Lake Copais lies in the heart of Boeotia. Nowadays, a beautiful, fertile plain. Draining the lake seems to have been a feat undertaken even by the earliest inhabitants of this area. This is supported by the archaeological remains that came to light at the bottom of the lake. In the 18th century it was initially a French company which undertook the work of draining the lake, but the project was completed by an English company, Lake Copais Co. Ltd., in 1892. A great accomplishment of the time and the first of its kind in Greece. It rendered 240,000 acres of farmland and eradicated malaria from the region. Lake Copais Co. Ltd. remained in the area after completing this operation. It set up a model farming unit, which employed modern cultivation methods, and installed a distillery. The British became acquainted with the locals, friendships ensued leading to an exchange of information, recipes, know-how and the secrets of distillation.