October 15, 1980: On this day, United Vintners, the second biggest wine firm in the United States, was approved by an FTC court for takeover by Heublein.

October 15, 1981: On this day, Sonoma Valley officially gained American Viticulture Area status. Even though it was the area where the commercial wine industry in California got its start in the 1850s, Sonoma Valley did not get its legal designation as an American Viticulture Area (AVA or appellation) until 1981.

For more dates in wine history, click here.


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