Madeira wine was a big favorite of George Washington, too. Washington's inauguration included raised glasses of Madeira. When Washington D.C. officially became the capital of the United States of America, Madeira wine joined the celebration, as well.
The beginning of the nineteenth century saw another revolution in the Madeira Wine industry. In 1800, Napoleon's forces controlled the entire Iberian Peninsula and hoped to blockade the sea route to Madeira. This would cripple the British's prosperous trade. Wine stocks in Funchal grew visibly by the day as did the general fears that all this precious liquid would go to waste. In desperation, the tradesman started to experiment with the stockpile, endeavoring to prolong the wine's shelf life by blending it with spirits. It was a method that, with subsequent sampling, proved to be extremely successful. Further variations of this "fortification" process improved the quality of Madeira Wine even further.
Later, more success in consolidating the English market came to pass. In 1801, British soldiers occupied Madeira for a year during the Napoleonic Wars. They returned in 1807 to stay another seven years until 1814. These soldiers took home with them a taste for the wine which spurred the market in England even more. The excitement of the first half of the nineteenth century for the wine led to the revival of vigorous planting and regrowth of vines on rocky terraces and steep mountainsides. Many Madeirans were willing to struggle with the backbreaking tasks of resculpting the rocky surfaces to extend every bit of vine growing soil available.
Important, too, was the Methuen Treaty signed by England and Portugal which opened the doors for the English to develop the wine trade with greater force. By the middle of the century, it was English residents who mostly owned the sugar and wine businesses. Many had been born on the island and were capable of speaking both Portuguese and English. Thus, the customs of the two countries were inextricably blended for future generations. By 1840, there were at least 13 English wine firms in Funchal with growing Anglo-Madeira ventures.
Moving forward to 1979, the new state wine institute, the Institute do Vinho da Madeira, was founded. This ushered in a new start. The role of the Institute is to be an observer and to control the entire process of Madeira's wine production. This means that there is supervision right from the planting of the vine itself, through the fermentation and maturing process and to the stopping of the cork as it is pushed into a newly filled bottle. In addition, the Institute is charged with the education of wine specialists.
It is the Institute's responsibility to ensure that any wine called Madeira is truly authentic. Only then is the wine granted the Institute's official stamp (selo de garantia) and individual number.