Manuel Moreno de Mora y Cabeza de Mier (Cádiz 1781-Cádiz 1861) was the youngest son of Juan Moreno de Mora from Santander who had married María Cabeza de Mier from Cádiz. He had established a wine business in 1783 with bodegas in Jerez, El Puerto and Sanlúcar, but on his early death Manuel’s older brother Pascual took over the business and became de facto head of the family.
Manuel’s brother represented the firm’s wines in London, a major market. The
Napoleonic War caused immense problems for the family with the Gibraltar border
closed and a naval blockade which restricted exports to next to nothing. The
actions of the occupying French army made things much worse. Pascual feared for
the lives of his family, and like many other families, planned to leave, but
his mother’s age and the thought of all he had worked for being confiscated changed
|Jose Pascual Moreno de Mora y Viton|
|Manuel's business card (foto:todocoleccion.net)|
Manuel married Rosario Vitón Santibáñez in 1818 and they had a son, José Pascual Moreno de Mora y Vitón (1825-1908) and a daughter María Manuela who married John Peter Gassiot. His firm, best known as Martínez Gassiot, bought their Sherry from Mora. In 1830 Pascual died without issue leaving everything equally to his brothers and sister, but it was Manuel who inherited the business.
The Puerto de Santa María bodegas were in the Calle Valdés, Calle de los Moros and various other locations in the Campo de Guia area and in Jerez. He was intelligent and hard-working and built up the business considerably building a magnificent house in the Calle Ancha and many other properties.
|Vineyards and caserio (foto:todocoleccion)|
With the failing health of Manuel, José Pascual took over the running of the firm in 1857 being very successful in both the wine and other businesses. He was a well-known figure in the circles of the Cádiz bourgeoisie, and became a great benefactor. Manuel died in 1861 aged 79, a very successful and wealthy property owner and bodeguero. The firm was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1875 by King Alfonso XII who later visited with Queen María Cristina in 1877.
|Jose Moreno de Mora (foto:lavozdigital)|
When Henry Vizetelly visited in 1876 he was impressed. He noted stocks of 10,000 butts and the use of wheeled platforms for the arrumbadores which avoided them having to climb up and down the rows of butts repeatedly. There were floral parterres, orange trees, steaming machinery for washing butts and moistening staves, cooperages and beautiful Moscatel at £300 the butt, expensive then.
|The bodega La Mora in El Puerto (foto:Osborne)|
José Pascual was getting old and as he had no children the firm was sold off to Cuvillo and Carlos & Javier de Terry except for one bodega which was bought by Osborne who named it bodega “La Mora” in honour of this respectable old firm. José Pascual died in 1908.