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   Back to Demise of the Great Eastern

Unloading port wine from Oporto at London Docks.

Unloading port wine from Oporto at London Docks.
Unloading port wine from Oporto at London Docks.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: H3714
Description: Britain began importing wine from Portugal in the 18th century when it found itself at war with its traditional suppliers, the French and Spanish. The Portuguese wines did not ship well and the producers started adding brandy to solve this problem. As time went on, the English developed a taste for sweeter wines and the Portuguese responded by adding brandy earlier in the process to keep some of the sugar. Once developed, the Port wines became part of English culture and several families established warehouses in Oporto at the mouth of the River Douro as an ageing, blending, and shipping point. By the mid-1900s, Portugal was shipping about three million gallons of port per year to Britain, most of it to London.
Creator: Unknown
Date: c. 1900
Credit line: Newham Archives and Local Studies Library
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