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by Fred McMillin
The YlK Problem
Yet, invaders caused the world's greatest white wine grape to be introduced to the Paris market, and on to the rest of the wine world. Here's what happened.
As the year 1000 approached, it was clear that Vikings could be hazardous to one's health. They had sacked Paris, virtually depopulated Normandy, etc. So the Benedictines at Tours on the Loire River asked French King Charles the Bald for land farther inland. He granted them land at Chablis in Burgundy. Now Chablis is on the Yonne River, which runs into the Seine, which runs into the PARIS MARKET! A few centuries later the black-robed Benedictine monks sold Chablis to the Cistercians. These stern, white-robed monks (average life span about 30 years) introduced the glorious Chardonnay grape. Its wines made their water-aided way to Paris, and it was downhill thereafter. Hence, today's wine is a Chardonnay from Chablis.
Wine of the Day
1997 Grand Regnard Chablis
Postscript—A Y1K Bombshell
In the year 1000 A.D., or very close to it, the first European saw grapes in America. He was a German named Tryker, a member of Leif Erickson's crew. Upon landing on this unknown territory, Tryker went inland, and returned to report finding wild vines. Prof. Enjalbert tells us that when Leif expressed doubts, the German replied "I was born in vinegrowing country." He then brought grapes, and made them into [America's first] wine.
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