Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

#10 Early orchards, vineyards, and fermentation cellar

Located at this site were the vineyards, a fermentation cellar, and the orchards of the early agricultural experiment station. Established by Professor William Alwood, they included over 300 types of European and American varieties of grapes, apples, peaches, and other fruits. Professor Alwood helped establish Virginia’s wine industry prior to prohibition. He traveled all over Europe in the early 1900s to conduct his pioneer research on fermentation and grape culture and collect new varieties to expand the orchards and vineyards here on campus. Alwood was famous for his fruit culture work. He is noted for saving the Virginia fruit industry after an invasive insect was discovered in Albemarle County in 1892. In 1894, he was instrumental in starting the Virginia State Horticultural Society. After he left Virginia Tech in 1904, he was appointed head of the enology department of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1907, he was elected president of the International Congress of Viticulture, and the French government awarded him the prestigious Grand Cross of Officer du Merite Agricole for his achievements. In 1966, horticulturalists at Virginia Tech named a new variety of table grape after him - the Alwood grape.


Orchards Cadets and faculty, W. B. Alwood, H. L. Price, W. L. Phillips, teaching how to spray the orchard, horticultural and pest management class, 1899

Related Links

Land Grant @ 150

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act and created the land-grant university system. With the sweep of his pen, Lincoln made education more accessible, shaping the future of a young United States.

Virginia Tech celebrates this land-grant heritage 150 years later.

Calendar of Events

2012 Exhibits

The Morrill Act and Virginia Tech

Reception and opening
July 11, 4:30 pm
Newman Library, 2nd floor

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

September 5-October 19
Newman Library, 1st floor

2012 Lincoln Lectures

A Man Called Lincoln

James I. Robertson
September 6

The Age of Lincoln, Then and Now

Vernon Burton
September 11

Saving the Last Best Hope on Earth: Lincoln and the Constitution

Charles Hubbard
September 27

An Inestimable Jewel: Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Era Constitutional Amendments

Thomas E. Mackey
October 8