April 25, 1846: This day marks the beginnings of the Mexican-American War, and therefore also the El Paso Vineyards. In the annals of history, the Mexican-American War may be traced back to the time of Alexander William Doniphan, who was a renowned Colonel in the United States Army who participated in several significant operations during the Mexican-American War. El Paso was one of the cities he visited on his long journey across the Southwest. One of the soldiers serving in his squad, a private by John T. Hughes, was particularly captivated by the grapes that his forces discovered near El Paso. The area was famous for the wine made there; it was known as “Pass Wine,” although the wine’s notoriety was probably not due to its high quality but rather to the enormous quantities produced. After the war, Hughes thought that the Americans should evict the Mexicans from their land and construct canals to convey the region’s wine to northern markets. In his opinion, the wine was superior in the richness of flavor and pleasantness of taste.
April 25, 1950: Robert Peugeot was born on this day. He is the Vice Chairman and non-executive Director of Stellantis, the car manufacturer, and is a businessman active in a variety of organisations. He has been admitted to both the French National Order of Merit and the French Legion of Honour. He is also a co-owner of Château Guiraud.
April 25, 1989: On this day, Manhattan wine trader William Sokolin spilled a bottle of 1787 Château Margaux at a $250-per-person black tie Bordeaux dinner. The accident shocked New York’s high society. The bottle, which is worth more than $500,000, was discovered in 1985 behind a cellar wall in Paris and is assumed to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. The wine flowed out even though the bottle did not break. People magazine reported Sokolin’s reaction in his own words: “When it happened […] I was numb.”
April 25, 2008: The auction firm Acker, Merrall, & Condit broke records by selling a bottle of 1959 Dom Pérignon Rosé for $42,700. Each bottle in the two-bottle lot was estimated to sell for $5,000 to $7,000. The rare Champagnes, which were manufactured in a vintage that had never been commercially available before, shattered expectations when they were purchased by an unnamed buyer for $84,700, or $42,350 per bottle.
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