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Great Britain

See under England.
English viticulture was probably introduced on a larger scale by the Romans, who had come to the island in 43 BC. Pollen finds from vines prove that there had been viticulture even before that time. Wine-growing is documented in a document from 731. 1152, the later King Henry II (1133-1189) came into possession of Gascony and large parts of western France, including Bordeaux (returned to France in 1453) by marriage to Eleonora of Aquitaine (1122-1204). French wine was imported on a large scale for almost 300 years. This was also the great era of the pink Clairet. But especially sweet wines from southern Europe were also very popular from the middle of the 14th century, for example the Vernage (Vernacchia) from Italy and Malmsey from the islands of Cyprus and Crete, which was shipped from the Greek port of Monemvasia (Peloponnese). For this reason an independent English winegrowing came to a standstill for many centuries

England and the numerous British colonies around the world are responsible for the great popularity of two dessert wines that are now famous. Towards the end of the 16th century, the sherry, which was imported in large quantities from Spain, became popular in England, triggered by 2,900 barrels (pipes) captured by Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596), a concessionary privateer and circumnavigator. The foundation stone for the port wine boom in England, which began at the beginning of the 18th century, was laid by the treaty known as the Methuen Treaty, concluded in 1703, which provided special customs privileges for the import of Portuguese wines into England. This led to the British monopoly in the port wine trade and the establishment of many port wine houses in Portugal. The Factory House in Porto, opened in 1790, played a special role in this, and it was here that the British factors concluded their business.

Bottles for wine were first invented in the 17th century by Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) and were produced for a long time, mainly in England. From the beginning of the 18th century, an exclusive market for Bordeaux wines developed as a result of the trade war between France and England. English wine merchants founded trading houses in Bordeaux, some of which still exist...

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