April 18, 1855: On this day, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification took place at the request of Napoleon III. All of the wines in Bordeaux were ranked by brokers in order of importance. The red wine of Château Margaux obtained the highest denomination of Premiers Crus, and to this day produces high quality, expensive, luxury wines. Additionally, 26 of the best sweet white wines from Sauternes and Barsac were categorized and graded. Initially, there were just two categories (Premier Cru and Second Cru), but due to Chateau d’Yquem’s exceptional performance, it was awarded a unique and new ranking, “Premier Cru Superieur.”
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 Economic Community and the European Union, into being. A little-known fact about the early history of both the ECSC is that because Algeria was administered as part of the French département system, Algeria technically became part of the ECSC. This was all a result of Algeria having become a French colony back in the mid-nineteenth century. In due course French colonists here had begun planting vast parts of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains with vineyards and the Algerian wine industry blossomed. This meant that upon France’s entry into the ECSC in the early 1950s the Algerian wine industry gained access to a large market in Europe for its wines under favorable trade conditions for years to come.
April 18, 1963: On this day, Italy’s modern wine landscape began to take shape as the country introduced its first system for classifying wines originally based off of the French appellation system. The Italian DOC, however, includes region and production methods in its conditions for approval.
April 18, 2004: On this day, Berlin Wine Trophy was founded. The Berlin Wine Trophy (Berliner Wein Trophy) is Germany’s biggest wine tournament.
April 18, 2016: The Court of Turin ruled that there had been no infringement in a case involving two winemakers using the same surname and unregistered trademark ROAGNA in nearby municipalities. The court also decided to allow the identical marks to coexist because they had been used concurrently for more than 20 years without any common complaints or obvious confusion in the market. Three unregistered mark-related concerns were addressed by the court in this ruling, each of which the court adopted a firm but unexpected stance. First, it was discovered that the product labels’ traceability indicators contained enough specific components. The court also decided that the use of an unregistered trademark might be expanded through online advertising. Acquiescence also applies to unregistered trademarks.
April 18, 2016: This month saw the acquisition of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars by Jackson Family Wines. The wine cellar was started by Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash in 1998, and over the years, it has gotten several excellent ratings from Wine Spectator, twice making the annual Top 100 list. There are approximately 12,000 cases available, up from 125 in the initial vintage. Hugh Reimers, Jackson Family Wines’ chief operating officer, told Wine Spectator, “We’re a luxury wine firm. This completes our collection of premium Pinot Noirs and pairs well with the fruit resources we have in Oregon. Ron and Lynn were in their late 50s and thinking about how to transition smoothly into retirement. Production had unexpectedly increased to 18,000 cases in the high-yielding 2015 vintage, and neither of their college-age children had expressed interest in carrying on the business.
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