January 21, 1527: On this day, Juan de Grijalva died. Grijalva was among the first to discover the Mexican coast in 1518. Pedro Mártir claimed there were 300 people present, although Hernán Cortés claimed 170 people traveled with him. Antón de Alaminos served as the primary pilot, with Juan Alvarez (also known as el Manquillo), Pedro Camacho de Triana, and Grijalva serving as the other pilots. Francisco de Montejo, Pedro de Alvarado, Juan Dáz, Francisco Pealosa, Alonso de Vila: 50 Alonso Hernández, Julianillo, Melchorejo, and Antonio Villafana were also members. In April 1518, they set off with four ships from the Cuban port of Matanzas. In the historical Tenochtitlan, Juan de Grijalva is regarded as the first Spanish adventurer to share a glass of wine with Aztec representatives sent by Montezuma. Since the first European grapes were brought to Mexico by Spanish conquistadors and missionaries, the history of wine in Mexico developed throughout colonialism.

January 21, 1913: On this day, Thomas Volney Munson died. Also known by his initials T.V. Munson, Thomas was a grape breeder and horticulturist in Texas. Munson was the second American to be awarded the title of Chevalier du Mérite Agricole by the French government in 1888, following Thomas Edison. He was born in Astoria, Illinois, in 1843, and in his 20s he was captivated by the wild vine species in America. He then traveled to 40 states to collect samples. He established a vineyard and nursery company near Denison, Texas, in 1876, and eventually produced over 300 grape varieties by breeding local varieties. Munson started grafting European vines onto the rootstock of American grape species, which are resistant to insect depredations, after learning that a small insect known as phylloxera was destroying vineyards all over Europe. He then shared the findings of his research with French viticultural experts. As a response, French farmers began importing American species as rootstocks in the 1880s and 1890s. This solution spread throughout Europe and eventually to a large portion of the wine-growing world.

January 21, 2016: On this day, Los Olivos District AVA was established. The region is a Santa Ynez Valley AVA sub-appellation comprising 1121 acres of planted vineyards. Its key grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone varietals, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Blanc.

For more dates in wine history, click here.

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