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The famous Spanish dessert wine was named after the town of Jerez de la Frontera (Jerez on the border) in the province of Cádiz(Andalusia), which is located deep in the south and has been a centre of wine, liqueur and brandy production since the Middle Ages. In 711 Spain came under Arab rule, but despite the Islamic ban on alcohol, wine continued to be produced. Caliph Alhaken II decided to clear the vines in 966, but the locals successfully argued that some of the grapes were also made into raisins, on which the Muslims fed during their campaigns. Therefore, only a third of the vines were destroyed. Already in the 12th century, Spanish winegrowers sent sherry to England and received English wool in return. It was at this time that the wine took its name, derived from the Arabic name of the city "Sherish" or "Xeris". At that time it was considered one of the best wines in the world. The conquest by the Castilian King Alfonso X (1221-1284) in 1264 brought Jerez back under Christian rule. The Christians allegedly even gave their horses wine to drink before a battle to get them up. In 1483, the city fathers of Jerez passed the first legal regulation on the production of sherry, which included detailed regulations on the harvest, the composition of the leather wineskins, the ageing process and trade practices.

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