Monday, May 24, 2010
It was the Roman historian Avienus who first wrote about the wines of Jerez and stated that there were already vines in the region in the fifth century B.C. He said that it was the Phoenicians who, around the year 1,100 B.C. introduced the first vines fron the land of Caanan into the region.
In the year 138 B.C. the region was conquered by Escipion Emiliano, from that date on, and for 500 years, there were wine exports to Rome with an annual average of some 8 million liters, an extrordinary amount for that time. Recent excavations have shown that the Monte Testaccio in Rome is nothing but an immense pile of amphorae that contained either Sherry or olive oil from the region, each with its corresponding identity seal.
The Arabs settled in Jerez from 711 until 1264 A.D. They renamed the town Sherish, hence the english word Sherry by which the British, who have been buying "Jerez" ever since the XIth century know these wines.
In 1264 A.D. King Alfonso X conquered the town. The Wise King, as he was called had his own vineyards that he like to cultivate himself. At the end of the XVIIth century, the first foreign investments took place in the area of Sherry production. English, Scottish, Irish, French and Dutch investors established their own bodegas, thus emphasizing the international reputation of our wines.
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