Org de Rac’s Verdelho Beauty

 

For anyone who has visited the magic green island of Madeira, the mere thought of the word Verdelho leads one to stop in your tracks and think of mile-high mountains, an endless flat ocean and cellars filled with ancient barrels of richly scented wine. For it is the cooked wines of the island that have made this grape the stuff of legend. And just like it is difficult to think of a real cigar coming outside of Cuba or a slice of springbok biltong not originating from the dry plains of the Karoo, talking of Verdelho outside of Madeira tends to end in an area of abrupt nowhere-ness.

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Madeira: Tasting the Dream on an Island Far Away

To go tasting Madeira wine, you stop in downtown Funchal, capital of this magical volcanic island in the Atlantic and closer to Africa than it is to Portugal. Jacaranda trees are in full mauve bloom, and grassy public spaces show bright with red and yellow and pink flowers which add to the realisation that Madeira is a garden island where nature, soil, sea and growth are vital, and the earth is looked on by the inhabitants with pride.

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