George Washington sought fine strains of grapes to cultivate at Mount Vernon in the Vineyard Enclosure, on the slope below the Lower Garden and behind the Stables. Here he experimented with both seeds and cuttings from France as well as from nearby vineyards. Wine, whiskey, and spirits played a large role in the lives of most people in the 1700's. Washington enjoyed a variety of beverages, his favorite being sweet fortified wines like Madeira and Port. Brick vaults in the Mansion's basement were used for wine storage. The handles of the 4 ½" party spreaders are made to look as if they are wine corks with Washington's profile and "George Washington Special Reserve" on them.