Average degrees (in Fahrenheit; 42.2 degrees Celsius) in the month of July in Death Valley, California, about 250 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It was the hottest average July temperature ever recorded there, and the hottest average temperature in the whole state for that month. In every part of California, across the entire state, July 2018 was the hottest July on record—ever.
Number of stations in September’s Marathon du Médoc in France that will offer wine, cheese, oysters, and foie gras to runners as they suffer their way along the grueling 26.2-mile course. What? You thought marathons were the purview of granola bars and blister Band-Aids? How quaintly American of you. Pain, after all, is the French word for bread.
Number of days early that the German harvest will begin this year, making the 2018 harvest the earliest on record in Germany for the last thirty years. Grapes were picked in the Rheinhessen on August 6th. According to German officials, the early harvest is the result of summer heat waves and the general trend of warming in northern Europe due to climate change.
Number of firefighters now battling more than a dozen massive wildfires raging throughout California. States of Emergency have been declared in Napa, Mendocino, Lake, and Shasta counties. The Mendocino Complex fire has become the largest fire in California history, burning over 292,000 acres.
Amount (in millions of U.S. dollars) that Warren Winiarski (founder of Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars) just gave to the University of California at Davis’ library to build a world class collection of wine writers’ works. The library already holds 30,000+ wine books, rare manuscripts, and wine maps dating back to 1287.
Number of wineries in Washington State, the second largest wine producer in the U.S. after California. An average of 36 new wineries a year have been founded in the state for each of the last ten years. Washington grows 70 different wine varieties, the leading three of which are cabernet, chardonnay, and riesling.
Weight (in pounds) of a Walla Walla onion, prized as one of the world’s best sweet, won’t-make-you-cry onions. A mere 20 growers specialize in the allium which must by law be grown in a designated area of Walla Walla county. The soil types and microclimates of the area are perfect for onions—and, ahem, for Walla Walla’s other stellar specialties, cabernet and syrah.
Approximate price difference (in U.S. dollars) between a glass of Washington State red wine at a typical Seattle wine bar and a grande-sized Frappuccino from Seattle’s coffee giant, Starbucks ($12 for the vino; $4 for the frapp). The first Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle in 1971, ushering in nearly half a century during which Washington has been known for two of the world’s great beverages.
Number of years ago tomorrow (July 28, 1800) that King George III of England granted royal permission for French wines to be imported into England in glass flasks and bottles for the first time in history. Prior to King George’s decree, wines could be imported legally only in large casks, which were easier to count and therefore easier to tax.
Estimated amount (in millions of U.S. dollars) that AXA Millésimes paid for Outpost, a small winery on Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley. Carefully watched, AXA’s acquisitions are considered a bellwether of things to come. AXA already owns Bordeaux’s Château Pichon-Longueville Baron; Burgundy’s Domaine de l’Arlot; Portugal’s Quinta do Noval; and Hungary’s Disznókő.