August 31, 1842: On this day, the man who would come to be known as Gustave Niebaum was born with the name Gustaf Ferdinand Nybom, in Helsinki, Finland. He was a distinguished sea captain and an influential figure in Alaska, and changed his name to Gustave Niebaum after building his wealth through the fur trade. He was obsessed with Bordeaux wines and wanted to develop his first winery in France. However, his wife objected due to long sea voyages, so he settled for Napa Valley and founded the Inglenook estate.
August 31, 1930: On this day, Leonard “Len” Paul Evans was born in England. He was wine expert based in Australia who wrote about wines for the common people. For years, he authored a wine column for The Australian Women’s Weekly, in which he discussed numerous wines, most of which were fairly priced, in an open, jargon-free style. He also was a talented blind taster, and he popularized blind wine tastings as a competitive sport. He is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of Australia’s wine culture. He passed away on August 17th, 2006.
August 31, 1987: Ozark Highlands AVA was established in the state of Missouri. It is one of the driest wine regions in Missouri, and its viticulture began in the late 1800s by Italian immigrants who moved to the area.
August 31, 2021: On this day, the movie A Wonderful Kingdom was released. The documentary follows the actions of winemakers and vineyard hands in the Douro Valley of Portugal, with no exposition or interviews. It is intended as a meditative tribute to one of the oldest wine traditions in the world, and the harvest it treasures every year.
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