This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
PERHAPs nowhere is the influence of the soil and its ingredients so apparent as in the difference of character of our native wines. It is peculiar that it will assimilate more of the ingredients of the soil, and show its peculiarities in its product - wine - than in almost any other plant; and perhaps no soil contains more free salts than the so-called virgin soil of America. That those salts have a dominating influence upon the character of wine, we hope to show more fully in our article "The Chemistry of Wine."
We find a striking illustration of this in a comparison, which we lately made, between samples of the wines produced at Herman, Mo., on the southern side of the Missouri river, and some made at Portland, Callaway county, Mo., on the northern side, by Messrs. Kaiser, Ehrich, and A. Eberhard. While the wines of Herman have more of the foxy aroma, and more body, as well as acidity, those from Portland have less of a foxy character as well as acid and body, which, on the whole, may be considered an advantage. The fact is, that the Concord of Portland is a more agreeable and pleasant wine than that of the same variety grown at Herman, which latter will only lose some of its disagreeable qualities by age and rational treatment.
For Norton's Virginia, however - this prince of American red wines, in which the flavor, which we find repugnant in the Concord and call it foxy, has been developed into real aroma - Herman and its vicinity seems to be the most suitable soil. - Correspondence Colmaris Rural World.