September 28, 1924: Jean “Johnny” Frederic Hugel was born in Riquewihr, in the Alsace region of France. Hugel would come to be the central pioneer of the 20th century Alsatian wine industry. After World War II he attained a Master’s degree in Agronomy, which he used to co-manage his family farm Hugel & Fils and propel it into one of the most important and high-end wineries in the rapidly rising Alsatian industry. He set trends in wine making at the time and also served as an active voice in the development of the legal boundaries and guidelines for Alsatian vineyards. He stepped back from his active management role in 1997, and passed away in 2009.
September 28, 1948: On this day, Alain Wertheimer was born in Paris. Wertheimer, a billionaire, is co-owner and chairman at Chanel. Although he is based out of New York City, he and his brother own multiple critically acclaimed French vineyards.
September 28, 1949: Jill Priscilla Goolden was born in Surrey. She is an eccentric, idiosyncratic wine critic and television presenter, notably the co-host of BBC2’s Food and Drink show for 18 years, though she is also known for hosting BBC Holiday shows and programs about antiquing. She has written multiple books on wine, and a couple on the methods behind palmistry and palm reading.
September 28, 2006: On this day, one dozen bottles of 1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild were sold for nearly $300,000 at an auction organized by Christie’s Los Angeles. Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, great-grandfather to Philippe de Rothschild, bought the Château, at the time named Château Brane-Mouton. He then renamed it to Château Mouton-Rothschild. The estate became the first Bordeaux vineyard and winery to achieve a Premier Cru Classé (First Growth classification, a high distinction in winemaking) in 1973, and also set the trend for Châteaux to bottle their own wine, rather than deliver it to merchants in barrels (Baron Philippe de Rothschild website).
September 28, 2006: On this day, Vienna Wine Hiking Day was launched. This event takes place on one day in autumn, where wine and hiking enthusiasts alike can stroll one of the paths within city limits that covers some of the 1700+ acres of Viennese vineyards. While there were originally three paths (Neustift to Nussdorf, Strebersdorf to Stammersdorf, and Ottakring), a fourth has been introduced through Mauer to allow visitors to remain distanced from one another, and see beyond the familiar sights. According to the official Vienna informational site, “at many points along the way, Viennese vintners offer tastings from cellar and kitchen.”
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