June 12, 796: On this day, Al-Hakam I became the Umayyad Emir of Cordoba in Al-Andalus. Since his older brother passed away at a young age, Al-Hakam was his father’s second son. Sulayman and Abdallah, the sons of his grandfather Abd ar-Rahman I, challenged him when he first rose to power. Ubayd Allah and Abd al-Malik, two of Abdallah’s sons, were brought to the court of Charlemagne in Aix-la-Chapelle by their father to plead for assistance. Sulayman attempted to invade Cordoba in the interim but was repulsed and forced back to Mérida, where he was apprehended and put to death. Although Abdallah was absolved, Valencia was made his permanent home. Al-Hakam abandoned the guidelines and prohibitions of the Qur’an and devoted himself to lavish dinner parties with copious amounts of dessert wines to recover from the rigors of war.

June 12, 1560: On this day, the Battle of Okehazama took place. The outcome was decided by wine: daimyo and genius military strategist Oda Nobunaga overcame a force of 35,000 soldiers using only 2,500 by removing most of his troops from the vicinity and waiting for the larger army to occupy his fortress. When the invading army celebrated that night, none of the soldiers were fit to defend from Nobunaga’s ambush, leading to their overwhelming defeat.

June 12, 1980: On this day, Jane Anson was born. Bordeaux is home to Jane Anson, who works as a reporter for the publication Decanter. In “The Wine,” she is credited as the author of the Bordeaux and Southwest France chapters. She has been recognized with several accolades for her writing, including the Louis Roederer Wine Online Communicator of the Year 2020 award and the Born Digital Best Editorial award for 2020. Since the beginning of the lecture series in 1971, Jane was the first woman to ever-present the André Simon lecture for the International Wine and Food Society. Her talk, which took place in June 2020 and was on the terroir in Bordeaux, was very well received.

June 12, 2014: On this day, World Verdejo Day was established to honor the Rueda varietal that is indigenous to the north of Spain.

For more dates in wine history, click here.