By Jeannette Holland Austin
The origins of the Catawba grape is believed to have been cultivated by native tribes along the river and territory occupied by the Catawba Indians. It is certainly one of the first native American grapes used in wine production and during the early 19th century was a popular grape for the wine industry. The fruit is agreeable to the palate, for jam, jelly or juice. Probably the most remembered is Nicholas Longworth of Cincinnati who founded the first successful winery in America. Longworth purchased Catawba cuttings and planted a vineyard along the Ohio River.
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