You are using an old browser that may not function as expected. For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member


Around the year 1000 AD, five centuries before Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the Grænländingar (Greenlanders) under the command of the Dutch navigator Leif Eriksson (970-1020) were probably the first Europeans to set foot on the American mainland and named it "Vinland". There are several versions of the exact geographical location of Vinland. Partly Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are assumed, partly New England near today's Boston in the US state of Massachusetts, but also the island of Manhattan at the site of New York. According to traditional interpretation, "Vinland" is derived from "vines", but this has recently been questioned. Vin has two meanings in Old Norse: With an accent on the "i" (i.e. í) it means "vine", without an accent it means "pasture" or "farm". The Greenlandic settlers might have been impressed by the green pastures, consequently it could also mean "pasture land". But if it really means "wine country", then it could be derived from the wild vines that abounded in the forests, with grapes hanging from the trees. But it could just as easily mean wild berries. According to the Greenland saga, Leif Eriksson and his men settled in a place in Vinland they named Leifsbuðir.

The world's largest Lexicon of wine terms.

25,807 Keywords · 46,998 Synonyms · 5,321 Translations · 31,135 Pronunciations · 175,353 Cross-references
made with by our author Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer. About the Lexicon