The treaty served to prevent the degradation of the quality of Port wine, at a time when it was common to practice all sorts of manigans on this important product. It began to be designated to those who produced the best wines, known as “wines of feitoria”.
The Marquis of Pombal’s revolution against the sale of wine without quality and by the glass in taverns
This treaty gave preferential conditions for access to the British market and the Marquis’ intention was good. To avoid the degradation of the quality of Port wine, at a time when all kinds of falsification of this specific wine were common practice. In 1755, a major earthquake hit Lisbon resulting in the almost complete destruction of the city, especially in the Baixa area, also affecting a large part of the Algarve and Setúbal coastline. The Portuguese administration sought to modernize some points of management, both for its colonies and for its internal products. The Marquis of Pombal immediately determined state control over the port wine trade, in the form of a company, the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro (later known as the Real Companhia or Companhia Velha), with a monopoly on trade with England and Brazil and the production and sale of brandy in northern Portugal. With the creation of the Real Companhia, the state assumed the Monopoly of the Port Wine trade and thus began to control all its commercial circuit, including the usual places of consumption – the taverns. In 1757, the first comprehensive classification of the Port wine vineyards was made (almost a century before the similar classification made in Bordeaux). Those who produced the best wines, known as “factory wines”, were allowed to sell their wines for export and claim a higher price, while those who make wines of more modest quality were restricted to the internal market.
This way, the Ramos Pinto house has always bet on quality in their wines and until today is known exactly by this designation. To taste an immortal wine from the house Ramos Pinto is to have the privilege of tasting the nectar of Bacchus in a frenzy of sweetness and strength while learning that some wines are, in fact, a dream.