Joseph James Forrester 1809-1861

Wine producer, exporter, agronomist, artist, cartographer and photographer, Joseph James Forrester was an incontrovertible figure in the history of the Douro region and Port Wine. Although of Scottish descent, Joseph James Forrester was born in Hull. His first contact with Port Wine was as an adolescent in the London offices of Offley. In 1831 Joseph James Forrester moved to Porto to work for his uncle, a partner in Offley Webber Forrester and founder member of the British Association.

Joseph James Forrester
Three years after his arrival he undertook an expedition to the wine-growing region of the Douro, adapting a Rabelo equipped for the purpose. The fruit of this survey was the first map of the Douro valley and its respective demarcated region, entitled Map of the Wine District of the Alto-Douro. Finished in 1840, it was printed in London five years later. In 1848, Joseph James Forrester, completed a second map - Douro Portuguez e Paiz Adjacente até Espanha – co-financed by the Porto town Hall and the Porto Industrial Association, of which he was a founder-member.

His contribution to the region assuaged some of the antagonism from growers and shippers aroused by the controversial views expressed in "Uma Palavra de Verdade sobre o Vinho do Porto".
Later Joseph James Forrester was to concern himself with the growing problem of vine diseases with the publication of "Memória sobre o Curativo da Moléstia nas Videiras"

For his contribution to the navigability of the river, Queen D. Maria II granted total immunity from customs duties on his exportations to England, while King D. Fernando granted him the title of Baron in 1855.

Ironically, Joseph James Forrester lost his life on the river he knew so well when the pleasure-craft in which he was travelling capsized in the Cachão da Valeira on 12th May 1861. It is said that the burden of the gold coins he carried in a money belt weighed him down, while his companion on the trip, Dª Antónia Ferreira, was buoyed up by the typical balloon skirts of the period.

No comments:

Post a comment

Arriving in Oporto to select a port wine for his college, Englishman Horace Grimpil soon finds himself embroiled in the conflicting interests of the British and Portuguese communities, where he is an ignorant outsider.

This Portuguese city - a turbulent place of ambition and defiance fought over by the French and British during the Napoleonic wars - is emerging from political turmoil that left the city and its people with their wealth and society destroyed.

Mr Grimpil, however, is about to experience personal turmoil of his own. Little does he know how the passions aroused during his journey of discovery will affect his own character, or how his presence will bring to a conclusion the relentless pursuit of a political revenge spanning generations.

Read more about the book here

Grimpil's Retrogress © 2010

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates