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Madagascar

On the fourth largest island in the world (587,000 km²) off the east coast of Africa, viticulture was founded by Jesuit missionaries at the beginning of the 19th century. The botanist André Michaux (1746-1802) planted the Isabella variety in 1802. In 1886, Americans experimented with cultivation in the southern highlands and other parts of the country. Madagascar was a French colony from 1896 to 1960. From the 1920s onwards, there were significant production quantities. In 1958 the Cistercians founded the Maromby Monastery near Fianarantsoa, which is still dedicated to viticulture today. Since independence, wine production has been mainly by Chilean immigrants. At the beginning of the 1960s, on the initiative of Swiss settlers, members of the Betsileo tribe were motivated to use their experience with rice cultivation on high terraces for winegrowing

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