European Wine Industry: Words from the 16th Century

In the 16th century, the European wine industry was dominated by two major players: meerseniers and koopman[1]. Meerseniers were wine merchants who controlled the supply of different types of wines to other merchants and consumers locally. Koopman were wine merchants who controlled the supply of different types of wines to other merchants and consumers globally[2].

They also handled trade negotiations with foreign countries. Both meerseniers and koopman played a crucial role in determining what kind of grapes were planted in vineyards around Europe during this period, as well as controlling how much money was made from sales of those grapes by using their influence over prices charged by winemakers themselves.

Meerseniers were wine merchants who controlled the supply of different types of wines. The meerseniers were responsible for transporting wine from the vineyard to the market and then from the market back to the koopman. They were also responsible for selling wine to other merchants, making them middlemen who controlled access.


Merchants are traders who exchange products or commodities in return for money. A koopman or meersenier is a person who engages in trade. During the 16th century, these terms came into use.

They make their living by buying and selling goods in the international market. Meerseniers dealt with local trading and business-like grocery, bakery, and foods[3] and are involved in the buying and selling of goods for profit.

They are also known as traders or retailers. They provide goods or services to consumers. Most people did not have land to grow crops, so they bought them from merchants instead.

European Wine Industry Words from the 16th Century

The koopmans had been in the business of global trading since the advent of business and trade in history. They do everything from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing goods, shipping them to their destination, and then selling them to wholesalers or retailers. Exploration created many routes for trading, which increased their wealth and power[4].

Types of wine

In the 16th century, most of these vineyards were owned by merchant-winemakers who sold their wine on the market. In some areas, such as Languedoc Roussillon[5], many independent vignerons still cultivated their grapes and made their wines. Vineyards usually have a few acres of land with grapevines planted. Vineyards are usually located in the countryside and are generally surrounded by open fields or other types of vegetation.

The vineyard’s land can be used for growing different kinds of crops, but there’s also possible that there is nothing else growing nearby. Some vineyards are located on hillsides, which gives them an advantage because they receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day and rarely get too much rain.

After being harvested and crushed into wine, grapes must be transported to the market for sale. If a ship is carrying wine, it must be stored in barrels. These barrels are typically made from wood or concrete and can hold up to 252 gallons of wine[6].

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Wine merchants may also store their products in smaller containers called casks. The barrels and casks must be sealed tightly so as not to allow air into them, which would spoil the wine before it reaches its destination.

Fruit pickers sometimes transport grapes by horse-drawn carts or packhorses (a type of horse used for carrying heavy loads), but most wineries use trains to ship their products because they’re faster than other forms of transportation and require less labor on the part of the winemakers.

European Wine Industry key players

Meerseniers and Koopman were the key players in the 16th century’s wine industry. They were responsible for controlling the supply of different wines and transporting them to market. Being a small industry at this time meant that there was less competition between companies and more opportunity to gain a profit margin by selling high-quality products at low prices.

In addition, there were no laws[7] regulating how much alcohol could be included in wines which led many producers to increase its strength without any regard for consumer safety or even basic hygiene standards.

This day in our wine history

November 20, 1932: On this day, Sir James Gilbert Hardy, a winemaker, businessman, and sailor from Seacliff, South Australia, was born. Hardy has been active in the yachting community for many years. Hardy has been credited with helping to revive the wine industry in South Australia. He also managed one of Australia’s most prominent winemaking businesses, Thomas Hardy and Sons, now a subsidiary of Treasury Wine Estates. Hardy is best known for his achievements in yachting, including being named Knight bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981[8].

July 28, 1927: On this day, Kathryn Kennedy, a California winegrower known for her early 1970s involvement in what became known as the “Wine Boom.” was born. She was also the first woman to own a wine brand in 1979. Kathryn Kennedy Winery, located in California, was founded by Kathryn Kennedy in 1979. The Kathryn Kennedy Winery is a wine brand based in California. It specializes in red and white wines, both consistent and exclusive. Kathryn Kennedy, the company’s founder, is involved in the production of every single drop of wine. The winery became the first female-owned brand in California. Since its inception, the company has built a reputation for producing high-quality wines at affordable prices. See more resources here

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[1] Merchant. DBpedia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[2] Google. (n.d.). Merchant – Google Arts & Culture. Google. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[3] Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, February 18). Merchant. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[4] Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, February 18). Merchant. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[5] Winalist. (2021, October 14). Vignerons Indépendants: Who are they? Winalist Blog | The best wine tourism guide. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[6] Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, May 29). English wine cask units. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[7] Faisal, Paul, & Cathy. (2020, January 17). POV: The 100th anniversary of prohibition reminds us that bans rarely work. Boston University. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from

[8] Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, August 13). James Hardy (sailor). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from


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