January 18, 1213: On this day, “King Tamar,” the Queen of Georgia died. Queen Tamar’s reign from 1184 to 1213 is widely regarded as the apex of the Georgian Golden Age. During her rule, the “supra” tradition emerged, which is a pagan custom of toasting and has since become an essential part of Georgian food and wine culture. The supra is typically presided over by a toastmaster, known as a “Tamada,” who must possess wit, intelligence, and charisma to lead the toasting customs of the Georgian feast. This Georgian Supra tradition is a powerful ritual that has endured through centuries to this day.

January 18, 1677: On this day, Jan van Riebeeck died. Dutch navigator and colonial administrator Johan Anthoniszoon “Jan” van Riebeeck worked for the Dutch East India Company. When the Dutch East India Company arrived in Cape Town for the first time in 1652, he planted the country’s first grapes. However, the initial vines in the country were not planted to make wine but rather to prevent scurvy in sailors traveling through the Spice Route.

January 18, 1890: On this day, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo died. He was a man who had become entangled in the currents of history. He grew up in Mexican-controlled California but supported his brother’s uprising against the government. Vallejo oversaw the Sonoma mission and had a love for vineyards. By 1837, he had hundreds of acres of vines and was the first to commercially plant grapes in California. Mexico’s retreat from California in 1848 saw Vallejo taken captive and robbed of his wealth. Nevertheless, he participated in the inaugural session of the California State Senate in 1852 and focused on expanding his Vallejo Estate near Sonoma Square.

January 18, 1927: On this day, Hermann Müller died. Hermann Müller was a Swiss botanist, physiologist of plants, oenologist, and cultivator of grapes. He adopted his home canton’s name and went by Müller-Thurgau. Müller developed the grape variety Müller-Thurgau while he was in Geisenheim as part of a breeding program that was started in 1882. It was wrongly thought to be Riesling x Silvaner for a very long period. Müller wanted to combine Silvaner’s earlier and more consistent ripening with the fragrant qualities of Riesling. Up until 1890, experimental plantations were maintained in Geisenheim, and 150 trees were moved there in 1891 to continue studies under Heinrich Schellenberg (1868–1967). The Riesling x Silvaner 1 cultivar was created in 1897 from the trials’ highest productive clone (series no. 58).

January 18, 2014: On this day, the third Pinot Days New York City was held. The 3rd Annual Pinot Days New York City held on January 18 from 1 pm to 4 pm at City Winery, including more than 100 highly regarded pinots. Pinot Days, a renowned pinot noir wine event featuring annual tastings in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, unites wine fans with winemakers and offers a special chance for both novice and experienced wine lovers to explore, enjoy, and expand their knowledge of pinot noir. The Winemaker “Table Hop” dinner on January 17 and the Grand Festival at City Winery in SoHo, Manhattan, on January 18 were both parts of the two-day New York City event. The Pinot Days Grand Festival is a wine-tasting event that offers wine enthusiasts the chance to sample more than 100 of the top pinot noirs in the world and speak with the more than 45 renowned winemakers who make them.

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