Sherry Gonzales Byass
Very Old, Oloroso, Matusalém
Provenance: Private purchase, 6/30/1999
Well before the Roman conquest some 2,200 years ago, the area around Cadiz, Spain already boasted a flourishing grape-growing and winemaking tradition. Canaanites, who founded the city around 900 b.c., brought vines and the winemaking trade with them. Greeks added to this knowledge and during Rome’s rule from about 200 b.c. to 100 a.d., Cadiz’s wine industry transformed from a local industry to a phenomenon throughout the known world. Vintages from the area around southern Spain soon were being shipped throughout the Empire. The drink that would become the sherry we know today was a favorite among the Roman elite.
This famous sherry producer was founded 1835 but came to Oporto 1895. It was first represented by Hunt Roope but disagreement caused that in 1896 they started to declare their own port. From 1901 they were sole buyers of Quinta de Roriz owned by the van Zeller family. Their own best quinta was Quinta de Sabordella.1983 the House was sold to Vasconsellos and 1989 Sandeman bought this firm and ended Gonzalez Byass history.
Mr M. Gonzalez was part of the Gonzalez Byass family and when the firm of Gonzalez Byass was sold he retained Quinta do Sabordella and started producing port in his own name. He died in the late 1980's and produced only one vintage under his own name - 1985.