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The French fortified wine was created by the brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet, following an idea of the monk Father Kermann, who founded a company in Podensac (Graves-Bordeaux) in 1872. Created in 1887, the white Lillet with a golden yellow colour was produced from 85% Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, and 15% of a liqueur made from oranges, bitter oranges, limes and cinchona bark. Hence the original name was "Kina Lillet". It was not until 1962 that the red version, created by Pierre Lillet, came onto the market. It was made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, as well as portions of Merlot and Syrah. The company has no vineyards of its own, but prepares the liqueur and some of the wine itself. Also known as "L'Apéritif de Bordeaux", it quickly became a successful fashionable drink, especially among artists in London, New-York and Paris. Famous graphic artists designed advertising posters for it, among them Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Leonetto Cappielo (1875-1942).

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