Object: Grapevine - Grapes - Vitus

Image Credits

 Photograph of Vitis rupestris from the book The Grapes of New York, 1908 by Ulysses Prentiss Hedrick

Object Type(s)

Grapevines were present in New Amsterdam and continue to grow wild throughout the Hudson Valley.       Grapes can be made into jams and preserves, and also wine or wine vinegar.   

Vinegar was a truly important commodity in New Netherland, as it was used to pickle and preserve the produce of the garden for winter.   There are numerous court cases involving vinegar, and letters from the Council in Amsterdam regularly state that they cannot understand why vinegar is so expensive in the colony.    It must have been truly plentiful in Europe, but vinegar production in the colony may not have kept up with the need to pickle produce, thus making it expensive.

See a detailed article on the archeology of plant life in New Amsterdam by Joel Grossman, PhD. here.  Courtesy of the Holland Society of New York.  

See Joel Grossman's work on plant life in New Amsterdam: https://www.geospatialarchaeology.com/index.html