The Vikings set foot on mainland North America almost 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Around A.D. 1000 Lief Eriksson's son led an expedition of the coast of Labrador and then discovered a land of forests, fertile meadows, and abundant grapevines. They named this new country Vinland. They were the first Europeans to meet Native Americans. Four hundred years later, the settlements on Greenland and mainland North America were deserted.