Historía

Document signed in Granada on 20 July 1526 by Emperor Charles V, which proves that the Emperor received the aldermen from Alcalá and heard their petitions. This document is known as “Privilegio del Vino” (the Wine Privilege).

The Wine Privilege is a notebook consisting of nine parchment sheets, richly illuminated on its first sheet and in some capital letters appearing on the rest of the sheets.

The text on the first page is framed by a border with grotesques and it starts with the words Don Carlos; inside the letter “D”, we can see the double-headed eagle of the Coat of Arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Below, in the centre of the lower border, there is the Coat of Arms of Alcalá, with the peculiarity that it is cut in the half: it shows the arms of the town on the right and, on the left, a southern view of the town in that period, i.e. the neighbourhoods of La Mota and Santo Domingo.

A parchment flyleaf includes the following inscription, which was written afterwards, as a title:

"The Queen Joanne of Castile and Charles V, Her son, grant this Privilege by which wine from the town of Alcalá la Real can be sold in the city of Granada and no other wine shall enter the city in the months of October, November and December. And it was executed and confirmed several times by the Queen and the King. And the last execution in the Royal Chancellery of Granada on 20 July 1526."

And finally, it would be exercised in May, June and July upon request of the citizens of Alcalá, who claimed that the months of October, November and December “are not the best months to take advantage of this Privilege”. The King Ferdinand the Catholic had already granted it in a letter which might be considered to be the real Wine Privilege, signed on 20 December, 1515, in Plasencia, and which was subsequently confirmed on several occasions by Joanne of Castile and Her Son. These are inserted in the notebook, following the preamble of this solemn document of ratification, on 20 July, 1526. In the preamble, we can see Charles V in front of His Mother, heading the titles, as He is now the Holy Roman Emperor.

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