April 3, 1840: On this day, Antoine Alciatore opened his eponymous restaurant Antoine’s for business. The establishment became a cornerstone institution in canonizing French Creole cuisine, and has held a vast collection of wines in its 175 years of operation. While the venue’s initial wine collection was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the staff has steadily rebuilt it.
April 3, 1863: On this day, the destruction phylloxera plague occurred; it is unclear what caused the first vineyards in the southern Rhône area of France to begin to decline. The issue quickly becomes widespread across the continent. The phylloxera pest, a microscopic yellow louse carried to Europe via American native vines by botanists working in the Victorian era, was responsible for destroying Europe’s vineyards.
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