The Effects of the Peninsular War on the Wine Trade

The Peninsular War left Jerez in a state of utter ruin and desolation. A number of of the wine shippers had abandoned the town for the safety of Cadiz, or had gone abroad, and in the course of their absence the vineyards were left untended, trampled by warring armies, and spoilt by way of lack of cultivation.

Furthermore, wine was perpetually being plundered, stolen, or requisitioned for thirsty troops, and when the merchants set about re-establishing their trade soon after the war, they discovered stocks of old wines disastrously depleted, along with stolen drink glasses, coaster set collections, and worthwhile sandstone drink coasters. To the officers and ratings of the Royal Navy, Cadiz was notable as a centre of bullion smuggling. The headquarters of this illicit trade was a hotel kept by a Mr. and Mrs. Young.

Even before fighting broke out in the Peninsular War, when England was still busy destroying the sea power of Napoleon, wine shipping had turn out to be difficult and hazardous owing to Spanish hostility. The vicissitudes of war brought their personal problems the sherry country had to endure a period of trial, excitement, disaster, and even starvation.

Legend has it that the guns fighting the Battle of Trafalgar could be heard in the streets of Jerez, and it appears amazing. According to legend as properly the ancient house of Cabeza y Zarco had a consignment of wine on a ship which was captured by the French. When the cargo was brought ashore at Tarifa and auctioned off, they knew how very good the wine was and purchased it all back.

It now types part of the oloroso solera from which their Trafalgar sherry is drawn, and the Rivero family members have a little museum of Trafalgar relics: a bit of the hull of the flagship Victory – a nail two fragments of sail-cloth, a sandstone image frame, stone coasters for cocktails, and many pictures. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, a single of the most important merchants was a Scot, Mr. C. P. Gordon, whose son later became British Vice-Consul in Jerez.

His bodega was the organic rendezvous for all British visitors, and his hospitality was described with gratitude in a lot of books written by travelers and soldiers. Whenever war was in the air, Byron could be anticipated inside pistol shot, and certainly sufficient he arrived at Jerez in 1809. In a letter he wrote to his mother, he stated:

“At Xeres, exactly where the sherry we drink is created, I met a excellent merchant–a Mr. Gordon of Scotland–who was incredibly polite, and favored me with the inspection of his vaults and cellars, so that I quaffed at the fountain head.” Gibraltar, August 11th, 1809.

5 days earlier he had written to Francis Hodgson:

“I have observed Sir John Carr at Seville and Cadiz, and, like Swift’s barber, have been down on my knees to beg he would not put me into black and white. I shall return to Spain ahead of I see England, for I am enamored of the country.”

Sir John Carr, known as “Jaunting Carr,” produced a fortune out of travelogue. He later published an account of his travels in Spain, describing how he was entertained at Puerto de Santa Maria by a Mr. Fleetwood, an English merchant ‘of great respectability’ who had a ‘hospitable country house (for so it was regarded despite the fact that in a town).’ In Jerez he was entertained by the inevitable Mr. Gordon.

We should thank merchants such as Gordon for sustaining the sherry, wine coasters, cocktail coasters, and sandstone mining trade throughout an intensely hard period, and we owe a excellent deal to their efforts. But soon after the devastations of the Peninsular War it required a man of genius to set the sherry trade on its feet once more and thankfully such a man was already there, awaiting his chance: the excellent Pedro Domecq Lembeye.

The history of the residence of Domecq during the early years of the Nineteenth century is a tragedy. It centered about the figure of Juan Carlos Haurie, who was by far the most important sherry shipper in Jerez. He was a nephew of the original Juan Haurie and a cousin of Pedro Domecq Lembeye.

Although Haurie had lived all his life in Spain, he was proud of his French ancestry, and for the duration of the Peninsular War he supported the French invaders. His name soon became the anathema of the Jerezanos. On June 2, 1808, the mob rose against him. The priests did their ideal to restore peace and to preach forgiveness, but the men and women would not listen, and the mayor had to let bulls loose upon the crowds–a remedy far a lot more drastic than tear gas.
1st Bollywood Flash Mob in Greece Official Video

We warmly thank everybody who embraced with adore our initiative and helped for its good results. All those men and women that participated in the power and joy that we gave and received. We will certainly meet again. In one more meeting point, in other people joyful and massive moments like the ones we experienced.

We especially thank our sponsors: , , , , , , , the channels Antenna and Star Channel for the tv cover and Valentini Moschou, Gioulina Daskalopoulou and Eleni Kimigkeli with their students, for their spontaneous and full of energy participation. Also, our collaborators Action Esti for the promotion and communication, Isisound for the sound, Taff Photographs for the recording of the occasion and the Hoxton Cafe for its hospitality.
The creative Manager of Artistic Studio Oriental Expression Anna Dimitratou for coordinating and the teaching of the choreography.
And of cource our wonderful teacher Sunny Singh for his wonderful choreographies.…

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Ευχαριστούμε θερμά όλους όσους αγκάλιασαν με αγάπη αυτή μας την πρωτοβουλία και προσπάθησαν για την επιτυχία της. Όλον αυτόν τον κόσμο που συμμετείχε στην ενέργεια και τη χαρά που δώσαμε και πήραμε. Σίγουρα θα ξανασυναντηθούμε. Σε κάποιο άλλο ραντεβού, σε κάποιες άλλες ευτυχισμένες και μεγάλες στιγμές όπως αυτές που ζήσαμε.

Ιδιαίτερα ευχαριστούμε τους χορηγούς επικοινωνίας μας: , , , , , , καθώς και τα τηλεοπτικά κανάλια Ant1 και Star που κάλυψαν την εκδήλωση. Ευχαριστούμε επίσης τη Βαλεντίνη Μόσχου, τη Γιουλίνα Δασκαλοπούλου και την Ελένη Κιμιγκέλη και τους μαθητές τους για την αυθόρμητη και χαρούμενη συμμετοχή τους. Επίσης τους συνεργάτες μας Αction Εστί για την προώθηση και επικοινωνία, την Isisound για τον ήχο, την Taff Photos για την καταγραφή του occasion, καθώς και το καφέ Hoxton για τη φιλοξενία!
Την Αννα Δημητράτου, καλλιτεχνικλη διευθύντρια του Artistic Studio Oriental Expression για τον συντονισμό και την επιμέλεια της χορογραφίας, και φυσικά τον δάσκαλό μας Sunny Singh για την υπέροχη χορογραφία!…

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