Executive wine editor Lettie Teague shares 30 top trends, most influential wineries and cellar-worthy bottles from the past three decades.
- Meadowood Napa Valley opens as the first luxury resort in California’s Napa Valley, presaging the development of the region into a first-class tourist destination.
Willi’s wine bar opens in Paris. Although wine bars are ubiquitous today, Willi’s was a revolutionary concept at the time: a place to sell interesting wine by the glass and bottle.Photo © Quentin Bacon
Arguably the most important modern vintage of Bordeaux. The 1982 vintage made people who had never collected wine before want to buy Bordeaux, and it also made Robert M. Parker, Jr., the most famous wine critic in the world after he declared it “a great Bordeaux vintage” when virtually no other critics did. (And, of course, Parker was later proven right.)Photo © Brad Trent
The first Washington-state wine appellation is created. Before this, the state was barely recognized as a source of grapes, let alone as having the potential to make the world-class wine it does today.Photo Courtesy of Pepper Bridge Winery
Sassicaia is awarded 100 points by wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr.—a first for these fancifully named Tuscan wines made from nontraditional grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The age of Super-Tuscans officially begins.Illustration © Stina Wirsén
Micro-oxygenation is created in France as a means of combating the fierce tannins in wine. Today, it’s a widely used method, particularly in Bordeaux.Photo © Quentin Bacon
First vintage of Screaming Eagle, the first true super-cult California Cabernet. (The release price of the 1992 vintage: $50; the release price of the 2008 vintage: $500. On the open market, the current vintage immediately costs six times as much.)Photo © Kang Kim
The question of where the most “American” of grapes, Zinfandel, comes from is definitively settled by University of California Davis professor Carole Meredith, who determines that the Croatian grape Plavac Mali is its genetic parent.Illustration © Stina Wirsén
The Argentine peso is devalued. This compels Argentine winemakers, who previously sold almost all their wines domestically, to export their products. The world subsequently falls for Argentina’s star grape, Malbec.Photo © Gregor Halenda