Indiana’s proud history of grape growing and wine making began in 1802 in Vevay, a city in Southeastern Indiana on the Ohio River. There, Swiss settler John James Dufour and 17 associates planted the first Indiana grape crop. With their initial harvest in 1806, Dufour and friends established the first successful commercial vineyard in the U.S. This small band of entrepreneurs sold their wine throughout the Ohio River Valley region, including Cincinnati, Lexington, Vincennes, and even St. Louis. Dufour published the first book on the American experience of grape growing in 1826. Shortly after publication of The American Vine-dresser’s Guide, the Indiana wine industry experienced a gradual decline, as the second generation Swiss pursued other forms of agriculture and manufacturing.
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