New Amsterdam, circa 1660: the first map. This has nothing to do with wine and everything to do with the origins of Manhattan, which in turn has to do with culture, which therefore has some bearing on wine however intangibly (everything culturally in the West does, no?). This came about when we were in Brooklyn, on Cortelyou Road, a name so odd that it had to have a story behind it. And so it does.
Jacques Cortelyou (ca 1625–1693) was an influential early citizen of New Amsterdam (later New York City) who was Surveyor General of the early Dutch colony. Cortelyou’s main accomplishment was the so-called Cortelyou Survey, the first map of New York City, commonly called the Castello Plan after the location in a Tuscan palace where it was rediscovered centuries later.
Cortelyou arrived in Nieuw Amsterdam from Utrecht, Holland, where he had been born to French Huguenot parents. Cortelyou had studied mathematics and land-surveying, and served first in Nieuw Amsterdam as tutor to the children of Cornelis van Werckhoven, to whom the Dutch West India Company had granted a tract of land called New Utrecht. Cortelyou was subsequently appointed Surveyor General of the province of Nieuw Netherlands, succeeding Andries Hudde, and in 1660 made his famous map of Nieuw Amsterdam. Cortelyou also founded two subsequent settlements himself, New Utrecht on Long Island. In 1660 he designed Bergen Square site of the first town within the present borders of the state of New Jersey to receive a municipal charter.
Cortelyou’s early plan of New York City was known as the Castello Plan because it was later rediscovered at the Villa di Castello near Florence, Italy, in 1900. The map had been bound within an atlas that was sold to a member of the Medici family.