The fame of the Moscatel de Setúbal, across borders, probably began in the second half of the 14th century, when Richard II of England became a frequent importer of Moscatel de Setúbal. During the reign of Louis XIV, the prestige only increased. The “Sun King” always had this fortified wine at his parties at Versailles. In the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Portuguese expansion, Moscatel de Setúbal travelled on ships and galleons to India. After the Discoveries, the wines were transported on long voyages to the colonies and often made the round trip in barrels, exposed to the sun or submerged in the water at the bottom of the ships, which ended up improving its already admired quality and originating the so-called “Torna Viagem” wines, highly prized in auctions and of which the Moscatel de Setúbal is considered the world ambassador.
The Frenchman Léon Douarche referred to the Moscatel de Setúbal saying: “It is the Sun in a bottle”.