April 18, 1951
On this day in 1951, the Treaty of Paris was signed, which brought the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the forerunner of the European Union, into being. A little-known fact is that because Algeria was administered as part of the French département system, Algeria technically became part of the ECSC. This meant that the Algerian wine industry had access to a large market in Europe under favorable trade conditions for years to come.
5 July 1962 – On this day in 1962, an independence referendum in French Algeria to decide whether the country should become an independent state or continue as a part of France was announced. 99.7% of voters voted for independence, weary after eight years of an extremely brutal war of independence. A relatively unknown part of the announcement of the result on 5 July, which today is celebrated as Independence Day in Algeria, is that, over time, it brought about the death of the previously enormous Algerian wine industry. With no domestic market to speak of and Algeria eventually being locked out of the European market, Algeria’s vineyards were soon converted to other purposes.
Also read: California’s Oppressive Wine History