Wine mentions in 1700s South Carolina

In the process of doing some genealogical research, my wife came across a letter written on November 12, 1737, by Jacob Gallmann, one of her distant ancestors. It details his experiences in the New World -- and his mention of the place wine had in the South Carolina community in which he and his family lived -- to friends and family back in Switzerland, from which he emigrated. The original is in the state archives in Zurich. (c.f., Special Collection, State Archive of Zurich, SIG.Mse.15 blatt 706-708.) Here is an edited version, with modern-day spellings placed in brackets.

We arrived at Carlistath [Charleston, SC] the 7th day of Hornung [February], the 1735th year. Thus our travel took 11 weeks from London to Carlinstath, but we took a rather round about way ...

We were given an exceedingly beautiful place only half an hour from town. The whole farm is garden-like ground. It is a good four-and-a-half hundred acres in one piece, all black-brown earth, nary a rock, all even land, wheels need no brakes. I have given five acres land to each of the children, but Heini has 150 acres in one piece: Heiri, too has 100 acres in one piece, doesn't know yet how much he will get; Hanss, too has 100 acres in one piece. ...

Carolina lies under the sun which makes it very warm. In summertime it is much warmer than in Switzerland wherefore it is called South Carolina, but in wintertime rather cold but there is no snow and summertime no hail. The land is real good and fertile with all kinds of grain. You fell the trees, then you begin to till and sow corn. The first year you got plenty and good, after that there is wheat, too, then corn again, everything you wish that you can plant. Round the corn you plant peas and beans, melons, watermelons, a great number of all sorts plants. ...

There are many strawberries, many blackberries, very many mulberry trees, peach trees in the woods, also many apple and pear trees, they do not have all of those trees here, some have to be brought in from far awav. Cherries there are too but we don't yet have the trees, also very many grape vines but all which have small berries like juniper berries, black, make a good wine but are not so easy to get, grow way up in the tall trees. ...

And, on the following November 12, Jacob Gallman wrote:

... I cannot fail to send you some good news that we, through God's loving grace are still hale and hearty, thanks be to God, but I also report to you our mourning for our dear late father, because he died on the 20th day of Wine Month [October] and was abed no more than one day, about which I am very sad, and we are deeply sorrowful, and he was much mourned by the Germans and the English, and he has led a praiseworthy life.

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