Merchants and Economic Relations
Joseph James Forrester was the first foreigner to be awarded a Portuguese baronetcy. His travels throughout the Douro region meant that he came to be considered the person of his era most knowledgeable about the river and its wine. He produced two exceptional maps of the region, which have had a lasting impact. He published a pamphlet that criticised many of the practices of the port wine trade and, as a consequence, had numerous conflicts with other exporters, while receiving messages of appreciation from growers throughout the region. He was a pioneer of social-welfare activities for company workers, as well as a landscape and portrait painter and a photographer. He played a major role in overcoming the outbreak of powdery mildew that afflicted the Douro region in the 1850s. It has been said that he is the reason why the banks of the River Douro are today as productive and attractive as they are.
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