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Wagner Philip

The American viticulture pioneer Philip Marshall Wagner (1904-1996) was a newspaper editor in Baltimore in the US state of Maryland. He was the editor of The Evening Sun and later of The Sun. During the American Prohibition (1920-1933), he began to take up viticulture as an amateur cellarman. In 1933 he published the book American Wines and How to Make Them. Then in 1939 he began to import French hybrids and grafting rootstocks on a large scale from France from the famous vine breeders Baco, Seibel and Seyve-Villard. He tested these for their suitability for viticulture at Boordy Vineyards, the vineyard and winery he and his wife Jocelyn founded. From there, the grape varieties were spread across almost all US states on the American Atlantic East Coast. Wagner was several times a member of the wine jury of the annual "California State Fair" in Sacramento, where all the important wines of California were tasted and evaluated. The book "A Wine-Grower's Guide", published in 1945, was the first work on French hybrids in the USA. Philip Wagner had a significant influence on viticulture in eastern North America and steered it in a new direction. He was appointed "Officier du Mérite Agricole" by the French government. See also under Viticultural Personalities.

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