina Winery (Ashburnham) and Vineyard Hill Winery (Westminster).

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