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The largest wine encyclopedia in the world

22.500 Keywords • 49.804 Synonyms • 5.294 Translations • 7.929 Pronunciations • 145.110 Cross-references

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Madeira

DOC area for a famous dessert wine named after the Portuguese island of Madeira. The archipelago is located in the Atlantic, about 1,000 km from the mainland Portugal and 650 km from the coast of Africa ( Morocco ) away. It was discovered in 1420 by sailor João Gonçalves Zarco (1380-1467), who found a densely forested island (Madeira means "island of the forest"). The Portuguese set the island on fire, the fire raged for seven years. As a result, almost all the vegetation was destroyed, but the wood ash and the already existing volcanic soil created ideal conditions for viticulture. At the end of the 16th century, a commercially important viticulture is documented. The port of Funchal quickly developed into a strategically important stopover, taking all the ships en route to Africa. Asia and South America were headed. Here, the ships were also supplied with wines. These spoiled but mostly on the long sea voyages. That's why it gradually took over Spriten with brandy distilled from sugar cane to make especially the wines more durable. But this became the norm only in the middle of the 18th century.

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