April 30, 1859: On this day in 1859 The British Medical Journal reported on the recent death of Dr. Richard Mortimer Glover. In 1842 Glover was awarded the Gold Medal by the Harveian Society for discovering the anesthetic qualities of chloroform. His discovery paved the way for introducing its use as an anesthetic in all manner of medical operations from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, many of which had previously been performed by administering alcohol to the patient. Unfortunately, chloroform was not without its own risks. Glover had become addicted to it after he contracted dysentery while serving as a doctor in the Crimean War in the mid-1850s. It was an overdose of it that led to his death in 1859. Yet his legacy was substantial in so far as that he introduced one of the first effective modern methods anaesthesia which allowed physicians to move beyond spirits, wine and other alcohol as a method killing pain or even numbing patients’ senses prior to surgery. For more information, see ‘Toxicology: Deaths from Drinking Chloroform’, in The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1, No. 122 (30 April, 1859), pp. 354–356.
April 30, 2002: On this day, Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure was published. During World War II one of the most desired treasures by the Nazis were French wines, which together with the most famous wineries in the world were now at the mercy of the occupants. Wine and War tells the interesting and little-known story of wartime winemakers who mobilized to save their crops and bottles through cunning. Donald and Petie Kladstrup reveal the story of 5 wine families, as well as the exploits of the French resistance, winemakers and even Germans to protect France’s greatest treasure.
April 30, 2021: On this day, Yalumba introduced the International Viognier Day to the global wine calendar in honor of the unique white wine variety. Yalumba planted viognier vines in the Eden Valley for the first time in 1980. Plantings were previously restricted to the French appellations of Condrieu and Côte Rôtie.
For more dates in wine history, click here.