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Portugal

Base map data ©2017 Google, Inst. Geogr. Nacional

Categories: Madeira

Sitting on the far western flank of the Iberian peninsula, and thus of Europe, Portugal simultaneously resides at the center and at the periphery of European wine culture: its stands of Q. suber (cork oak) supply nearly all of the world’s natural cork stoppers—essential for fine wine—while, beyond Port, Portugal's own wines tend to be little known or understood today. This is despite the fact that, owing to Portuguese exploration and trade, its wines were for centuries the most widely distributed. Indeed, it was the very reach of that global trade that informed the style of wine most associated with Portugal: Vinho Generoso, fortified, strong wines, typically oxidative in character, able to withstand the rigors of trade under the mast.