May 31, 1469: On this day, Manuel I, known as the Fortunate was born. Between 1495 through 1521, Manuel I, also referred to as the Fortunate, ruled Portugal. Manuel, a member of the House of Aviz, formerly held the titles of Duke of Beja and Viseu before succeeding his cousin, John II of Portugal, to the throne. The Portuguese Empire had an era of fast development as a result of the many major discoveries by the Portuguese under Manuel’s reign. He helped Vasco da Gama find the maritime passage to India in 1498, which led to the creation of the Portuguese India Armadas and guaranteed Portugal’s dominance in the spice trade. The vine played a significant ornamental role during the reign of Manuel I. As one example, the Ermida de So Pedro da Ribeira in Montemoro Novo features an apse border decorated with vines that dates to 1511. It offers truly fascinating proof of the abundance of grapevine varietals that were available at the time.

May 31, 2011: On this day the Murcia wine region was established in Spain. Home to three appellations despite its small size, it is known for its bold red wines made from Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvedre or Mataro) grapes.

May 31, 2016: On this day, Bordeaux, France’s Cité du Vin museum was inaugurated. It holds wine-related exhibitions, performances, film screenings, and educational lectures.

May 31, 2017: On this day, YunXi Amur-Wine received its GI protection, located in Loudi, Hunan.

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