February 21st - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Hieronymus Bock, a German botanist, physician and minister died in 1554.  He is the first person documented to use the term Riesling in his Kreutterbuch (Plant Book).
  • Jeanne Calment, the French supercentenarian who lived to 122 years, 164 days was born in 1875.  She was known to smoke a cigar or cigarette and drink a small glass of Port everyday from ages 111-114.
  • Bonfort’s Wine and Spirit Circular reports that the steamer San Juan sailed for Panama in 1890 with a consignment of California wines.
  • Lidia Bastianich was born in 1947 in Pula, Croatia.  She is one of the owners of Bastianich Winery in Friuli, Italy with her son, Joe.
  • Spain's Dominio de Valdepusa Vino de Pago was created in 2003.  It is located in Malpica de Tajo

February 20th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Andreas Hofer of St. Leonhard in Passeier died in 1810.  He was a Tyrolean Innkeeper, and wine and horse tradesman who was a leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against Napoleon.  He was eventually captured and executed.
  • Pope Leo the XIII was born in 1878. He appeared in advertisements for Vin Mariani, a wine made with Coca leaves.
  • California's Mt. Veeder AVA was designated in 1990.

February 19th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Matthaus Schwarz a German accountant was born in 1497. He was the sone of wine merchant. He is best known for Trachtenbuch, or Book of Clothes cataloging the clothes that he wore between 1520 and 1560.
  • The Donner Party was rescued by a search party from Napa Valley in 1847.
  • Nathaniel de Rothschild, founder of the French wine-making branch of the Rothschild family died in 1870.
  • Spain's Cataluña DO was created in 1991.

February 18th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • George, Duke of Clarence, Brother of Edward the IV and Richard the III is allegedly drowned in a barrel of Madeira in 1478.
  • Jess Jackson, of Kendall-Jackson was born in 1930.
  • AOC Blanquette de Limoux was designated in 1938.
  • The Coteaux du Layon-Chaume and Coteaux-du-Layon were designated AOCs in 1950.
  • The Teroldego Rotaliano DOC was established in 1971 and Aglianico del Vulture DOCs were created in 1971.
  • National Drink Wine Day.

February 17th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • In 1662, Samuel Pepys describes a dinner with Sir William Batten, Captain Cocke and Captain Tinker where he drank wine “upon necessity, being ill for want of it, and I find reason to fear that by my too sudden leaving off wine, I do contract many evils upon myself”.
  • Lola Montez, a royal courtesan of Ludwig I of Bavaria, who's antics incited the people to rebellion by breaking a champagne glass over the head of a police officer was born in 1821. Despite her claims of being a Spanish dancer, She was, in fact, an Irish peasant born Eliza Rosanna Gilbert.
  • John Martin, English romantic painter, engraver and illustrator died in 1854.  His most famous work, Belshazzar’s Feast depict’s the feast held by the Babylonians that used the defiled sacred vessels of the Israelites for serving wine.
  • California's Chiles Valley AVA was designated in 1999.

February 16th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Philipp Melanchthon was born in 1497.  He was a collaborator of Martihn Luther and helped create the early theology of the Lutheran Church, such as  the rejection of the idea of transubstantiation.
  • Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German poet and novelist was born in 1826.  He wrote  Gaudeamus, Lieder aus dem Engeren und Weiteren, a collection of humorous songs that are about student life and wine.
  • California's Covelo AVA and  Washington's Rattlesnake Hills AVA was designated in 2006.

February 15th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • King John of England (known as Lackland) invaded La Rochelle, France in 1214.  John was known as a connoisseur of jewels and his love of bad wine.
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing died in 1781.  He was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist and art critic. He died during a visit to the wine dealer Angott in Brunswick.
  • Ernest Shackleton, antarctic explorer was born in 1874.  During his Nimrod Expedition of 1907-1909 he packed 1600 lbs of “finest York hams,” 1260 lbs of sardines, 1470 lbs of tinned bacon, 408 lbs of ox tongues, 384 lbs of sheep tongues, 144 lbs of pork tongue.  For beverages, he included 25 cases of whisky, six bases of brandy, 6 cases of Champagne and 3 cases of Port.
  • .Drink some Red, Red Wine, Ali Campbell of UB 40 was born in 1959.

February 14th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Happy Valentine’s Day.  St. Valentine has no reference to wine history, but sweethearts often toast their love with wine or Champagne!  Cheers!
  • Oregon was admitted to the Union in 1859.  It is home to the Applegate Valley, Chahalem Mountains, Columbia Gorge, Columbia Valley, Dundee Hills, Elkton Oregon, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Red Hills Douglas County Oregon,  Ribbon Ridge, The Rocks of Milton-Freewater, Rogue Valley,  Snake River Valley, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley, Walla Walla, Willamette Valley and Yamhill-Carlton.
  • Arizona was admitted to the union in 1912.  It is home to the Sonoita and Willcox viticultural areas.
  • Drew Bledsoe was born in 1972.  He is owner of Doubleback Wines in Walla Walla Washington.
  • New Mexico's Mesilla Valley AVA was designated in 1985.
  • The Côte Roannaise AOC was named in 1994.
  • The Bulgarian’s celebrate Trifon Zarezan (Vineyard Day).  It is an ancient custom that was Christianized but previously offered to Sabazius, Dionysius, Bromius, Bacchus and Lycurgus.  The vines are trimmed, watered with wine and thrown into the River.  Later a meal of chicken (specifically a hen) stuffed with rice or bulgar is served.
  • The French have a saying, « Vigneron à la Saint-Valentin, doit avoir serpette en main. » which translates to "Winemakers on Valentine's Day, must have a serpette in hand.” (a serpette is an agricultural knife) 

February 13th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Parentalia, the Roman festival of the ancestors was celebrated by offerings of flower-garlands, wheat, salt, wine-soaked bread and violets.
  • Béla II of Hungary died in 1141.  Known as Béla the blind the Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle indicates that “After King Bela had been established in his rule of the kingdom, he indulged himself much with wine. His courtiers found that whatever they asked of the King in his drunkenness he would grant, and after his drunkenness he could not take it back.”
  • The Challenge of Barletta was fought in Italy of 1503.  The tournament was provoked after Charles de la Motte of France, drunk on the local wine, insulted the Italians.
  • Under a federal law passed in 1862, it was illegal to  “provide spirituous liquor or wine "to any Indian under the charge of any Indian superintendent or Indian agent appointed by the United States”. A fine of $500.00 was charged for each violation.
  • It is Mardi Gras 2018.  Laissez Les Bontemps Roullez!

February 12th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • In 1502 Vasco de Gama set sail for his second voyage to India.  His ships stopped in Madeira to pick up water (a likely story).
  • In 1664, Dominie Blom, of New Amsterdam, petitioned the magistrates of Wildwyck: "that the public, sinful and scandalous Bacchanalian days of Bastenseen (Shrove Tuesday), coming down from the heathens from their idol Bacchus, the god of wine and drunkenness, being also a leaven of Popery, inherited from the pagans, which the Apostle, in I Cor. 5, admonishes true Christians to expurge, May , while near at hand, be prescribed in this place by your Honors.”
  • It is the feast day of St. Julian the Hospitaller, the patron saint of innkeepers.
  • The French have a saying, « Soleil qui rit pour sainte Eulalie fait des pommes et des prunes mais pas de vin. » or "A laughing sun for Saint Eulalia makes apples and plums but no wine.”

February 11th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • Emperor Claudius’ heir Britannicus is thought to have been poisoned by Nero in AD 55 by poisoning the water used to cool Britannicus’ wine.  The water had been previously tasted and found safe.
  • Carl Michael Bellman, a Swedish composer, musician, poet, and songwriter died in 1795.  He is best known for Fredman’s songs and Fredman’s epistles which included themes of pleasure, drunkenness, and sex.
  • Lydia Maria Child was born in 1802 in Massachusetts.  She was an abolitionist, novelist, and activist for women’s and native American rights.  She is famous for writing “Over the River and Through the Wood” and the American Frugal Housewife which included recipes for food and cures that include wine as well as for wines themselves.
  • The term Eiswin was coined on this day in 1830 to describe the wines of the 1829 harvest in Bingen-Dromersheim. 
  • William Thomas Brande died in 1866.  A chemist, he was the first to be able to calculate the alcohol content of  wine, cider and ale.  He also believed that distilled spirits were toxic, while wine and beer, wholesome.
  • Seyssel AOC was named in 1942.

February 10th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • The St. Scholastica Day riot was sparked by Oxford students complaining about the quality of the wine at Swindlestock Tavern in 1355.
  • Birthday of Aaron Hill, English writer of “The Walking Statue; Or, the Devil in the Wine Cellar” He was born in 1685.
  • Jefferson Davis is notified in 1861 that he has been made the provisional President of the Confederates States of America.  While at West Point, Davis was a participant in the Egg Nog Riots.  He was held under house arrest for his role but allowed to graduate.
  • In a letter dated 1890 to Bonfort’s Wine and Spirit Circular, the firm of Culbert & Taylor of 39 Broadway in New York, announced that they are the agent’s for Martini & Rossi.
  • Golfer Greg Norman was born in 1955.  He owns Greg Norman Estates in South Australia and California.

February 9th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • English Protestant martyr, Rowland Taylor died in 1555.  He was a supporter of Lady Jane Grey who was overthrown by Mary.   He tried and found guilty of heresy for objecting to the doctrine of transubstantiation where bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  He was burned at the stake. 
  • Max Schubert, Australian winemaker responsible for Penfolds Grange Hermitage was born in 1915.
  • Race Car Driver, Kevin Buckler was born in 1959.  He owns Adobe Road Wines in Sonoma.
  • Connecticut's Western Connecticut Highlands AVA was designated in 1988.
  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Adelaide Hills" was registered in 1998.
  • New Jersey's Outer Coastal Plain AVA was designated in 2007.

February 8th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history. 

  • John Ruskin, writer, critic, artist and social thinker was born in 1819.  He was the son of a sherry and wine importer.  His father was the founding partner of Ruskin, Telford and Domecq.
  • Jack Lemmon was born in 1925.  He starred in the movie, Days of Wine and Roses.
  • The Morgon AOC and the Saint-Amour AOC were created in 1946. 
  • Vince Neil of Motley Crue was born in 1961.  He owns Vince Neil Vineyards in Sonoma.
  • The Bianco di Custoza DOC and the Colli Lanuvini DOC were created in 1971.
  • The Salaparuta DOC was established in 2006.

February 7th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

Empress Matilda of the Holy Roman Empire was born in 1102.  She became a claimant for the English throne when her brother, William Adelin died when the vessel he was on, the White Ship foundered due to excessive drinking by the crew.  Eventually, The Empress’s son, Henry became Henry II of England.

James Busby, father of Australian wine industry born in 1801.

An 1863 The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art includes an ad from James L. Denman, Wine Merchant who sells  Greek, Hungarian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian wines.

In 1890 Bonfort’s Wine and Spirit Circular reports that the Senate Finance Committee is “bent upon having the administrative customs bill become a law as soon as possible,” despite objections from New York importers.

February 6th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Massachusetts ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.  It is home to the Southeast New England and Martha’s Vineyard viticultural areas.
  • Isabella Beeton, author of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management died in 1865.  Her book included all elements of household management including, the manufacture of wine, beer, cordials, and cocktails.
  • The Malvasia di Cagliari DOC was created in 1979.
  • Feast day of St. Amandus, patron saint of beer brewers, innkeepers, vintners, merchants and the Boy Scouts.

February 5th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • In 1206 King John orders Ralph the Miller to let Richard de Redvers have two tuns of wine that the king had bought.
  • In 1680, the Town of Irvine payed 8 Pounds 3 shilling 8d for “8 pints of claret wine two ounces of tobacco and eight pypes” to honor Granaries sons burial day.
  • Wine in the Word: An inquiry concerning the wine Christ made, the wine of the supper,etc. was an address given by Abraham Coles before the Woman's Christian temperance union of Plainfield, N. J.
  • The silent film, Liebfraumilch was released in 1929.  It starred Livio Pavanelli and Henny Porten.
  • The French have a saying, « À sainte Agathe va à ta vigne, si ce n'est pour y travailler, au moins pour y déjeuner. » which translates (loosely to "To St. Agatha go to your vineyard, if not to work there, at least to have lunch there.”

February 4th - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • Samuel Pepys reports going to the Nag’s Head Tavern with several old acquaintances and drank a bottle of sack (Sherry) with them in 1664.
  • Carl Michael Bellman, a Swedish composer, musician, poet, and songwriter was born in 1740.  He is best known for Fredman’s songs and Fredman’s epistles which included themes of pleasure, drunkenness, and sex.
  • The Alsace - Klevener of Heiligenstein AOC was created in 1997.
  • It is the feast day of St. John de Britto, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary to India who evangelized by adopting the dress and diet of the people by abstaining from all meat products and wine. 

February 3rd - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • In 1468 Johannes Gutenberg died. He invented the method of printing from moveable type. One of the important innovations in his method was a new press, similar to the screw presses used in winemaking.
  • Samuel Pepys reports in his diary that he went out with this cousin Roger to Priors, a Rhenish wine-house and had a “pint or two of wine and a dish of anchovies in1660.
  • Woodrow Wilson died in 1924.  He was President at the beginning of Prohibition, which restricted the SALE of alcohol but not the consumption.  At the end of his term as president, Wilson had his wine collection moved to his new residence.
  • The father of Washington State wines, Dr. Walter J. Clore died this day in 2003.

February 2nd - This Date in Wine History

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Wine has a long established history of being our drink of choice for celebrating, entertaining, and savoring life; but it didn't start out that way. From the invention of the barrel to the designation of the separate viticultural areas, wine has a long and sorted history.  In our daily feature "This Date In Wine History," we share an event of critical importance in wine history.

  • "Wein, Weib und Gesang" ("Wine, Women and Song"), Op.333 by Johann Strauss II was performed for the first time in 1869.
  • In 1659, Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town, produced the first known wine in South Africa.
  • Tom Smothers of the Smothers Brothers was born in 1937.  He owns Remick Ridge Vineyards in Sonoma.
  • Spain's Méntrida DO and Ribeiro DO was created in 1976.
  • New Mexico's Middle Rio Grande Valley AVA was published in the Code of Federal Regulations  in 1988.