July 16, 1429: On this day, Charles VII was guided by Joan of Arc to Reims, where he was crowned in the cathedral. The region was afflicted by numerous other conflicts and battles throughout history and into the 20th century. Some of the wars that had a significant impact on the region were the Napoleonic Wars (which lasted until 1815), the French Revolution (which took place from the late 1780s to 1798/99), World War I, and World War II.

July 16, 1660: On this day, Austrian architect Jakob Prandtauer was born. He was the designer of the Kellerschlössl Dürnstein castle that currently serves as the winery for the Domäne Wachau production.

July 16, 1769: On this day in 1769 Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary from Spain, founded the first of his religious missions along the coast of California. This first mission was Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá in what is now San Diego Old Town. The goal of Father Serra was to convert the tens of thousands of Native Americans who lived in southern and western California to Christianity and to pave the way for Spanish colonisation of the region. Roman Catholicism is centred on the celebration of the Mass and thus requires wine. It is, therefore, not surprising that Serra and his followers quickly introduced the so-called ‘Mission Grape’ to California, a type of vitis vinifera which had been widely grown by the Spanish in the New World since the sixteenth century. By 1782, when Serra established his last mission, Mission San Buenaventura, note long before his death, vineyards had been planted by the Franciscans next to many of their missions, the first step in the development of the Californian wine industry. For more information, see Steven W. Hackel’s Junipero Serra: California’s Founding Father (Berkeley, California, 2013). See also Irving McKee’s ‘The Beginnings of California Winegrowing’, in The Quarterly: Historical Society of Southern California, Vol. 29, No. 1 (March, 1947), pp. 59–71, as well as Randy Leffingwell’s California Missions and Presidios (Stillwater, Minnesota, 2005).

July 16, 1809: Tatsuuma Kiyo was born. Tatsuuma Kiyo grew the Hakushika sake business to be the largest in Japan in a historical period where she wasn’t legally allowed to step foot into a brewhouse due to her gender.

July 16, 2013: Yamanashi received its geographical indication status on this day. Because it was registered by the Commissioner of the National Tax Agency, the regulatory body of the wine market in Japan, Yamanashi was the first prefecture in Japan to be given the right to use the geographical indicator of wine.

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