The English wine merchant John Woodhouse came in 1773 Sicily, He met there in the port town of Marsala know the local liqueur wine, which reminded him of the then popular in England dessert wines from Spain and Portugal. He began exporting Sicilian wines to England because there was a need for port wine and sherry the offer exceeded. As the year of the "invention" of Marsala In 1773, Woodhouse added eight liters of pure alcohol to each of the four-hundred-liter barrels destined for the United Kingdom, to increase longevity for the long sea voyages. He had previously worked in Portugal with the production of port wine. In 1796 Woodhouse opened in Marsala the first Marsala house, consisting of a warehouse and winery. His company was bought in 1833 by the Italian industrialist Vincenzo Florio senior (1799-1886) (his son Vincenzo Florio Junior became known as the founder of the Targio Florio sports car race). Florio is still a leading producer of Marsala.