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Madeira

Madeira is a unique 'accidental' fortified wine. It is produced on the island of Madeira, situated in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and is owned by Portugal. It was a natural stopping-off point for boats on the way to the West Indies. As with Port, the sailors fortified their wines with grape spirit (a very heavily distilled form of Brandy). When they brought unsold wines back to the island, they had been transformed by the repeated heating and swaying in the bottom of the boat. The style was a huge hit, and has since been replicated on purpose - albeit, not in boats!