The origins of "Madeira brandy", as it is commonly called, date back to the period of the archipelago's discovery. Shortly after the arrival of Portuguese navigators to this pearl of the Atlantic, in the 15th century, the introduction of sugar cane was made through stakes from Sicily. Even at this time, sugar became one of Madeira's main products (it was even called 'white gold'). It started being exported to mainland Portugal, the Gulf of Guinea, Africa, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean area. Besides, the abundance of this raw material allowed the development of a very prolific transformation industry.