September 25, 1819: On this day an Anglican missionary by the name of Samuel Marsden planted about a hundred grape vines of different varieties which he had brought from Sydney to New Zealand at the site he had chosen for a new missionary church at Kerikeri near the Bay of Islands in the Northland of the Northern Island. Marsden was a Church of England priest and missionary who had first travelled to Australia in the mid-1790s. In the 1800s he developed an interest in extending his missionary work to New Zealand, an endeavour that would eventually require wine for the celebration of the Mass. By 12 October 1819, the vines which Marsden had brought to the Northern Island were in leaf, but thereafter disaster struck, as Marsden hadn’t properly fenced the area and some unruly goats ate his vines early that winter. But wine was soon being produced elsewhere in New Zealand anyway. For more information, see this site on New Zealand history.
September 25, 1943: On this day, Dr. Robert M. Pool, who is in charge of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, was born. Although he died on June 10, 2006 after a long illness, the research, extension work, and teaching performed by Pool favorably impacted the wine and grape industries in New York. Pool made significant advances to the science and practice of viticulture, which had a significant influence on these enterprises. His contributions brought viticulture to a new level of prominence at Cornell and garnered the admiration and affection of grape scholars from across the globe.
September 25, 2018: On this day, Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide, authored by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack was published. The Wine Folly site launched in 2011, and in 2015 they published their first book, Wine Folly. Later, Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack decided to release a more complex version. It is a guide to the world of wine, using an an educational approach with a large number of designs, illustrations, and maps to elucidate types of grapes, wine pairings, wine regions, tips for tasting, and much more. The book won a James Beard Award.
September 25, 2018: On this day, the internet was shocked to see a video of a river of wine spilling out from a blown-out tank in Spain. The quick-thinking camera operator caught the wine from Villamalea’s Bodegas Vitivinos as it poured out into the streets and covered the property’s equipment. A total of 60,000 bottles of wine were spilled, but the 50-year-old winery’s yearly production of about five million bottles meant that the loss was not too significant.
September 25, 2019: The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement was signed by US President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Wine Institute welcomed the agreement and provided a detailed statement outlining its provisions. Japan is a vital market for California wineries even though it has been the only major wine-producing country to apply a 15% import duty. The Wine Institute’s president and CEO, Robert P. Koch, expressed his organization’s satisfaction with the agreement, which, once put into effect, will lower tariffs on agricultural products, including wine. The new trade agreement will give California wine a fair playing field in Japan and give Japanese customers greater possibilities to appreciate the high quality and variety of Golden State wine.
For more dates in wine history, click here.