Worshipful Company of Vintners
The Worshipful Company of Vintners
is one of the Livery Companies
of the City of London
. It probably existed as early as the twelfth century, and it a Royal Charter
in 1364. Due to the Royal Charter, the Company gained a monopoly over wine imports from Gascony
. Also, it acquired the right to sell wine without a licence, and it became the most powerful company in the wine trade. However, in 1553, it lost its right to sell wine anywhere in the country. Today, it only retains the right to sell wine without licence in and within three miles of the City of London.
One of the more peculiar rights of the Company involves the ceremony of Swan Upping.
The Vintners' Company ranks eleventh in the order of precedence of Livery Companies, making it one of the "Great Twelve Livery Companies". The Company's motto is Vinum Exhilarat Animum, Latin for Wine Cheers the Mind.