May 4, 1353: Serego Alighieri estate was founded on this day. The estate boasts the oldest cultural and viticulture legacy in all of Valpolicella. The Serego-Alighieri family has passed down their passion for winemaking from generation to generation. As a result, they have create world-renowned vintages in the region that they call home.
May 4, 1794: On this day, George Calvert Yount was born. After being given a land grant in Rancho Caymus, making him the first settler in all of Napa Valley, he started planting grapes. He later started producing wine in the 1850s. Therefore, he is considered the pioneer of Napa Valley’s wine culture. The Californian town of Yountville bears his name.
May 4, 1945: On in this day in 1945 troops of the US 7th Infantry Regiment became the first Allied soldiers to reach the Berghof in southern Bavaria. This was the Alpine retreat of Adolf Hitler and other senior members of the the Nazi Party such as Hermann Goering. The elevated mountain-top house and the nearby town of Berchtesgaden were later fictionalised in the film Where Eagles Dare staring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. In the hours that followed their arrival further divisions of French and other Allied troops joined the Americans at Berchtesgaden. By then the Americans were already rummaging through the vast wine cellar here, which contained half a million bottles of fine wine, champagne and cognac, including thousands of bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild. What followed was a gargantuan party in southern Bavaria as the war drew to an end. Many individuals in southern Bavaria were already very hungover when news reached them that the Germans had surrendered on the 7th of May. The following day the official surrender was signed on what would come to be known as VE Day. For more information, see this page on the National WW2 Museum website.
May 4, 1953: On this day, Orlando and Yalumba imported pressure fermentation tanks with refrigeration from Germany to regulate the pace of fermentation to produce fresh white wine and tank-fermented sparkling wine.
May 4, 1972: Cornell University introduced the viticulture and enology program. One of the finest viticulture and enology departments in the world is located at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which is also known for its skill in breeding grapes for table consumption, juice, and wine that are suited to cool climate growing zones.
May 4, 1987: On this day, Chard Farm Winery, New Zealand was established; they were one of the first wine producers in the Central Otago region. Chard Farm owns five vineyards on their estate, all located in the Cromwell and Gibbston districts. They are experts in producing Single Vineyard pinot noirs, such as the Tiger, the Viper, and MkII, and pinot noirs unique to particular sub-regions, such as the distinctive Mata-Au pinot noir, which comes from the Lowburn sub region.
For more dates in wine history, click here.