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Madeira Wine

Madeira Island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, west of the African coast, famous for Madeira wine,a very aromatic fortified wine,mentioned by Shakespeare and that came to be used as a perfume in European courts .
The islands are of volcanic origin and subtropical climate of mild temperatures, low temperature ranges and high atmospheric humidity. Although it doesn?t  seem the ideal climate for viticulture,  the adaptation of Mediterranean varieties and  the strategic position in the Atlantic, helped to create here one of the most famous wines in the world.
Wine production in Madeira dates back to the time of the discovery of the island in 1419. Early varieties such as Malvasia arrived on the island by order of Prince Henrique, imported from Candia, capital of Crete.

Later others were introduced : Tinta Negra Mole,  Sercial, Boal and Verdelho. Wine production was stimulated by the need to supply ships in the Atlantic routes between Europe, India and the New World.

Transported by ship, the barrels were subject to wide fluctuations in temperature, so the wines were fortified to withstand the journey, giving the wine a more aromatic result. Thus was born the winemaking process by "stuffing" in "bed" in which the wine is heated, and that gives Madeira wines unusual longevity, remaining unchanged for years long after bottling or opening.
The Denomination of Origin Madeira consists of about 450 hectares of vineyards of red  and white grapes, planted on the slopes of volcanic origin.  Tinta Mole is the most planted, though there are also less used varieties like Sercial, Boal, Malvasia and Verdelho giving four levels of sweetness to the wine (sweet, semi sweet, semi dry and dry).