March 12, 1088: On this day, Pope Urban II became the head of the Catholic Church. As a native Champenois, he proclaimed that the wine of Ay in the Marne department was the best wine made in the entire globe. For a while, Ay was used as a shorthand appellation for all Champagne wines, similar to how Beaune is used for Burgundy wines. His contribution led to the first efforts towards wine production in Champagne, including laying the ground for the Champagne Pinot Noir.

March 12, 1819: On this day, Peter Britt was born. In addition to his contributions to Oregon arts, photography, and civic development, Britt was also a pioneer of early wine production in the south of the state. His first vintage was made in 1958 in Jacksonville’s first winery, Valley View Vineyard.

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