March 29, 1832: On this day in 1832 the French government convened to debate a state of emergency as one of Paris’s main hospitals, the Hotel Dieu, had announced that it could not receive any more patients. The cause of the emergency was the arrival of cholera to the city in the enormous global outbreak of the disease which occurred in the late 1820s and 1830s. Within seven months the disease claimed the lives of approximately 19,000 Parisians. One of the victims in Paris in 1832 was André Jullien, the world’s first acclaimed wine journalist and cataloguer. Back in the 1810s Jullien had travelled widely compiling information on the wine districts of many countries and in 1816 he published his findings as Topographie de tous les vignobles connus in Paris. The book was subsequently published in English in 1824 as The Topography of all the Known Vineyards. This offered the first account of the world’s main wine-producing regions and the kinds of wine produced within them. It is a seminal text in the history of the literature of wine. For more information on the cholera epidemic, see the following page on its history, as well as C. J. Kudlik’s ‘Learning from Cholera: Medical and Social Responses to the First Great Paris Epidemic of 1832’, in Microbes and Infection, Vol. 1, No. 12 (October, 1999), pp. 1051–1057 and Maurice Samuels’ ‘Conspiracy Theories, Class Tension, Political Intrigue: Lessons from France’s Mishandling of a 19th Century Cholera Outbreak’, Time Magazine, 15 May 2020. For more on André Jullien see the entry on him in Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition, Oxford, 2006), and his own work The Topography of all the Known Vineyards, containing a description of the kind and quality of their products, and a classification (London, 1824).

March 29, 2019: On this day, Chateau Feely won the Gold Trophy at the first French national wine tourism award ceremony. The trophy was for education on sustainable and ecological practices. The wines of Chateau Feely are “handmade from organic biodynamic grapes cultivated on our 7 hectare vineyard and are created with little intervention and no animal products therefore are vegan friendly and natural,” according to their website.

For more dates in wine history, click here.