March 1224: This month, the first-ever wine tasting competition was held. French King Philip Augustus initially organized the competition; because the king was the only wine critic who counted, the competition matched around seventy wines against one another. Most of the wines came from grape-producing enclaves surrounding France, but there were also entries from Mosel, Spain, and Cyprus.

March 1832: The British government appointed James Busby, a British resident living in Australia and widely regarded as the pioneer of the Australian wine industry, to the position of British Resident of New Zealand. Busby traveled from Australia to New Zealand bearing grape cuttings from his homeland. In 1836, he created New Zealand’s first vineyard.

March 2000: In this month, Citadelles du Vin was established. Citadelles du Vin is an international wine and spirits competition situated in Bourg-en-Gironde, Bordeaux, and organized by the Concours des Vins organization (which also organizes the Challenge International du Vin in Bourg).

March 2012: In this month, John Jordan Foundation was established. The John Jordan Foundation was founded by Jordan Winery’s owner to combat the harmful impacts of poverty by equipping disadvantaged people with the tools they need to excel academically and professionally “from cradle to career.” Jordan funds the foundation’s projects by donating half of the proceeds from Jordan Winery sales to the non-profit. Thousands of families have benefited from the foundation’s education, after-school enrichment, and health programs, and it has sponsored more than 220 organizations so far. The organization has supported iPad and Chromebook education pilot projects in some of California’s poorest schools, as well as a pediatric wing at Santa Rosa Health Centers, accelerated English language teaching programs, and a variety of programs for abused and special-needs children.

March 2020: In this month, residents in the northern Italian town of Castelvetro were surprised to find a spray of wine instead of water when they switched on their kitchen taps. A malfunctioning valve at the nearby Cantina Settecani vineyard was to blame for 1,000 liters of Lambrusco that leaked into the rivers. Many residents found it to be a refreshing source of humor amid the early COVID pandemic.

March, annually: During this month, Riesling is harvested in New South Wales, Australia. In Germany, the country best known for the grape varietal, the harvest is usually done in mid-September of each year.

For more dates in wine history, click here.

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