The miracle of the sun
The "Vinho de Roda" was famous in the 18th century, and arises from trade and was also used as a ballast in the holds of ships and caravels on the routes to the Orient and Occident. The Madeira Wine that was not sold, was returned to producers. In these transatlantic trips and with two crosses through the tropics, the wave motion and the different temperature variations accelerated the ageing process of this grape variety and it acquired extraordinary organoleptic characteristics.
The wines became known as "Vinho da Roda" ou "Vinho Torna Viagem" (free translation: turn or "Torna Viagem" or return trip) On Portuguese soil, these were sold at very high prices.
This discovery caused some traders to purposely send their wine in the hold of ships and caravels to mature prematurely. These maritime voyages became costly for businesses reflecting on the production cost and on the final price of the wine, therefore other ageing alternative methods of ageing were sought. It was from this point that the "heating methods" began to be used and the first greenhouses.
Another way to accelerate the ageing of the Madeira Wine on the island was to place the full barrels on the top floors of wine cellars where they would catch natural warmth generated by the sunny weather and mild climate of the island.