This soft wine bears the name of the Portuguese island where it is made. This is a warm, fragrant wine along the same lines as a Port. The first colonials settled on the island in 1420, planting vines on volcanic soil. From the 18th century, Madeira wine travelled East and West. American President Thomas Jefferson was to lift a glass of Madeira in commemorating American independence. Vintage Madeiras are the result of a rigorous selection process of wines from excellent years. They contain only a single traditional grape variety, with the most common being Sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Malmsey. They are stored in oak barrels or vats for at least twenty years. The ageing potential of these wines is truly exceptional. Bottles dating back to the first half of the 19th century are quite commonly found for sale.
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