September 15, 1505: On this day, Queen Mary of Hungary was born. Her role in Australian wine history is seen when, in 1524, she granted winegrowers from the town of Rust the freedom to brand their casks with a large letter ‘R’, which was an indication of origin within the market. She was the wife of King Louis II and reigned as queen of Hungary and Bohemia. She later served as administrator of the Habsburg Netherlands.

September 15, 1938: André Tchelistcheff moved to Napa Valley after accepting a job offered to him by Georges de Latour to become the resident chemist at Beaulieu Vineyard. Tchelistcheff stayed with Beaulieu Vineyard through 1973 and used his position to modernize, sanitize, and upgrade the wine-making operation, and quickly skyrocketed to fame as one of the most influential figures in mid-century winemaking, and one of the most famous experts on California wines. For more on André Tchelistcheff, see our other posts.

September 15, 1943: On this day, Charles F. Shaw was born. Charles Shaw wine is a brand of inexpensive table wines named for an American businessman who used to own a winery.

September 15, 1986: Grapefest, the biggest wine festival in the Southwest United States, officially began. A celebration commemorating Texas wine is called GrapeFest. With more than 400 wineries and 4,400 acres of vines, Texas produces over three million gallons of wine yearly, making it the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the US. Texas’ top Urban Wine Trail, which has many award-winning winery tasting rooms, and the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association are both located in Grapevine.

September 15, 1998: On this day, Harvests of Joy: How the Good Life Became Great Business, Robert Mondavi’s autobiography, was published. Mondavi is considered a legend of new world wines. He gained a reputation in Napa Valley for his work on Robert Mondavi Winery, which he built after being expelled from his family’s winery business at age 52. In this book, he reveals the ups and downs of his path through his newfound purpose and discusses the business techniques and wine-making philosophy that defined his success. For more on Robert Mondavi, see our other posts.

September 15, 2020: On this day in 2020 details were released to National Geographic and other publications of the recent discovery of a 2,600-year-old wine factory unearthed in Lebanon. This had been used by the Phoenicians, an ancient trading people of the Mediterranean world during the Iron Age, to manufacture wine over two and a half millennia ago. This was a significant center of wine production in the Levant at the time and highlighted how central viticulture was to one of the most important trading and colonial civilizations of the world in the centuries between the collapse of Late Bronze Age society in the thirteenth century BC and the advent of the Classical period of Greek history in the sixth century BC. The details released by National Geographic highlighted how wine production was taking on a proto-industrial nature during the Iron Age as a consumer culture involving wine consumption developed in the Mediterranean. For more information, see ‘2,600 Year Old Wine ‘Factory’ Unearthed in Lebanon’ by Tom Metcalfe, in National Geographic, 15 September 2020.

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