Friday, 17 March 2017

Bodegas: Alexander Webber & Co

Alexander Webber was an English wine merchant who imported the classic wines into London on quite a large scale. His premises there were at 36 Mark Lane and 55 Davies Street, Berkeley Square, London, and he had a Scottish agent, Alex Ferguson & Co, in Glasgow. He established a successful almacenista and shipping business in Jerez in 1830, constructing handsome bodegas at Calle Pizarro 10 and 12 close to Ivison (Pizarro,7) and Wisdom & Warter (Pizarro 15 and 17). Here he was furnished with offices and all the necessary equipment. He made a speciality of the Fino style which was now becoming popular in England.

He must have been well regarded as he was asked to write a book on wine by the Royal Society of Physicians. It was published in 1888 under the title “Wine: Notes on this Valuable Product” at two shillings a copy. It makes fascinating reading now. In 1867 Webber exported 9,630 arrobas (321 butts) and 21,255 (708 butts) in 1874. His son in law John Pickett Marks worked with him and took over the business on Webber’s death in London in 1888. Marks renamed the firm Juan P Marks and continued to trade until his death in 1911, though the bodegas at Pizarro 10 and 12 were acquired by Sandeman in about 1906, and in whose hands they remain to this day.

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