Fernando de Noronha Island
THE CRADLE OF SUGAR CANE IN BRAZIL
The first sugar cane plantation in Brazil was introduced in 1504 on Fernando de
Noronha Island, in the state of Pernambuco, by the Portuguese nobleman Fernão
de Noronha, who had received the island to trade brazilwood.
Soon afterwards, historical documents start mentioning the first sugar mill, which
was built in 1516 in Feitoria de Itamaracá. This had been set up by King Manuel I
on the Pernambuco coast and entrusted to the colonial administrator Pero Capico.
Documentary evidence for this theory can be found in Lisbon where there are records of a customs tax payment levied on a cargo of sugar coming from
Pernambuco and dated 1526.
This historical data enables us to conclude that cachaça is Latin America’s first
liquor, being produced before Peruvian pisco, Mexican tequila and Caribbean rum
Author: Prof. Jairo Martins (O Cachacista), author of the book “Cachaça, o Mais
Brasileiro dos Prazeres” (Cachaça: The Most Brazilian of Pleasures) and Honorary
Member of the Brazilian Cachaça Institute