by Staff Writer - K. Ash | June 14, 2012

Tusculum is a neighborhood located in the Ohio city of Cincinnati. It is famous for being one of Ohio's earliest wine-growing areas. Today a public park occupies the areas once comprised of vineyards.

Cincinnati is the city where Nicholas Longworth built his Ohio wine empire. In 1823, Longworth built a vineyard at Tusculum in an area known as Bald Hill. Longworth chose to plant grape varieties imported from Europe. Unfortunately these European varieties did not survive the harshness of the winter climate. Longworth then turned to planting the Catawba grape, which led to great success. Sparkling wines made from Longworth's Catawba grapes won accolades for their quality. Unfortunately the halcyon days of Tusculum's wine industry were short lived. Black rot infections destroyed the vines planted at Bald Hill. By the late 1860s, an increase in grape disease combined with the death of Nicholas Longworth resulted in southern Ohio wine endeavors being abandoned.

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