August 15, 1038: On this day, Saint Stephen of Hungary passed away. From 1000 or 1001 until he died in 1038, Stephen I, sometimes referred to as King Saint Stephen, reigned as Hungary’s first monarch. Between 997 and 1000 or 1001, he presided as the Hungarians’ last Grand Prince. His birth year is unknown, although several facts about his life point to Eszterg, Esztergom, in or around the year 975. In the year 1000 AD, Saint Stephen established the Kingdom of Hungary. He was in charge of spreading Christianity throughout Hungary, and the monasteries brought wine culture. A thriving wine industry grew, and Hungarian wines were exported to surrounding nations.
August 15, 1835: On this day in 1835 Jean-Baptiste Lynch died at the Chateau Dauzac outside Bordeaux. He was born in 1749 to Thomas Lynch and Elisabeth Drouillard, who had the Chateau Lynch-Bages overlooking the Gironde Estuary by the time of Jean-Baptiste’s birth. Jean-Baptiste gradually came into possession of the Chateau in the 1770s and continued to develop it as one of the finest wineries in western France. In due course he brought his brother Michel into the business, creating the basis for the Michel-Lynch brand. During the French Revolution, his royalist links brought him under suspicion by the Revolutionary government. However, he eventually found favor under the government of Napoleon Bonaparte and also negotiated the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty in 1815 well. When he died in 1835 he was one of the wealthiest peers of western France and surely one of the greatest success stories of the Irish Wine Geese, the descendants of those Irish who had left Ireland in the 1690s and 1700s, many of whom became extensively involved in France’s wine industry. For more see ‘Galway Tribes in Bordeaux in the 18th Century: D’Arcy, Lynch, Kirwan, French’, by Francois D’Arcy in The Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. 68 (2016), pp. 28–63, at pp. 36–40.
August 15, 1845: On this day, while traveling to the Rhine in 1845, Queen Victoria visited Hochheim am Main, along with her German-born husband Prince Albert. They discovered more about Hochheim wine and its production at the Dechantenruhe estate. For a long time, Hock wine—a kind of Hochheimer—was consumed in England. The vineyard was later christened Viktoria by the winery’s then-owner Georg Michael Papstmann.
August 15, 1914: On this day, an initiative to prohibit alcohol sales in the state of California was on the ballot for the state election. The legislation targeted the distribution of alcoholic beverages and their production and transportation.
August 15, 1941: On this day, restaurateur Leslie Rudd was born. The Rudd Group, a privately held portfolio of upscale companies, was founded by Leslie Rudd. Among them was a prestigious group of food and beverage companies, including Rudd Oakville Estate, Edge Hill Estate, Oakville Grocery, Distillery No. 209, PRESS Restaurant, Vintage Wine Estates, Covenant Wines, and Rudd Farms. Leslie was born in Wichita, Kansas, where he was also the owner of Standard Beverage Corporation. He had one of the largest wine collections. At one point, Rudd had a collection of up to 10,000 bottles. His exclusively Napa-only collection features every type produced in the Napa Valley wine region.
January 4, 2022: On this day, Duckhorn purchased two new vineyards in Napa Valley to expand white wine and Burgundy production. Duckhorn is one of the most important wine producers in the Napa Valley, which is known to have a great reputation for its production of Merlot.
August 15, 2022: This date marks the beginning of the roughly two and a half month harvesting period for late varietals in Napa Valley. The most common late varietals are Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The specific date of harvest differs for each vineyard based on climate and the growth rate of that year’s vintage.
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