August 1248: During this time, Château de Goulaine began its wine journey as the de Goulaine family produced wines for their personal consumption. Eventually they turned commercial and became France’s oldest continuously operational winery, the second oldest in the world after Staffelter Hof. It is the earliest castle in the Loire Valley and can be found close to Nantes.

August 1678: Burgundy was incorporated into the Kingdom of France. The Duchy of Burgundy was transferred to the French monarchy in 1477. After having a shaky relationship with the Holy Roman Empire (and at times being independent, thus the name “Franche-Comté”), the County of Burgundy was ultimately united with France in 1678 by the Treaties of Nijmegen. Burgundy was a site of some of the significant cathedrals and monasteries in Western civilization all through the Middle Ages, including Cluny, Citeaux, and Vézelay. After Burgundy was incorporated into the Kingdom of France and the church’s power waned, many vineyards it controlled were sold to the bourgeoisie.

August 1714: In this month, King George I’s reign began, starting the Georgian era in England. During the Georgian era, it was fashionable for a footman to bring a glass of wine to affluent individuals; cups weren’t placed on the table. After taking a drink (which was about all the glass could hold), it was brought back to the sidebar and filled again. One of the earliest and most common varieties of Georgian drinking glasses was the English baluster glass. The fire glass was yet another well-liked design of Georgian drinking glass. Its foot was thick, and its stem was short. At social gatherings, it was customary for each person to slam their glass of Madeira against the table with a loud crash, simulating a round of gunshots.

August 1751: During this month, in the cellars of Heidelberg Castle in Baden, a huge wine barrel known as the Heidelberger Riesenfass was constructed. There have been four enormous barrels throughout Heidelberg’s history. The 1751 cask was only filled three times, but it can carry up to 220,000 liters of wine and is large enough to use the top as a dance floor. Even now, tourists still stop to marvel at it.

August 1815: Russian armies eventually took control of the Champagne region following Napoleon’s defeat. Champagne was used as a requisition and a kind of payment during the occupation. The Widow Cliquot is alleged to have stated as her wine was being removed from her cellar: “They drink now. They will pay tomorrow “. Her prognostication would prove accurate because the Russian empire would go on to become the world’s second-largest consumer of Champagne over the following century, up to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

August 1881: In this month, Alexander Crichton patented his first animalistic claret jugs. Crichton created a variety of claret jugs in the shape of at least 20 different monsters by appealing to the Victorian love of novelty and drew inspiration from Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. A month later, others began to appear, with the first, an owl, being registered in August 1881. Jules Barbe, the greatest enameller of his day, created a cockatoo in 1882, which is arguably the finest. The popularity of Crichton’s menagerie has endured over time, as evidenced by the sale of a penguin cup for £20,000 at an unknown Australian auction in 2003.

August 1924: This month marked the beginning of Al Capone’s seven year rule as the most prominent person in American organized bootlegging. Capone was able to avoid punishment for most of the crimes he committed; nevertheless, the Internal Revenue Service received a decision from a higher court to back up their claims against him. The IRS calculated that Capone’s income was more than one million from 1924 through 1929. They said that since he failed to file tax forms, he was able to avoid paying federal taxes totaling $219,000. Following the addition of interest and penalties, Capone was responsible for paying the IRS a total of $383,000. Ultimately, Capone was convicted in 1931 and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison, $50,000 in fines, and a payment of $215,000 in unpaid taxes by an American federal court. He was imprisoned from 1929 until 1939.

August 1996: The chairman of the KWV (Koöperatiewe Wynbouers Vereniging van Suid-Afrika), Mr. Lourens Jonker, spoke at the organization’s annual general meeting and criticized “the giving of wine during the working day as partial remuneration” for being “sensitive in international markets” and “extremely frustrating and disappointing.” He claimed that it “had” already been prohibited in 1928 and had been illegal since 1963. He stated at its Annual General Meeting that the “KWV” “had long publicly opposed it.”

August 2015: In this month, Enotria Winecellars and Coe Vintners merged.. Enotria Winecellars had established itself as the dominant force in the market for extraordinary wines, and Coe had established itself as a pioneer of distinctive, premium spirits. Enotria&Coe aspires to build on the legacy and success of both prior firms, honoring Remo Nardone’s and Eric Coe’s passion, dedication, and entrepreneurship in growing the company from humble beginnings to the endeavor it is today.

August 2017: In this month, Waipara-based Southern Boundary Wines was sued on 156 counts of suspected fraud. Thousands of bottles were allegedly exported by SBW with bogus information on the vintage, grape variety, and country of origin. In 2012 and 2013, it pertained to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Furthermore, SBW is accused of erasing winemaking documentation while misrepresenting blended wines as single vineyard wines. If these accusations were true, New Zealand’s excellent reputation for high quality was in jeopardy. Whatever the outcome, this undermined the years of effort put in by trustworthy wineries in export markets like the UK.

For more dates in wine history, click here.

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