Madeira is an archipelago in the north Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 kilometers southwest of Portugal, consisting of the islands of Madeira (wood), Porto Santo (holy harbor), and the Desertas (deserts), administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. In 1419, the islands were claimed by Portugal, which began cultivating sugar cane on Madeira. After Portuguese sugar production shifted to Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe, and elsewhere in the 17th century, Madeira’s most important commodity became wine.
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