An archaeological dig in Texas reveals that, however harsh things jumped on the frontier, the white wine was usually superb.
How did French red wine reach deepest Texas in 1830? Turns out it was by means of Ireland, but in an ambiguous method.
It’s a tale of intrigue, coincidence and enigma that lifts the veil a little on the region’s formative years as a republic and after that a state, and also all of it began when historical work at a site associated with the early 19th Century background of Texas turned up some prizes that prompted individuals behind the dig to contact us below at Wine-Searcher.
Pam Stranahan, of Buddies of the History Facility in Rockport TX, occupies the tale.
In the summertime of 2021, I inquired regarding a number of artefacts discovered in an archeological site neglecting Copano Bay, 30 miles north of Corpus Christi, Texas. These circular glass disks had raised letters on them– St Estèphe Medoc as well as Pauillac Medoc. These were recognized as seals for bottle.
My look for information began online where I got in touch with Wine-Searcher. com. requesting for details regarding “St Estephe Medoc”. I explained that the seals were from an 1830s negotiation developed by the Irishman James Power. The -responder, Wine-Searcher editor Don Kavanagh, responded: “Oh wow, exactly how fantastic. James Power was from Ballygarrett, regarding 20 miles up the roadway from the community I matured in. I have actually typically passed the memorial to him when I have actually been residence on vacation. It’s a tiny globe without a doubt.”
The remainder of the story: James Power was in fact birthed in Ballygarrett, Region Wexford, Ireland in 1788 as well as came in initially to Philadelphia after that New Orleans by 1809. In New Orleans where he functioned as a merchant, he found out of possibilities in Mexico.
The Irish connection
In 1828, the Mexican government offered an empresario grant to James Power and James Hewetson, who were to bring Irish and also Mexicans to settle on the Texas coastline. A few Irish shown up around 1830, among them the O’Connor, St. John, McDonough, Teal, Fagan, as well as Lambert families. Various other newcomers to Texas were the Clark siblings, from a household of wine vendors in Montgomery County, New York. Many of these immigrants dealt with in the Texas Change. James Power authorized the Texas Declaration as well as offered the rebels by getting supplies and funds in New Orleans.
James Power built a residence on Copano Bay as well as outlined a town called Aransas City in the 1830s. This negotiation was abandoned by 1855 after Power’s death and the site lay inactive. Around 2000, a brand-new proprietor of the website for Aransas City, Harry Kreneck, saw artefacts falling from his bluff onto the beach. He collected the artefacts, taped the site with the state archeology firm, and donated the artefacts to the History Center for Aransas Region. Among the artefacts were wine seals.
The seals are charming to consider … yet what extra can they tell us? Just how did containers from France get to Aransas City in the 1830s?
James Power was an effective seller during the 1800s in numerous locations. In New Orleans he worked as a merchant. He established a mercantile on Copano Bay in the 1830s. During the Texas Revolution (1836) Power was sent out to New Orleans to acquire products for the rebels. He had connections and also likely imported red wine for his mercantile.
That might have taken pleasure in the wine with James Power?
James Power wed right into the affluent Mexican family members of Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla. No doubt they took pleasure in red wine at family dinners at Aransas City. Sam Houston spent time with Power at his home in Refugio as the Texas Transformation was percolating. In his later years James as well as Tomasita Power amused General Zachary Taylor who was bivouacked in Corpus Christi before the US-Mexican Battle in 1845-48.
What do you know about wines in very early Texas that would enhance our tale? Visit www.thehistorycenterforaransascounty.org to see the exhibition or to send your ideas.