May 16, 1643: Louis XIV ascended to power on this day. Louis XIV, born on September 5, 1638, became the King of France at age 4, ruling for 72 years. During his time, Louis XIV became the most notable brand ambassador for champagne. Under his doctor, Antoine d’Aquin’s advice, he drank champagne in all his meals for most of his life until a new doctor prescribed a Burgundy cure in his later years. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, was described as the king of wines. His house, the House of Bourbon, appreciated champagne. His great-grandson, Louis Duke of Anjou (Louis XV), loved champagne produced by Claude Moet. Moet founded the champagne house that later became Moet & Chandon. For more information, see this article by Sophie McCabe.

May 16, 1983: On this day, Santa Ynez Valley AVA was established. While it may bear the name of the Santa Ynez Valley (and river), it is actually one of five viticultural areas in the valley.

May 16, 2008: On this day, the winemaker Robert Mondavi passed away. During his lifetime, he contributed to the wine development of the Napa Valley and its reputation as one of the best wine regions in the world. Mondavi’s skill with marketing ensured that labelling wines by varietal became a standard industry practice amongst American wine makers, and his work on his estate Robert Mondavi Winery incited a new wave in Post-Prohibition wine making. For more on Robert Mondavi, see our other posts.

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