Author Todd Kliman’s history of the American grape, Norton’s Virginia Seedling, starts off in an almost sultry manner as he teases the reader by veiling his intent. What begins to look like an unhealthy promotion of a single vineyard, Chrysalis, breaks the bonds of being a wine book and launches into the story of an American epic, a battle against nature and God: the stuff of Manifest Destiny as fought by American outsiders.
The best-kept secret in the American wine industry celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The secret? The fact that the first place to receive an American Viticultural Area designation is the small town of Augusta, Missouri.