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200 years of Madeira
1 Sep 2011 by Tamlyn Currin
‘Many are called and few are chosen', was the opening line as we sat in a room in London last June, glittering with rows of glasses and jewelled amber liquid, the scent of madeira heavy in the chilled air. There was an unmistakable sense of high drama and anticipation; it’s not often one gets to taste 200 years of history. The privileged ‘few’ referred to the tasters gathered in the angular and refractive black and white room, but it applies equally to the Blandys – a family that began with a penniless young Dorset farmer, and now has an empire spanning hotels, travel, shipping, media, golf courses, wine, a flour-milling...

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