March 21, 1823: On this day, Jules Émile Planchon was born. He worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens in London for a while after earning his doctorate in science from the University of Montpellier in 1844, and he also briefly taught at Nancy and Ghent. He was appointed the head of the University of Montpellier’s department of botanical sciences in 1853, a position he held for the rest of his professional life. In addition to his numerous contributions to the categorization of botanical species and variants, Planchon enjoyed high esteem in the scientific community. Actinidia chinensis, also known as the “golden kiwifruit,” is one of the more than 2000 botanical names he is credited with publishing. Planchon is also famous for his efforts to protect French grapevines against Phylloxera, a tiny, microscopic pest that was an invasive species from the United States. He was assisted in this effort by American entomologist Charles Valentine Riley and French botanist Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet. The strategy entails transporting grapevines from the United States to France for grafting. T.V. Munson, an American horticulturist, played a key role in locating and providing the American rootstock that was Phylloxera-resistant and appropriate for French growing conditions.
March 21, 1958: On this day, Shinya Tasaki was born. Tasaki is a Japanese sommelier who was crowned the world’s top sommelier by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale in 1995. He was the first Asian recipient of the Best Sommelier in the World award. His other achievements include receiving the Yellow Ribbon Medal of Honor from the Emperor of Japan and winning a battle against Masahiko Kobe on Iron Chef.
March 21, 1959: Francesco Marone Cinzano was born on this day in Italy. He owns The Col d’Orcia and Erasmo Winery.
March 21, 1972: Kilien Stengel was born in France at Burgundy. He is a prolific and award-winning wine and cookbook writer, gastronome, restaurateur, and information scientist.
March 21, 2021: On this day, the first World Vermouth Day was celebrated. This celebration is encouraged as a way to demonstrate gratitude for the wine. In doing so, it elevates Vermouth to the status of other spirits and wines, allowing it to take center stage.
For more dates in wine history, click here.