Madeira Wine began to be produced 25 years after the first settlers arrived on the island…
This fortified wine has the unmistakable energy of the island itself and can be as intense and enveloping as the landscapes of the land where it is born.
Madeira wines can have various degrees of sweetness ranging from sweet, medium sweet, to medium dry and dry. Each degree of sweetness can be associated with a grape variety. Sweet wines are produced with the Malmsey variety, medium sweet with the Bual variety, medium dry with the Verdelho variety and dry with the Sercial variety. These are the so-called noble varieties that are still produced on the island. But nowadays Tinta Negra is the grape variety that is at the base of most Madeira Wine production and due to its versatility it produces the four degrees of sweetness.
But there are more… in Madeira Wine you can find several categories. Let’s start with the wines with an indication of age. In these cases you will find ages ranging from 5,10,15,20, 30 and 40 years, the latter being rarer. What do you mean? It means that these wines have characteristics typical of a Madeira wine of that age but that they are wines made with grapes from different harvests and can be mixed to present the desired characteristics. They are so called blends. Then there are the premium wines that are the Colheitas and Frasqueiras. These are wines produced with grapes from a single harvest, made from the noble varieties. In the case of Colheitas they have to age in cask for five years and in the case of Frasqueira this period of compulsory ageing is twenty years. Twenty years!
Complex, with extraordinary aromas typical of oxidation and ageing, Madeira wines are known and recognised for their energy and freshness due to the surprising acidity that has its origin in our soils. Some wine can last over 200 years!
The aromas and flavours of spices, dried fruits, honey merge into what is defined as the bouquet of Madeira Wine: rich, intense, fresh, energizing!
Don’t miss the wine that has fascinated all over the world, writers, artists and politicians… and that still toasted the Independence of the United States of America in 1776. Thomas Jeferson, George Washington, Winston Churchil are some examples in a long and fascinating history of a wine that took advantage of his long trips to the Indies to perfect itself…
Madeira Wine, which was kept in the holds of ships travelling to the Indies, reached very high temperatures during its passage through the tropics. On certain occasions, when the wine returned to Europe, it was found that these trips greatly benefited its quality. It was then that the barrels of Madeira Wine were sent to the Indies with the sole purpose of enhancing it and making it richer.
Drink Madeira at a temperature of 14ºC.