History of the Wines of TEJO, ARRUDA, Cadaval, Mundus, Red

History of the Wines of TEJO, ARRUDA, Cadaval, Mondus, Red

 2 000 years B.C.; Century. X B.C. – séc. II BC Kingdom of Tartessos; Phoenicians and Greeks; Celts and Iberos

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Although wrapped in many doubts and myths, it is thought that the vineyard will have been cultivated for the first time in the lands of the Iberian Peninsula (Tagus Valley and Sado), about 2 000 years B.C., by the Tartessos, one of the oldest inhabitants of this peninsula, whose civilization seems to  have been quite advanced. These inhabitants established trade negotiations with other peoples, exchanging various products, including wine, which probably served as trading currency in the metal trade.

The Phoenicians, about the X century BC, eventually took over the Tartessos trade, including the wine. They are thought to have brought some vine varieties that they introduced in Lusitania.

In the seventh century B.C. the Greeks settled in the Iberian Peninsula and developed the viticulture, giving particular attention to the art of making wine. In the necropolis of Alcácer do Sal was found a Greek “crater” of Bell, Vase where the Greeks diluted the wine with water before consuming it.


Century. II BC Kingdom of Tartessos; Phoenicians and Greeks; Celts and IberosSome authors mention that Ulysses, when founding the City of Lisbon (the name of Ulisseia or Olisipo) followed the custom used in his travels, offering wine to celebrate with him the welcome.

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It is believed that in the sixth century B.C. the Celts, to whom the vine was already familiar, would have brought to the peninsula the varieties of vine that they cultivated. It is also probable that they have brought techniques of tanoaria.

The Celts and the Iberos merged into one people-the Celtiberos-, ascendants of the Lusitanians, people who affirm themselves in the fourth century B.C.


Century. II B.C. The seventh century A.D. Romans and Barbarian peoples

The warrior expansion of Rome in the Iberian Peninsula led to the first contacts with the Lusitanos, about 194 B.C.

They followed long years of guerrilla warfare, only won by the Romans two centuries later, with the conquest of the entire peninsula in 15 BC, achieving the Lusitanos.


The romanization in the peninsula contributed to the modernization of the vineyard culture, with the introduction of new varieties and the improvement of certain cultivation techniques, namely pruning.

At this time, the vineyard culture had a considerable development, given the need to send wine often to Rome, where consumption increased and its own production did not satisfy demand.


The barbarian invasions and the decadence of the Roman Empire followed. The Lusitania was disputed to the Romans by Suevos and Visigodos who eventually beat them in 585 d. C, having given, over time, the fusion of races and cultures, passing from paganism to the adoption of Christianity.

It is at this time (VI and VII centuries A.D.), which gives the great expansion of Christianity (although it has already been known in the Iberian Peninsula since the century. II). The wine becomes indispensable for the Sacred Act of Communion. The canonical documents of the time show the “obligatoriness” of the use of the wine. The wine becomes indispensable for the Sacred Act of Communion. The canonical documents of the time show the “obligatoriness” of the use of genuine Vine wine in the celebration of the mass (product called “Not corrupted”, which had only been added a small portion of water).

By assimilating the civilization and religion of the Romans, the “barbarians” also adopted the wine, considering it as the drink worthy of “civilized” peoples. However, they did not introduce any innovations in vine cultivation.



VIII Century to XII Middle Ages – Invasion of the Arabs

At the beginning of the eighth century other waves of invaders followed, this time coming from the south. With the Arab influence began a new period for the Iberian wine-growing.

The Koran prohibited the consumption of fermented beverages, where the wine is included. However, the emir of Córdoba who ruled the Lusitania, proved to be tolerant towards Christians, not prohibiting the vine culture or the production of wine. There was a reason: for the Arabs, agriculture was very important, applying to farmers a policy based on benevolence and protection, as long as they surrendered to the rural works, so that they could take the best advantage. Even in the Algarve, where the period of the Arab domain was longer, passing through centuries, wine was always produced, although the Islamic precepts were followed.

Lisbon has thus maintained its traditional wine export trade.

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In the XI and XII centuries, with the mastery of the Almoravid and Almoadas, the precepts of the Koran were taken more rigorously, thus giving a regression in the vine culture.

12th century to XIV

Low Middle Ages

The 12th and thirteenth centuries, the wine was the main exported product. Existing documents, namely donations, legacies, books or anniversaries of birthdays, books on the tipping of goods, etc., confirm the importance of Vine and wine in Portuguese territory, even before the birth of nationality. Donations that included vineyards to the monastery of Lorvão, between 950 and 954, are known.

However, the Christian reconquest had already begun. The fights are all over the territory and the constant war actions were destroying the crops, including the vineyard.

The founding of Portugal, in 1143 by D. Afonso Henriques, and the conquest of the entire Portuguese territory to the Moors, in 1249, allowed the installation of the Religious, military and monastic orders, with emphasis on the Templars, Hospitarian, Sant’iago da Espada and Cister, who populated and arched extensive regions, becoming active centers of agricultural colonization, thereby extending the areas of Vine cultivation.

The wine then became part of the diet of the medieval man beginning to have some meaning in the proceeds of the feudal lords. However, much of its importance also came from its role in religious ceremonies. Hence the interest of clerics, churches and monasteries, then in a dominant position, by the culture of the vineyard.

Portugal’s wines began to be known even in northern Europe. It appears that the Duke of Lencastre, after his landing in Galicia, when he came to Portugal in the aid of D. João I in the fight against Castile, knowing already the fame of our wines, showed desire to taste the wine of Ribadavia, having found it “very strong and fiery”…

It was in the second half of the 14th century that the production of wine began to have a great development, renewing itself and increasing its exportation.

XV century – XVII Century

Modern Age – Renaissance

In the centuries. XV and XVI, in the period of the Portuguese expansion, the Naus and galleons that departed towards India, one of the products that transported was the wine. In the golden period that followed the discoveries, Portuguese wines constituted weight in the ships and caravels that commercialized the products brought from Brazil and the Orient.

It is perhaps appropriate to refer to the “Roda” or “make travel” wines here. If we think about how long it took the trips… There were, in general, about six long months in which the wines were kept in the barrels, scattered by the basements of the gallows, shaken by the balancing of the waves, or exposed to the sun, or sometimes even submerged in the water of the bottom of the ship… And the wine was better!

Such gentle ageing was provided by the warmth of the basements as they passed, at least twice, Ecuador and the permanence of the wine in the barrels, making them odd, precious and, as such, sold at real prices

In the middle of the 16th century, Lisbon was the largest center of consumption and distribution of wine of the Empire – the Portuguese maritime expansion took this product to the four corners of the world.

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Arriving in the 17th century, the set of publications of several works of geographic nature and reports of travels, both from Portuguese authors and from foreign authors, allows us to understand the historical path of Portuguese wine areas, the prestige of Their wines and the importance of consumption and volume of exports.

XVIII Century  to XX Century

Contemporary Age

In 1703, Portugal and England signed the Methwen Treaty, where trade between the two countries was regulated. A special regime was established for the entry of Portuguese wines in England. The export of wine then met a new increment.

In the XVIII , the vitiniculture as well as other areas of life in the Nation, were affected by the influence of the strong personality of the Marquis of Pombal.

Thus, a large region benefited from a series of protectionist measures – the Alto Douro region and the renowned Port Wine. As a consequence of the fame that this wine had acquired, there was an increase in its demand from other countries in Europe, in addition to England, a traditional importer. The high prices that port wine had achieved have led producers to worry more about the quantity than the quality of the wines exported, which had been the source of a serious crisis.

To put an end to this crisis, the Marquis of Pombal created, by a Royal charter of 10 September 1756, the general Agriculture Company of the vineyards of the Alto Douro, in order to discipline the production and trade of the wines of the region, still predicting the need to make , urgently, the demarcation of the region, which came to fruition. Thus, according to some investigators, this was the first region officially demarcated in the wine world.

The Nineteenth Century was a black period for the viticulture. The plague of Phylloxera, which initially appeared in the Douro region in 1865, quickly spread throughout the country, ravage most of the wine regions. Colares was the only exception, because the phylloxera does not develop in the sand grounds, where its vineyards grow, even today.

Thus, to face this scourge, soon in 1866, António Augusto de Aguiar, together with João Inácio Ferreira Lapa and the viscount of Vila Maior, were in charge with evaluating the situation of the country’s wine centers and studying the processes that were adopted in them.

This knowledge of the concrete situation of Portuguese wine-growing, led António Augusto de Aguiar to the appointment of Commissioner Régio at the Wine exhibition, held in London in 1874. It was precisely in the context of his participation in this exhibition and the scientific digression that he made for the European wine-producing countries, which triggered critical and daring analysis The critical and daring analysis of the national wine sector, expressed in the famous wine conferences, delivered by António Augusto de Aguiar, in 1875, at the Teatro de D. Maria and later in the Trinity.

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The beginning of the twentieth century was marked by the Universal exhibition of Paris symbolically inaugurated in 1900. Portugal participated actively in this event, dedicating special attention to the section of agriculture, for all considered the most important sector of our representation. From this event, we were given the fundamental work of B. C. Cincinnato da Costa, “Le Portugal Vinicole”, specifically edited to be presented at the exhibition.

In 1907/1908, the official regulatory process of several other Portuguese designations of origin began. In addition to the region producing port wine and Douro wine, the regions of production of some wines, already famous, were demarcated, as are the case of Madeira wines, Moscatel de Setúbal, Carcavelos, Dão, Colares and Vinho Verde.

With the new state (1926/1974), the “Corporate Organization and economic coordination” was initiated, with powers of guidance and supervision of the set of activities and bodies involved. It was in this context that the Federation of Vinicultors of the center and south of Portugal (1933) was created, a corporate body endowed with large means and whose intervention was mainly marked in the area of market regularization.

The federation was followed by the National Wine Board (JNV) (1937), a broader body, which intervened taking into account the balance between supply and flow, the evolution of productions and the storage of surplus, in years of great production, in order to Compensate for the years of scarcity. Some historical curiosities:

The JNV was replaced in 1986 (D.L. N º 304/86 of 22 September) by the Vine and Wine Institute (IVV), an organism adapted to the structures imposed by the new market policy resulting from the incorporation of Portugal to the European Community.

A new perspective emerges in the Portuguese economy and, consequently, in viticulture. The concept “OF ORIGIN” was harmonized with Community legislation, and the classification of “Regional Wine” was created for table wines with geographical indication, reinforcing the quality policy of Portuguese wines.

With the objectives of managing the designations of origin and regional wines, implementing, monitoring and complying with their regulations, regional wine Commissions (inter-branch associations governed by statutes themselves), which play a key role in preserving the quality and prestige of Portuguese wines.

At present, 32 designations of origin and 8 geographical indications are recognised and protected in all Portuguese territory.

  • Moscatel de Setúbal – (1381) This date Portugal has already exported a great deal of this wine to England.
  • Port Wine – the Treaty of Methwen (1703) signed between Portugal and Great Britain, contributed to the popularity of this wine that benefited from preferential customs duties. During the eighteenth century, for the English, wine was practically synonymous with port wine.
  • Bairrada Wines – in the reign of D. Maria I (1734/1816) Portuguese wines acquired great projection, having started exporting wines, especially those of this region, which were exported to North America, France, England and, in particular , to Brazil, where they were highly appreciated.
  • Wine of Bucelas – with the French invasions (1808/1810) This wine began to be known internationally. Wellington appreciated it in such a way that he took it as a gift to the then Prince Regent, later George III of England. After the Peninsular War, this wine became a habit in the English court. In Shakespeare’s time (1564/1613) The wine of Bucelas was known as “Lisbon Hock” (white wine of Lisbon) (1564/1613).
  • Carcavelos Wine – (1808/1810) was well known to the Wellington troops who took it to England, having been, for years, exported in large quantities.
  • Madeira Wine – (1808/1810) considered one of the most refined wines in the European courts, having even been used as perfume for the scarves of the ladies of the court. In the English court this wine rivaled the port wine. Shakespeare (1564/1613) referred to Madeira’s wine as a precious essence in his play “Henry IV”. The Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV (Séc. XV) left his name attached to this wine when, when he was sentenced to death following an attempt on his brother, he chose to die by drowning in a barrel of malvasia of Madeira. But in addition to England, France, Flanders and the United States also imported it. Francis I (1708/1765), was proud to possess it and considered it “the richest and most delicious of all the wines of Europe”. The important families of Boston, Charleston, New York and Philadelphia competed with each other to acquire the best Madeira wines.
  • Pico Wine – Azores – (Séc. XVIII) was largely exported to the North of Europe and even to Russia. After the Revolution (1917) bottles of the Wine “Verdelho do Pico” were found stored in the Czar wine caves.


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