The politician Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello (1699-1782) was Prime Minister of Portugal during the reign of King José I (1714-1777) and the most important Portuguese statesman of the 18th century. In 1769, he was appointed "Marquês de Pombal" on the basis of his merits (under this name he appears mostly in sources). By means of rigorous measures, Pombal tried to strengthen national manufactories and overcome the economic dependence on foreign countries, mainly England. For example, by founding the "Real Companhia Velha", he broke the British monopoly on port wine trading and eventually brought about the later end of the factoring activities of the famous Factory House in the port city of Porto.
In 1756, at the instigation of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, in order to protect the authenticity of port wine, the Portuguese region of Douro, named after the river, was defined within its borders, making it one of the first controlled origin wine regions in the world along with Chianti. For this purpose, Marquês de Pombal founded the "Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro" (General Company for the Viniculture of the Upper Douro). This association is also the origin of the IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto), which today is responsible for Port and other Douro wines. Marquês de Pombal was also the owner of the castle and vineyard in the present DOC area of Carcavelos. In the capital city of Lisbon, there is now a square named after him, "Praça Marquês de Pombal", in his honour. In the middle there is a 36 m high column with a statue of 9 m on top of it. See also under winegrowing personalities.