April 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.

  • Famed actress, Helena Modjeska died in 1909.  She and a small group of Polish artists and aristocrats emigrated to Anaheim, California to create a colony based on Brooks Farm.  They grew muscat grapes which no one would buy but instead stole… The colony failed and Modjeska returned to the theater but created her home at Arden in Anaheim until 1906.

  • The Salice Salentino DOC was created in 1976.

  • The Kanawha River Valley AVA was designated in 1986.

  • It is the feast of St. Walter of Pontoise.  He is the patron saint of prisoners, prisoners of war, job-related stress and vintners.

April 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.

  • Jan van Riebeeck, who planted in the first grapes in Cape Town was born in 1619.

  • The Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect in 1933.  This law was an amendment the Volstead Act and allowed the sale and taxation of low alcohol beers and wines.  It was signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt.

  • Suzanne Valadon, artist model and painter died in 1938.  She was the subject of the Toulouse Lautrec painting, The Hangover.

  • Director Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939.  He owns Niebaum Coppola, Rubicon Estate, Inglenook, and the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

  • California's Yorkville Highlands AVA was designated in 1998.

  • Spain's Penedés DO was created in 2002.

April 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.

  • Richard I of England, known as “Cœur de Lion” died in 1199.  His wedding was celebrated with Commandaria, a wine originally made by the Knights Templar on Cyprus.

  • Jan van Riebeeck established a supply camp near the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.  This would become Cape Town and van Riebeeck would plant the first vineyard there.

  • The British Medical Journal for December 13, 1862 reports on the care Margaret McCaffrey by the physicians at Liverpool Northern Hospital as she suffered from double bronchopneumonia.  She was treated from January 1st 1862 until April 6th by several glasses of port wine with other medicines.  She recovered.

  • Actress Candace Cameron Bure was born in 1976.  She is owner of Bure Family Wines in St. Helena, California. 

  • Spain's Chacolí de Getaria-Getariako Txakolina DO was created in 1990.

April 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.

  • Isabella I of Jerusalem died in 1205.  Isabella’s first marriage was celebrated despite the castle of Kerak being under siege.  Her mother-in-law sent Saladin bread, wine sheep and cattle to join in the celebration and Saladin ordered that the tower the new couple were celebrating their wedding night in should not be attacked.

  • Thomas Cavendish found 300 tuns of Spanish wine buried in the sand in a bay near Valparaiso, Chilean in 1587.  Given that he was a privateer, might be an exaggeration.

  • Barbizon School painter, Jules Dupré was born in 1811.  He is known mostly for landscapes, but also for Still Life with a Grey Jug.

  • Bonfort’s Wine and Spirit Circular dated 1887 states a ship named Fortuna left Oporto bound for NYC with a cargo of wine.

  • Andre Tchelistcheff , the dean of American Winemakers died in 1994.

  • Louis Latour, 10th generation president of Maison Louis Latour died in 2016 at the age of 83.

April 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.

  • For circumnavigating the globe, Sir Francis Drake was knighted in 1581.  During the voyage he sacked the port of Valparaiso and captured a ship of Chilean wine.

  • King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway died in 1588.  He was considered a typical Danish king and was a lover of hunting, wine, women and feasting.

  • Robert Walpole, The Earl of Orford and Prime Minister of Great Britain becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1721.  He proposed that the tariff on wine and tobacco be replaced by an excise tax.  Revenues had fallen due to smuggling.

  • Bonfort’s Wine and Spirit Circular reports that the ship Cibele left the Port of Genoa bound for NYC laden with wine.

  • Washington's Yakima Valley AVA was designated in 1983.

April 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.

  • It is the feast day of Saint Richard of Chichester. After becoming bishop he established rules to stop clerical abuses, forced priests to abandon their concubines, celebrate mass in clean robes, use the purest wheat flour for communion hosts and wine was to be mixed with water.

  • In a letter dated April 3, 1563 Sir Thomas Challoner(Chaloner)  writes to Robert Cecil that he was sending a hog’s skin of St. Martin’s wine asking that it be given to the Queen, “perchance prove her of wine to digest her strawberries better than all the purveyors at home”. Chaloner was Elizabeth’s ambassador to Philip II of Spain.

  • Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a Spanish painter in the Baroque school died in 1682.  He is known for his painting of the Wedding Feast at Cana, where Jesus transforms water into wine.

  • Wine and Ale were provided for the two young men that preached that day in 1688 in Rotherham. 

  • AOC Ajaccio (Corsica) was created in 1984.  It is the birthplace of Napoleon.

April 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.

  • The California Agricultural Experimentation Station in Cupertino reported in 1890 that the Berbera, Nebbiolo Bourgu and Spanna were racked.

  • The Bianchello del Metauro DOC was created in 1969.

  • The Marsala DOC was created in 1969.

  • The Sartène AOC was designated in 1976.

  • It is the feast of Acan, the Mayan god of wine (also known as Belch).

  • Feast day of St. Urban of Langres, patron saint of vineyard workers.

April 1st - 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.

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine died in 1204.  Her dowry included Aquitaine including the vineyards or Bordeaux, which remained hers through her marriages and afterwards.  She was succeed as Duke of the Aquitainians by her son, John.  Later King John of England. (Think Robin Hood… yeah, that John.)

  • Mike Grgich, Croatian American winemaker was born in 1923.

  • The first issue of the Wine Spectator was released in 1976 in San Diego, California.

  • The Alsace Pinot gris AOC was named in 2007. It was previously called 'Tokay Pinot Gris’ as the grape was thought to have been brought to Alsace by Lazarus von Schwendi after a campaign against the Turks in the 16th Century

  • It is April Fool’s Day or as they say in France, “Avril Poissons!” (April Fish). This bad boy is a monkfish and even as a smaller fish in its mouth. I suggest cooking it with a nice Sauvignon Blanc.

March 31st - 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.

  • Cesare Borgia is given the title of Captain General and Gonfalonier after returning from his conquests in the Romagna.  He is best thought of as someone who poisoned the wine of his enemies.

  • Jules Guyot, was a French physician and agronomist, who introduced a system of "cane-pruning" of vines for trellises died in 1872.

  • Rudolf Steiner, father of biodynamic wine making died in 1925.

  • California's Cucamonga Valley AVA was designated in 1995.

March 30th - 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 rebellion know as the Sicilian Vespers began in 1282.  The rebellion against the Angevin King Charles I started when French officials joined  locals at Palermo’s Church of the Holy Spirit to celebrate Easter and began to drink. A French soldier dragged a local (married) woman from the crowd and began pestering her.  Her husband then killed the dude and all hell broke out.  The trouble started at vespers or sunset.

  • The Florida Territory was created in 1822.  The area includes wine making regions, Fort Caroline and St. Augustine.

  • Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853.  Along with his paintings of Sunflowers, Starry Nights and his bedroom in Arles, he also painted still lifes of the foods and beverages in his kitchen.

  • Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula AVA was designated in 1982.

  • Tom Angove, inventor of the wine cask (aka bag in a box) died in 2010.

March 29th - 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 an experiment in 1749 the measurements of a thermoscope (an early form of thermometer) was tested with water, salt water and “spirit of wine” mixed with water.  This last version caused the instrument to rise much more dramatically.

  • Baron Bettino Ricasoli, the Father of Chianti Classico, was born in 1809.

  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruled  in 1813 that the Philadelphia Sheriff Barker was not entitled to break into Plaintiff Lyle’s house and seize 29 pipes of Madeira to pay an undetermined debt to Robert Morris.

  • Bentley’s Miscellany in 1842 published an account of three “medical young gentlemen” who attended the Greenwich fair, meeting at the Cheshire Cheese in Wine-office Court, Fleet Street.

  • Oregon's Umpqua Valley AVA was designated in 1984.

March 28th - 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.

Hannah Glasse, author of The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy was born in 1708.  Her cookbook included instructions for country wines and raisin wines

  • In 1903, Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings, wealthy industrialist, horseman and tycoon hosted an eccentric horsed dinner where all the guests were seated on a horse and ate off of silver trays affixed to the saddles.  Guests also drank 1898 Krug Champagne from rubber tubes to iced bottles in their saddlebags.  The dinner was held at Louis Sherry’s restaurant.

  • The Bianco di Pitigliano DOC was created in 1966. 

  • Brunello di Montalcino DOCG designation was established in 1968.

  • The Southeastern New England AVA was designated in 1984.

  • California's Santa Clara Valley AVA was designated in 1989.

  • The French have a saying, « À la Saint-Gontran, espoir s'il fait beau, pain et vin se font voir. » or "At Saint-Gontran, hope if the weather is nice, bread and wine are visible. "

March 27th - 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.

  • Simon de Brion, later known as Pope Martin IV was born in 1210 (or 1220).  In the Divine Comedy, Dante sees the pope in purgatory for his fondness for Lake Bolsena eels and Vernaccia wine.

  • Abraham Mignon, artist of painter of still life and flower images including “Still Life with Fruit and a Goldfinch” died in 1679.

  • Horace Walpole in a letter dated 1764 to Charles Churchill the satirist about the events of Lady Cardigan’s ball that evening where he tried to get fellow guests drunk, “but as they are not at all familiar chez moi, they formalize at wine, as much as a middle-aged woman who is just beginning to drink in private”. (He seems nice)

  • The movie, Wine, Women and Song debuted in 1933

  • Stacy Ann Ferguson Duhamel, the singer known as Fergie, was born in 1975.  She is founder of Ferguson Crest Winery.

March 26th - 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 Siege of Algeciras, during the Reconquista ended in 1344.  The victor, Alfonso XI prepared for the seige by taxing expanding the Alcabala tax from bread, wine, fish and clothing to all goods.

  • The Gambellara DOC designation was established in 1970.

  • The San Martino della Battaglia DOC designation was established in 1970.

  • The Taurasi DOCG designation was established in 1970. The grapes used to produce this wine were previously called hellenico because of their Greek origin.

  • Noël Coward who wrote: The air is like a draught of wine. The undertaker cleans his sign, The Hull express goes off the line, When it's raspberry time in Runcorn. in On With the Dance, 'Poor Little Rich Girl’ died in 1973.

  • The Cheverny AOC was created in 1973.

  • The AOC Aloxe-Corton was designated in 1986.

March 25th - 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.

  • Greece declared its independence from Turkey in 1821 freeing wine production from the onerous taxes of the Ottoman Turks.

  • French winemaker, Jean-Michel Cazes was born in 1935.

  • New York's Cayuga Lake AVA was designated in 1988.

  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Clare Valley" was registered in 1999.

  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Perricoota" was registered in 1999.

  • The Australian Geographical Indication "Adelaide Plains" was registered in 2002.

  • The French have a saying, « S'il gèle le 25 mars, pas de grain ni de vin. » or “If it freezes on March 25th, there will be no grain nor wine”.

March 24th - 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.

  • James VI of Scotland became James I of England and Ireland after the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.  Later in his reign James suffered from arthritis, gout and kidney stones and was described as having urine, “dark red color of Alicante wine”. (That ain’t right)

  • Pieter de Hooch, a Dutch painter died in 1684.  He is known for “A Woman Drinking with Two Men” and “A Woman and Two Men in an Arbor”.

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died in 1882.  An American poet and educator, he is the author of “Ode to Catawba Wine”.

  • The Coteaux-Varois AOC was created in 1993.  The primary grapes are Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Mourvédre, Syrah and Carignan.

  • The Cour-Cheverny AOC was created in 1993. The only grape allowed for this wine is Romorantin.

March 23rd - 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.

  • Charles II issued a warrant to the Farmers of Customs for unlading 120 pipes of Canary wine for the Spanish ambassadors in 1667.

  • Ludwig Minkus  and Austrian-Jewish composer was born in 1826.  His father was a wholesale wine merchant in Moravia, Austria and Hungary.

  • Hubert de Castella arrived in Melbourne, from Switzerland in 1854 and began a winery in the Yarra Valley.

  • The Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry listed that W.P. Thompson received a patent for a method and apparatus for manufacturing beer, ale, wine, cider or the like in 1892.

March 22nd - 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.

  • Agostino Carracci, an Italian painter died in 1602.  One of his most famous works is of the Last Supper of Christ.

  • The Illinois General Assembly created rules requiring every county to regulate weights and measures including for a wine measure.

  • George W. Roosevelt, the US Ambassador to France reports on new French laws about the adulteration of wines in 1883.

  • Viticulture Committee of the Region of Vinho Verde was created in 1929.

  • Franklin Roosevelt signed The Cullen-Harrison Act to amend the Volstead Act that allowed the sale and taxation of low alcohol beers and wines in 1933.

March 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.

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage to Louis VII of France in 1152.  Her dowry included Aquitaine including the vineyards or Bordeaux, which remained hers through the marriage and afterwards.

  • Julio Gallo was born in 1910.

  • The AOC Alsace Grand Cru Sylvaner and Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim were named in 2005.

  • Wine Road of The Samurai, a documentary about 34 Samurai (who were also known as The Last Samurais) delegation sent by the Japanese government to France at the end of Edo era was released in 2006.

  • Happy Nowruz!  The Persian New Year celebration goes back to the reign of mythic king Jamshid who saved humanity from a killer winter and also created wine.  The holiday is celebrated by Zoroastrians, Bahá’í and some Muslim sects

March 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.

  • In 1524 Hernán Cortés, Marquis of the Oaxaca Valley decreed that all Spaniards with encomiendas should plant 1,000 Spanish and native grapevines for ever 100 indians in their service.

  • The Dutch East India Company was created in 1602.  The South African wine industry, started by Jan van Riebeeck, a company y employee is a legacy.

  • Friedrich Hölderlin, German lyric poet was born in 1770 He is known for the poem, Brod und Wein.

  • James Christie imported 621 1/2 of port wine and 600lbs of Jesuits bark (cinchona bark, the source of quinine) in 1776.

  • Ferdinand Foch, French General, military strategist and Supreme Allied Commander during WWI died in 1929.  The grape Marechal Foch was named in his honor.

  • Spain's Plá I Llevant  DO was created in 2001.

  • Happy Spring!  It is the Vernal Equinox.