January 24, 1791: On in this day in 1791 the first two bunches of grapes to have been successfully grown in Australia were cut from some vineyards in the governor’s garden in Sydney. The governor in question was Arthur Philips, the first chief administrator of the British colony of New South Wales, which had only been established less than three years earlier in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet to Botany Bay. Cuttings for the vines had been brought at that time to Australia and cultivated until they produced their first yield early in 1791, as related by a diarist of the time, Watkin Tench. The exact location where this occurred can even be identified. The site where the garden of the governor’s house stood in 1791 is now occupied by the Hotel Intercontinental in Sydney’s Macquarie Street. Thus, unlike in most other countries which are major wine producers today, the history of the origins of viticulture in Australia can be mapped to specific sites in the country. Australia would soon become one of the world’s leading wine producers. For more, see the entry on ‘Australia’ in Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition, Oxford, 2006).

January 24, 1920: On this particular day, the Prohibition Unit began recruiting agents to carry out its mission of executing the requirements of the National Prohibition Act. Agents were often referred to as “Dry Agents” in common parlance because they maintained law and order in the United States.

January 24, 2022: On this day, the TV show Promised Land was released. The show portrays the tensions and power struggles between two families and numerous workers involved with a winery in Sonoma County, California.

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