Being unable to drink the already famous wines to be found in the Jerez region for religious reasons, the Moors opted to distil them in order to obtain “alcohol” not only to make perfumes but also for antiseptic and medicinal use. It is not easy to state the exact date upon which wine spirits began to be aged in oak-wood casks in order to produce brandy. What is clear is that in the sixteenth century there must have been an important amount of wine spirit being produced, as is illustrated by the existence of a document which makes reference to the fact that in 1580 the Town Council of Jerez handed over the revenue from the Wine Spirit Tax (a municipal tax levied on the production of wine spirit) for the construction of a Jesuit college.
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the consolidation in Spain of the production of wine spirit for commercial use destined for exportation, especially to countries in Northern Europe. Holland was the main market and from there shipped on to practically the whole world.