When we speak about wine from Madeira, most people think about Madeira Wine, this is a typical and distinct wine which can be serve as an apéritif or digestif. It has a unique character that has already conquered many fans all over the world. Madeira wine is a fortified wine, made in the hillsides and cellars of Madeira Island’s Wine Region. The four major grape varieties used for Madeira production are Malvasia or Malmsey (sweet), Bual (medium sweet), Verdelho (medium dry) and Sercial (dry). They are all white grape varieties, and the Tinta Negra Mole (a red variety) is used in all four styles of sweetness.
You can buy wine with different ages. It starts with three year old wines, simply labelled by sweetness. Next step is the five year old category, followed by ten and fifteen year old categories. These start to show what Madeira Wine is all about. At the top of the quality tree you will find the vintage wines, which are much more expensive and most of the time released after a long period. An interesting new category of wines is labelled as single harvest or colheita – vintage wines but released much earlier.
Once opened, a bottle of Madeira wine remains fresh for years (as long as it is stored in a standing position). Usually you will not experience this because the wine is too good to keep for a long time after opening!
Various Madeiran vineyards produce nowadays also table wine (red, white and rosé). In the past the general opinion was that the circumstances on Madeira Island were not suitable for these types of wine, but luckily the pioneers who had a vision were right.
There are several wine companies that you can visit for a tour and tasting to learn more and experience yourself, we can help you with that. Contact us for more information or reservations. Or if you want, send us your needs and goals and we will be happy to send you a tailor made programme proposal that best suits you.
Madeira Vineyard - Photo by Alexander Baxevanis