The history of winemaking in Norfolk County goes back to the 1600s. In 1669, French
Missionaries Dollier and Galinee made camp in what was to become the town of Port Dover. Here
they made wine from the naturally growing grapes which "was more sweet than the wine from
home." Historian and filmmaker Mike Fletcher, who formerly owned the lands now farmed by Smoke
& Gamble, has extensively researched local archives and is of the opinion that the grapes
picked by Dollier and Galinee were from the lands adjacent to the Smoke & Gamble home
United Empire Loyalists introduced the crop of tobacco after fleeing from their farms
following the American Revolution. Created as a county in 1792, it was named for Norfolk,
England. Primarily an agricultural region, the county was noted for its fruit production in
the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1920s saw the introduction of flue-cured tobacco
which dramatically increased the value of local crops.
Early tobacco kilns were wood fired,
and fires were common. The technology of curing or drying tobacco changed over the years, and
the current state of the art is a kiln known as a bulk kiln. As it turns out, the bulk kiln
is ideally suited to drying grapes using the appassimento process. Smoke & Gamble first used
this process in 2007 with an outstanding result.
"I am a man of simple tastes, easily satisfied with the best." - Winston Churchill
"The University of Nebraska says that elderly people that drink beer or wine at least four times a week have the highest bone density. They need it - they're the ones falling down the most." - Jay Leno
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