El Paper de les exportacions vitícoles en la configuració de les relacions exteriors de l'economia catalana, 1672-1869


  • Francesc Valls Junyent


The Catalan wine sector is very multiplying exports in value 3.5 times between 1989 and 1998 and 50% 100 million bottles in 2000. This dynamism has existed since 1672. The first exports were spirits to Northern Europe, first Amsterdam and then France and the American colonies of Spain. Catalan spirits were highly competitive with cognaec and were preferred by English smugglers who bought them in Dunkirk. On the return trip cotton sheets were imported, printed and sold in the colonies. When the spirit trade declined after Napoleon, with the rise of whisky, the producers turned to wine exports to America and in return brought back raw cotton for the new steam factories. There is a close relationship between wine exports and cotton manufacturing in Catalonia, in sharp contrast with other exporting areas such as Portugal and Languedoc which failed to industrialise. The wine sector has remained dynamic in Catalonia for four centuries and a leading export sector today as it has always been.