January 23, 1860: The Cobden-Chevalier Treaty was signed on this day. Before this date, European countries had embraced unilateral tariffs that significantly impacted inter-border trade, especially between Britain and France. Tariffs unilaterally imposed by Britain on French products reduced market penetration experienced in the previous centuries. These tariffs devastated the French wine industry, overturning the flourishing wine trade between the two countries. However, toward the mid-19th century, changes in commerce and calls for free trade led to the treaty’s signing. The treaty allowed moderation of tariffs throughout Europe, ushering in a new era of free trade. As a result, the French wine exports to Britain steadily increased. The treaty led to improved living standards in France, and once again wine industry was burgeoning under Napoleon III. For more on the treaty, see this entry from Encyclopedia.com.
January 23, 1984: Clarksburg AVA was established. The region is one of the AVAs that spans more than one county, nestled in Sacramento waterways. The AVA’s major growing area is in Yolo County, extending into Solano and Sacramento counties. Clarksburg is fairly flat, boating fertile silt and clay soils. The AVA is known for aromatic white wines and Chenin Blanc.
January 23, 2007: On this day, The Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labelling (Labelling Agreement) was signed. Wine exporters can now sell their products into WWTG markets thanks to the Labelling Agreement without having to change their labels for every single market. According to the terms of the Labelling Agreement, the participants in the WWTG have decided to label wine using a “single field of vision” approach, in which the four pieces of common information (country of origin, product name, net contents, and alcohol content) are considered to comply with domestic labeling requirements if they are presented together in any one field of vision on the container. Phase two of the Labelling Agreement was completed with the signing of the Protocol to the Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labeling at the beginning of 2013. Enabling some harmonization of the regulations controlling alcohol tolerance, variety, wine area, and vintage enhances the prior Agreement on Labeling. With the help of the Labelling Agreement, consumers can quickly find key details on the bottle in one area of their vision, making it simpler to compare various wines. Reduced production, application, warehousing, and label usage costs are another advantage of the Agreement for producers and suppliers. Gains from economies of scale can be realized, and costs associated with production lines and label printing can be reduced (because of fewer stoppages).
For more dates in wine history, click here.