What is Madeira?
What is—and where is—Madeira? Madeira is an island group off of Portugal that lies in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also what wine from the area is called. Often taking a backseat to port, Madeira is a wine that is rich in culture and history. Grapes have been growing there since before 1450 AD. Madeira had been hugely popular throughout Europe and each country’s colonies—including America, where the Founding Fathers notoriously drank Madeira to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was imported to every major port in the States. Sadly, blights of oidium and philoxera destroyed crops in the late 1800s. But the 20th and 21st centuries are seeing a great interest in this noble wine, and much work is being done to bring Madeira back to its earlier status.