Madeira 1904 Leacock's, Malmsey Solera
Provenance: Artus, 12/4/1999
The island of Madeira has been producing and exporting its namesake wine virtually since the Portuguese discovered it in 1419. Since then, Madeira’s location in the middle of important trade routes meant the success of its wines mirrored the worldwide geopolitical situation. The fortified wine’s fortunes have soared during times of peace, prosperity, and free trade and plummeted during conflict and international upheaval.
John Leacock came to Madeira in 1741 and began trading under his own name in 1760. The Leacock family continued to run their business through successive generations, with John's two sons, John and William taking the reins in 1791. The next generation was headed by Thomas Slapp Leacock who took control in 1877. Thomas's place in Madeiran history was further cemented when in 1873, he recognised the arrival of phylloxera in local vineyards and started a programme of vine treatment at the Leacock's St. John's property in Pico Sao Joao, that was to ensure the survival of the traditional grape varieties that we know today. Leacock's was acquired by the Madeira Wine Company in 1981.(source: David Elswood)