April 7, 1885: On this day in 1885 the first steam train pulled into Mendoza in the Andes region of western Argentina. It had arrived from Buenos Aires following the completion of the first railway between the region and the Argentinian capital. Already by the 1880s the Mendoza region had developed as a major wine-growing region in Argentina and was becoming well-regarded for its Malbecs in particular. Moreover, Argentina had not been badly hit by the phylloxera epidemic which decimated the wine industries of Europe and South Africa between the 1860s and the 1880s and as a result the completion of the railway could not have been more fortuitous. Malbec wines from Mendoza, which could now be easily transported to Buenos Aires on board the trains, began to find a huge international market in the years that followed. Mendoza is acclaimed for its Malbecs over a century later. For more information, see this page.
April 7, 1939: On this day, Francis Ford Coppola was born. Coppola is a famous filmmaker, responsible for many of the United States’ most recognizable movies. Aside from his decorated career in film, he also cares deeply about wine. He has a family-run vineyard that has been operational for close to 50 years. Coppola also acquired the former Inglenook Winery estate and years later paid an exorbitant sum for its trademark, so that they can continue to produce organic wines under the Inglenook name.
April 7, 1973: On this day, Helen Keplinger was born. Keplinger produces outstanding wines in the Sierra Foothills’ Amador and El Dorado counties, which are usually known for their economical but forgettable Zinfandels. She formerly worked for Heidi Peterson Barrett in Napa and Fiddlestix in the Santa Rita Hills. After that, Melis spent three years in Spain creating wine. She returned to California and worked for Kenzo Estate, a $100 million star-studded startup owned by a Japanese video-game entrepreneur, as well as Bryant Family Vineyard, a cult Cabernet producer.
April 7, 2013: Franco Biondi Santi passed away. The unique red wine made solely in Montalcino, Tuscany, Brunello di Montalcino is the most well-known creation of Italian vintner Franco Biondi Santi. In the late 1800s, Ferruccio Biondi Santi, Franco Biondi Santi’s grandfather, founded Brunello di Montalcino. From his father Tancredi, Franco learned how to make wine. When Franco took over ownership of the Greppo estate in 1970, he continued his father’s traditions while also raising the standard of the property. He managed all facets of the vineyards and winemaking until his passing, staying in charge of the family business, Tenuta Il Greppo.
April 7, 2014: On this day, Sonoma Valley Custom Wine, LLC (SVC) opened its doors to the burgeoning North Coast wine industry. Their goal has always been to build long-term connections with their clients while also assisting them in maintaining quality and efficiency. They offer a full range of winemaking services. Sonoma Valley Custom Wine Company’s temperature-controlled facility spans 50,000 square feet and can crush 1,200 tons of grapes and store 4,000 barrels.
April 7, 2021: Champagne Bollinger acquired Ponzi Vineyards for an undisclosed amount.
For more dates in wine history, click here.