This is the main grape of the island of Madeira, where it is much used in fortified wines but also in the island's table wines. Unfortified, it makes rather neutral and characterless rosés or pale reds, sometimes amber-coloured owing to premature oxidation. From vine to vine in the vineyard, grape colour can vary from bluish-black to pink. Luckily, variable and wishy-washy colour is not a problem as far as Madeira's fortified wines are concerned. The variety became popular on Madeira because of its high yields, resistance to diseases and great versatility - it was dubbed "the cameleon grape" because of its ability to emulate the styles of the island's historic "noble" varieties.
Source: Wines of Portugal
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