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Simon de Rojas Clemente y Rubio

The Spanish agronomist and botanist Simon de Rojas Clemente y Rubio (1777-1827) is considered the "father of Spanish ampelography". He first studied theology, philosophy and Arabic languages and only then turned to the natural sciences. On several extended journeys through France, England and Spain he collected samples of wild and cultivated plants, observed agricultural practices and studied soil characteristics, microclimate and the adaptation of plants to their environment. In 1807, he published the book "Variedades de la Vid Común que en Andalucía Vegetan" with the Andalusian grape varieties of his time. With this book he established the scientific discipline of ampelography in Spain. His plan to create a living collection of Spanish grape varieties in the botanical gardens of Sanlúcar de Barrameda was prevented by political circumstances due to the Napoleonic Wars

He was subsequently appointed librarian of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid. After the wars he carried out many scientific and humanitarian projects. Among other things, he published documentaries on viticulture, Spanish vines and main wines, as well as on cotton and wheat cultivation. He also founded an amateur theatre group, in which he himself played, and for a short time he was active in politics as a liberal-minded member of parliament. In the last years of his life he collected data for his work "Historia Natural de Titaguas", completed his collection of plants, insects and stuffed animals and began to study beekeeping.

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