February 18, 1478: On this day, George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence was secretly executed in the Tower of London. It is believed that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was the sixth child and brother of Richard Plantagenet, Third Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. He was an important figure in the dynastic conflict between the Plantagenets’ opposing factions, today known as the Wars of the Roses.

February 18, 1626: On this day the poet and famed scientist Francesco Redi was born. Francesco declared, to great historical effect, that Montepulciano was the king of all wines. This opinion has been upheld over centuries by many renowned wine appreciators, including  Thomas Jefferson.

February 18, 1848: On this day, Louis Comfort Tiffany was born. L. Comfort Tiffany was an American painter, craftsman, philanthropist, decorator, and designer who made substantial contributions to the art of glassmaking and is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the Art Nouveau movement worldwide. Tiffany’s experiments with stained glass, which began in 1875, led to the construction of his glassmaking facility at Corona in Queens, New York, three years later. He experimented with novel coloring techniques and was a leading glass manufacturer by the 1890s. He rose to fame on a global scale for the glass he created and termed Favrile—a neologism derived from the Latin Faber, which means “craftsman.”

February 18, 1930: Jess Stonestreet Jackson Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California. He founded Kendall-Jackson winery with his first wife, which, in its first year, produced a chardonnay that won the first Platinum Award from the American Wine competition. He now manages dozens of wineries under the Jackson Family Wines brand name.

February 18, 1937: In this year, Junta Nacional do Vinhos was founded. Small vineyard landowners were encouraged by the JNV to join forces to form cooperative wineries. Even though the cooperative movement helped the Portuguese wine industry become more organized and structured, it also had the unfavorable effect of stifling innovation and free enterprise. The winemaking and sanitary standards of some of the least hygienic co-operatives decreased as they grew to almost absolute dominance in many wine regions, which gave the entire Portuguese wine sector a bad name. The only positive development at this time was the widespread popularity of a Portuguese brand of sweet, lightly sparkling, mass-produced rosés. Following World War II, companies like Mateus and Lancers successfully sold this type of wine in British stores and other countries. These wines also became quickly linked with Portuguese wine outside of the port.

February 18, 2015: Fountaingrove District AVA was legally established. Fountaingrove District appellation is located in the eastern region of the Sonoma wine region. Most of its vineyards are family-owned. The AVA also boasts diverse soils and climates; this includes a combination of well-drained volcanic soils and marine influences, giving wines from this subregion a unique flavor. It comprises 600 acres of planted hillside vineyards. The vineyard’s elevation (up to 2000 feet), soils, and unique climate allow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah varietals to flourish.

February 18, 2022: This day is National Drink Wine Day in the United States.

For more dates in wine history, click here.


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