For many years, wine has stood out as a protagonist around the world, revealing itself as a unique expression between hard human work and nature. In this context, the main Portuguese figure who contributed to the world of wine emerges as a beautiful treasure of our history. In this article, we invite you to embark on a journey full of aromas and flavors!
The Marquis of Pombal, a prominent figure in Portugal in the 18th century, played a fundamental role in Portuguese history, especially after the devastating Lisbon Earthquake in 1755. Known as Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, he led not only the reconstruction of the capital, but he also left a beautiful legacy on the Portuguese wine scene. By assuming a crucial position in a challenging period for Portuguese winemaking, the Marquês de Pombal, at the time Prime Minister, implemented a series of visionary measures in this sector, with the aim of revitalizing the industry and raising it to a higher level, both national and international level. At the time, the Marquês de Pombal realized the significant economic potential of Port Wine, as a fortified wine, and implemented pioneering regulations to protect its quality, guarding it as an authentic Portuguese treasure.
In 1756, he demarcated the Douro region, being the first wine region demarcated for wine production in the world. This pioneering action established standards of excellence that shaped the production of Port Wine, consolidating it as an oenological jewel. The region was divided and mapped into specific zones for production, one of which was destined for the production of branch wines, known as domestic wines, and the other dedicated solely to factory wines, of high quality and with potential for export. In the latter case, the areas demarcated for the production of this type of wine were marked with the well-known Pombaline landmarks, made from granite and with the inscription "factory". To date, there have been several changes in the Douro region, where new areas have been demarcated, moving away from the original map. In any case, the Pombaline landmarks are still identified and distributed throughout the region, characterizing the historical heritage of the Douro.
Curiosities from the world of wine in Portugal reveal that the Marquês de Pombal played a key role in the creation of the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro, an organization whose main objective was to regulate and promote wine production in the region. This initiative strengthened the wine industry in the country and contributed, above all, to the preservation of Portuguese winemaking traditions.
A Portuguese legacy
Pombal's vision boosted the projection of Port Wine across the continent and the world. The creation of the demarcated Douro region and the guarantee of quality gave the wine a distinct reputation, making it highly valued and prestigious in the royal courts among wine lovers.
This historical figure, much remembered and loved by wine lovers, left a legacy that transcends time. His leadership during post-earthquake reconstruction and his vision to modernize the wine sector were notable around the world. Furthermore, it directly contributed to Port Wine consolidating its international reputation, which remains prestigious today. A unique, innovative and determined vision that redefined the history of wine and elevated Portugal to the level we know today.