November 21, 1799: John Dufour’s “First Vineyard” is approved by the local government in Kentucky, making his vineyard the first commercial winery in the United States. Dufour founded the Kentucky Vineyard Society with citizens of Lexington city in 1798. It was reestablished in 1981 and is still active to this day.

November 21, 1871: On this day, William Charles Winshaw was born in Kentucky, United States. In 1899, Winshaw headed to South Africa. He would later found the Stellenbosch Farmer’s Winery. Winshaw is considered a pioneer of the South African viticultural industry.

November 21, 1983: The Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River AVA was created on November 21st, 1983. At its establishment, the appellation was known as Sonoma County Green Valley. However, on 23 April 2007, it changed its name as it sought to associate with the revered name, Russian River Valley. The AVA is “located in the southwestern part of the Russian River Valley,” surrounding Occidental, Forestville, and Sebastopol. Green Valley of the Russian River valley boasts consistent terroir demonstrated in its wine’s consistent flavor. Besides, the AVA is close to the Pacific Ocean and experiences marine effects at close-range. As a result, it is one of the coolest AVAs in the Sonoma region.

November 21, 1985: South Coast AVA was established. South Coast is one of the biggest AVAs, encompassing five counties in southern California, including San Bernadino, San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside. The AVA consists of smaller appellations sharing the same ecology of warmer climates cooled by coastal breezes. The terroir is suitable for the Zinfandel varietal. However, additional varieties are also made, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

November 21, 2006: On this day, the book Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine was published. If there is a historical event that marked a before and after in the history of wine, it was the Paris Tasting of 1976, also known as the Judgment of Paris. This competition introduced the world to the importance of Napa Valley wines, as the best wine experts present chose the unknown California wines over famous French wines that were, up to that point, considered the best in the world. George M. Taber, who was the only reporter present, clarifies this story by telling firsthand the story of what happened on May 24, 1976. For more on the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting, see our other posts.

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