Florida Grape History

About This Site:

The purpose of this Web site and accompanying background material is to acknowledge the People behind the Florida Grape Industry, past and present.

In 2006 we submitted a proposal to the Viticulture Advisory Council to provide a history of grapes in Florida and the people behind the Florida Grape Industry. The project was approved in 2007 with the objectives:

• Produce a comprehensive, well illustrated article, “The People Behind the Florida Grape Industry” or “Florida Grape Pioneers” that recites the history of grapes in Florida from the ancient past, pre-colonial epoch to the present, stressing individuals and their accomplishments.
• Provide a historical narrative that can serve as an inspiration and basis for documenting the efforts and accomplishments of future contributors to the industry.
• Archive this information in forms - print, photographs, Internet, and disk - that can be utilized by the Florida Grape Growers Association (FGGA), Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), and other professional organizations in describing and promoting Florida grape activities, programs, and potential.

In the process of addressing these objectives, we have accumulated a considerable amount of information pertaining to the historical background, individuals and organizations involved, and the various phases of the grape industry in Florida up to the present. In fact, we have uncovered so much text and graphic material available that it is important to make it part of a permanent record to maintain and build upon. In addition, the task of identifying information sources and individuals is time consuming and should extend far beyond the project termination. Indeed, by providing information and identifying individuals who are part of the story, we hope to uncover more details from interested parties (yourself included) and fill in many of the historical gaps that exist. Please contact me if you have any questions, feedback, or want to share any information.

Robert P. Bates
Professor Emeritus Food Science & Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida

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