seal  Purdue News

August 6, 2003

Purdue Press republishes historic Hoosier book on wine

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A delegation from Vevey, Switzerland, will present the town of Vevay, Ind., and the Swiss Wine Festival with a Purdue University Press republished book from the country's first winery expert, who lived in the Hoosier town.

Francis Baud, president of the Swiss Association Vevey-Vevay will present the town with "The American Vine Dresser's Guide," by John James Dufour. Baud, along with several representatives from the Swiss delegation and the Swiss government, also will present several bronze statues of Dufour on horseback carrying two barrels of wine.

A representative from the Purdue-based Indiana Wine Grape Council also will be present during the ceremony, which takes place on the main stage during the Swiss Wine Festival at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Paul W. Ogle Riverfront Park in Vevay.

The Dufour book is currently being republished by Purdue Press and will be presented for the first time during the festival.

"It was the most original and complete U.S. publication on grape growing, initially released in 1826," said Bruce Bordelon, associate professor of horticulture who wrote the preface for the new version of the book. "In the early 1800s there were a lot of attempts to grow grapes in the Midwest; however, Dufour was the only vintner to use trial-and-error methods that ended up to be some of the most profitable innovations of his time."

The publication can be purchased from the Purdue Press for $39.95 by calling (800) 247-6553 or can be ordered online at

"The book has been out of print for several years now, so many wine enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting its release, which includes new photographs," Bordelon said.

Rhonda Griffin, vice president of the Swiss Wine Festival, said, "The Dufour book is significant because after planting his vineyard, named the 'Firstvineyard,' in Kentucky, he planted the Swiss vineyard in Vevay, which was the first vineyard to have commercial success in the U.S."

Several barrels from Dufour's "Firstvineyard" harvest were loaded on horseback and delivered to Washington, D.C. There it was served to President Thomas Jefferson, who pronounced it to be "good," according to directors of the Swiss Wine Festival. The bronze statue to be presented during the festival makes reference to this trip to the nation's capital.

During the annual festival, which takes place Aug. 21-24, there also will be wine tasting, featuring nine Indiana wineries. The Wine Tasting Pavilion hours 5-10 p.m. on Aug. 22, noon to 10 p.m. on Aug. 23 and noon to 5 p.m. on Aug. 24.

The three-day festival also will have several free all-day entertainment stages, arts and crafts, numerous food vendors, and amusement rides.

Festival admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 5-12 and free for children under age 5.

For more information about the festival, contact the Swiss Wine Festival coordinators at (800) HELLO-VV or visit their Web site. For more information about the rereleased publication "The American Vine Dresser's Guide," contact Purdue Press marketing and information manager Bryan Shaffer at (765) 494-8428.

Writer: Meggie Issler, (765) 494-8402,

Sources: Bruce Bordelon, (765) 494-8212,

Rhonda Griffin, (800) 435-5688,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

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