June 16, 1822: On this day, Charles Camille Heidsieck was born. Charles Heidsieck was a French Champagne businessman who created a company in 1851. He popularized Champagne in the U.S. to the point where he earned the moniker “Champagne Charlie.” Heidsieck was imprisoned during the American Civil War on suspicion of being a spy for both the French government and the Confederacy. His detention triggered an international controversy known as The Heidsieck Incident between France and the United States. He passed away on 3 February 1893.
June 16, 1952: On this day, René Bernard Renou was born. Renou presided as the president of the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, the French appellation system. His plans to reform the system to benefit the consumer were met with fierce opposition and protection of the status quo. Renou was selected Man of the Year by Bettane Desseauve in 2005. He was a Commander in the Ordre du Mérite Agricole and a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. He died on 19 June 2006.
June 16, 2001: On this day, Diamond Mountain District officially gained American Viticultural Area (AVA) status. The first vineyard in this area was founded by Jacob Schram in the 1860s. The whole Diamond Mountain District AVA is now located more than 400 feet above mean sea level. The region only encompasses 5000 acres and has just around 500 grape acres planted.
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