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Portugal

In ancient times, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans brought vines to the Iberian Peninsula. Under the long Moorish rule from the 8th to the 12th century, wine growing stagnated, but did not come to a complete standstill despite the ban on alcohol. As in many other countries, the Roman Catholic monastic order of the Cistercians had a decisive influence on viticulture; in the 12th century, they founded 18 monasteries in Portugal. King Dinis (1279-1325) promoted agriculture and viticulture on such a large scale that the proceeds were used to build a merchant fleet, thus creating the basis for the rise to world power. He was therefore given the nickname "Rei lavrador" (King of the peasants). Among the Avis kings, especially Emanuel I (1469-1521), Portugal rose to a leading European trade and maritime power. Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) initiated expeditions along the West African coast. Muscatel and Malvasia grapes were planted on the rediscovered island of Madeira. A flourishing wine trade with England developed.

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