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June 8

This Day In Wine History June 8

June 8, 632: On this day the Prophet Muhammad, founder of the religion of Islam, died at the city of Medina in western Arabia. Muhammad emerged as a religious leader in the cities of western Arabia in the 610s. During the course of the 620s he built up a major following and by the time of his death most of the population of Arabia had been converted to Islam. In the decades that followed his followers launched a series of massive military campaigns and eventually his successors would rule an Arab Caliphate, or holy empire, centred on the city of Baghdad. Typically Islam is perceived as a religion which rejects the consumption of alcohol and so the rise of Islam should have led to a major decline in the wine culture of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East in the centuries that followed. But in fact the situation was much more nuanced, with the trade in wine and its cultural role being more considerable across the region between 600 and 1300 than we would naturally assume. For more information, see Kathryn M. Kueny’s The Rhetoric of Sobriety: Wine in Early Islam (Albany, New York, 2001).

June 8, 1927: On this day, Jacques Puisais was born. Puisais was a renowned oenologist, a chemistry PhD, and an educator and researcher around the subject of taste. He forged crucial aspects of the pedagogy for teaching wine and food appreciation. Additionally, Puisais was a member of the INAO, the director of Tours’ Laboratoire Départemental et Régional d’Analyses, and the founder of the Institut Français du Goût. He passed away on December 6, 2020.

June 8, 1944: On this day, Boz Scaggs was born. Scaggs is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist who achieved success both in his solo career and with the Steve Miller Band. He owns Scaggs Vineyard in Napa Valley.

June 8, 1960: On this day, Mick Hucknall was born. Hucknall is a singer and songwriter, the front man of Simply Red. He owns Il Cantante (“The Singer”), through which he produces wines in collaboration with Salvo Foti.

June 8, 2006: San Antonio Valley AVA was established in the center of San Antonio Valley in the southern part of Monterey County. The AVA boasts a warm climate but experiences morning fog from Lake San Antonio and evening cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean. The AVA’s elevation ranges from 580 to 2800, encompassing over 800 acres of land under vines.

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December 24

This Day In Wine History December 24

December 24, 1947: On this day, Michel Rolland was born. He is an oenologist who works in Bordeaux. He has hundreds of customers in 13 countries and has an impact on wine styles all over the world. He is different from most of his fellow French people because he does important consult work outside of France. Through his consultancy work and appearances in the media, Michel Rolland has changed many parts of the French and international wine industries.

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June 10

This Day In Wine History June 10

June 10, 1959: On this day, Alberto Antonini was born. Antonini is a learned oenologist who has contributed to the global culture of wine. He is widely acknowledged as having contributed to the popularity of Argentine Malbec on a global scale. His work also focuses on encouraging winemakers in colonized regions to use their indigenous varietals and farming methods to cultivate their wine culture, rather than rely on the hegemonic knowledge of French wines.

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June 29

This Day In Wine History June 29

June 29, 1710: The Batalla de Vino also known as the Wine Battle event got underway on this day. Spain’s La Rioja, home to some of the most well-known wines in the country hosts the annual celebration. With over 40% of the region’s vineyards located there, the town of Haro is one of the most significant wine producers in the area. This makes fermented grape juice significant in this situation. So it should come as no surprise that a festival here is held every summer that includes the renowned wine fight as well as wine-drinking events and tournaments.

June 29, 1912: On in this day in 1912 Émile Peynaud was born in Madiran in the Occitan region of France near the Pyrenees. Peynaud would go on to enjoy one of the most esteemed careers in modern viticulture and oenology. He began his career at a young age working for Maison Calvet in Bordeaux, where he learned the ropes of the trade. Having completed his PhD at the University of Bordeaux in the aftermath of the Second World War he taught there for over forty years. During this time he published many acclaimed works such as Knowing and Making Wine and The Taste of Wine. He also revolutionised many aspects of viticulture and oenology, pioneering methods in areas such as malolactic fermentation and the benefits of shorter maceration of the grape and moderate pressing of the skin. Today he is acclaimed as ‘the forefather of modern oenology’, the science of winemaking. For more information, see the entry on Peynaud in Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition, Oxford, 2006). See also Per-Henrik Mansson’s article ‘Émile Peynaud, who influenced winemaking around the world, dies at 92’, in Wine Spectator, 21 July 2004, as well as C. Parnell’s piece ‘Émile Peynaud: Man of the Year’, in Decanter (March, 1990), pp. 36–40.

June 29, 1959: Louise Rossi Endowed Chair and professor in Viticulture and Enology Dr. Andrew Walker was born on this day. Without a question, one of the geneticists in the country who is held in the highest regard is Dr. Andrew Walker. He has had a huge influence on the business by creating new grape types that are resistant to Pierce disease, which costs California grape producers $100 million each year, and by mentoring many people who work in the industry as well as in academic institutions.

June 29, 1984: On this day, The Altus AVA was founded in the state of Arkansas on this day. The region is on a plateau bordering the Arkansas river.

June 29, 1989: John Thull was born in Minneapolis on this day. John contributes his knowledge and experience in vineyard management and the cultivation of grapevines throughout the entirety of the breeding program’s lifecycle. This includes the execution of cross-pollinations, the stratification of seeds, the planting of greenhouse plants, the establishment of nurseries, and the care and maintenance of long-term vines. John is considered an authority in viticulture and has presented seminars on topics like pruning, pest control, and winter damage to audiences throughout the country. In 2005, John started his employment at the HRC.

June 29, 2004: Salado Creek AVA was established. Salado Creek is an AVA that consists of small vignerons, and their wine is made at contact wineries. It is located to the north of Stanislaus County. The 2490-acre AVA boasts clay and Sandy loam soils with an alluvial fan. These soils are well-drained, forcing vines to go deeper into the soils leading to concentrate flavors in wines. The Diablo Mountains protect the appellation from marine influences. Besides, its warmer climate is suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, its key grapes.

June 29, 2004: San Bernabe AVA was established. It is one of the largest single-vineyard appellations in the United States. The 5000-acre vineyard is one of the largest in the world; it experiences cooling breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean and boasts diverse soils. In addition, the appellation experiences diurnal temperatures leading to an extended growing season. The appellation’s key grapes are Zinfandel and Riesling. Other grapes include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lagrein, Barbera, and Malvasia.

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May 19

This Day In Wine History May 19

May 19, 2015: On this day, Wine, Moon and Stars: A South of France Experience was published. Gérard Bertrand holds a formidable reputation in the wine industry as one of the foremost innovators in the French region Languedoc-Roussillon. This book includes Gérard’s memoirs, from when he was a child helping his father to make wine, until he became a reputable oenologist admired around the world.

May 19, 2016: On this day, Bill Koch announced he would be selling his wine collection, citing his old age and the excessive volume of remaining bottles as justification. The auction of Koch’s wine, which he kept in two vaults, one in Palm Beach and one in Cape Cod, is anticipated to net $10.5 million to $15 million; it included some remarkable lots, such as six magnums of 1982 Pétrus, which are valued at $42,000 to $60,000 collectively. Koch advised customers to rely on their palates rather than a winemaker’s history given the variety of the 20,000+ bottles.

May 19, 2017: On this day, a group of robbers broke into a wine estate outside Stellenbosch. Before making their getaway, a party of armed thieves appeared to have been guests at the house for several months. A trustworthy source told Netwerk24 that the armed robbery at the Delaire Graff estate on Helshoogte road west of Stellenbosch was executed with military precision.

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July 1

This Day In Wine History July 1

July 1, 1816: On this day, Emperor Franz I of Austria handed over ownership of Schloss Johannisberg to his Foreign Minister Prince von Metternich. Schloss Johannisberg is one of the oldest wineries in Germany, since its wine tradition dates back to the year 817. Since 1720 it solely produces the Riesling varietal, which also makes it the oldest Riesling estate in the world.

July 1, 1911: On this day, Walter J. Clore was born. An integral figure in the wine culture and industry of Washington State, he led research to identify the best regions for viticulture and winemaking across the state. He passed away on February 3, 2003.

July 1, 1949: On this day, Professor Denis Dubourdieu was born. Professor Dubourdieu was an estate manager/overseer, consultant, winemaker, and Professor of Oenology. He taught at the University of Bordeaux and had a hand in the operations of many Châteaux, such as Château Reynon, Château Cantegril, and Clos Floridène. He passed away on July 26th, 2016.

July 1, 1952: On this day, Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born in Ottawa, Canada. Best known for his comedy and acting career, he was a regular on Saturday Night Live for its first four seasons, and starred in the cult classic comedy film The Blues Brothers, which was based around the characters from his band with his SNL cast member John Belushi. Akyroyd also co-wrote and starred in Ghostbusters. He owns Dan Aykroyd Wines in Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

July 1, 1980: On this day, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG was legally recognized. Tuscany’s Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is produced in the vineyards that encircle the town of Montepulciano. Sangiovese, often referred to as Purgnolo Gentile locally must make up at least 70% of the wine. Local varietals like Canaiolo or Mammola can support red grapes. Additionally, a white variety like Malvasia, which makes up to 5%, is permitted. A minimum maturing period of 24 months is necessary for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. Wines labeled as riserva need to age for 36 months.

July 1, 1989: On this day, The Vineyard, a horror movie directed by James Hong and William Rice, was released. The movie follows the owner of a vineyard who makes wine with blood in pursuit of eternal life.

July 1, 2008: On this day, after three years of verifiable organic farming, the Napa Valley-based vineyard Ehlers Estate was awarded organic certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

July 1, 2019: On this day, the Parisian fine dining establishment Maison Rostang fell victim to a theft of roughly €500,000 worth of wine. The restaurant served bottles from some of the most famous estates in France.

July 1, 2019: On this day, Wine thieves in Paris steal bottles worth up to €600,000. The robbers got into the cellar of a high-end restaurant in Paris and stole at least 150 bottles of valuable wine valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. A 20-inch (50-cm) hole was found in the wine cellar wall of the Maison Rostang restaurant in the 17th arrondissement’s northeastern section close to the Arc de Triomphe. The establishment has two Michelin stars and is praised for its “magnificent” wine list, which includes selections from the renowned Petrus and Romanee-Conti vineyards.

July 1, 2021: On this day Aurelio Montes, founder of Montes Wines, received the acclaimed Lifetime Achievement Award from International Wine Challenge in recognition of his career. The characteristics of the Colchagua Valley in Chile are ideal for the production of wine, something that Bodega Montes knows well in the production of its high quality wine, aged with Gregorian chants in its cellar designed under the principles of Feng Shui.

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