March 9, 1809: On this day, one of the most important figures in Tuscan wine history, Bettino Ricasoli, was born. He would later develop the Chianti formula in 1872. Ricasoli was a Florentine native. He was proclaimed of age and given custody of his younger brothers by special order of the grand duke of Tuscany after being left an orphan at the age of eighteen with a deeply indebted estate. Being Catholic, he took a break from his studies, went to Brolio, and carefully managed to get rid of the family’s belongings. He established the La Patria magazine in 1847 and wrote the grand duke a memorial outlining possible solutions to the state’s problems. He was chosen as Florence’s Gonfaloniere in 1848, but he later resigned due to the grand duke’s anti-Liberal inclinations.

March 9, 1981: On this day, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery owner Anthony von Mandl (who is also the founder of White Claw Hard Seltzer) purchased Okanagan Winery. Canadian wineries are beginning to fulfill more and more of their perceived potential, and Mission Hill was one of the first wineries to discover the importance of the Okanagan Valley. The valley is rapidly becoming recognized as a wine region capable of producing extraordinary, high-quality wines.

March 9, 1984: On this day in 1984, Robert Parker quit as an Assistant General Counsel to devote his complete focus to wine writing and critique.

March 9, 1984: San Luis Obispo Coast AVA was established. It is one of the newest appellations approved by the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The AVA, popularly known as SLO (slow) coast, stretches 97 kilometers along Pacific Ocean Coast. Therefore, it experiences strong oceanic influences that characterize wines from the AVA. Its terroir is excellent for Burgundy varietals, including Riesling, Albarino, and Gruner Veltliner.

March 9, 2021: Steven Spurrier passed away. He was the coordinator of the famous 1976 “Judgment of Paris,” a blind tasting competition that brought fame to Napa Valley’s wines and the United States wine industry. For more on the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting, see our other posts.

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