A visit to Madeira is not complete without tasting the famous Madeira’s wine: whoever has tasted it knows well what we are talking about…
It results from the fruit of the region’s vineyards, delicately cultivated by hand, in small poios lands (terraced landscapes), either in the mountains or by the sea. It is a liqueur wine (alcohol content of 17-22% vol.), where natural fermentation is interrupted by the addition of alcohol (fortification). Bottles should be stored upright and have a long shelf life.
Thanks to the type of grape, climate and volcanic soils in the region, Madeira’s wine has received several awards throughout time. Historical records indicate that Madeira’s wine has been exported for almost six centuries, having been chosen to celebrate the Independence of the United States in 1776. Moreover, even Shakespeare made several references to it, and is now famous worldwide.
The best known grape varieties of Madeira’s wines are Sercial, Boal, Verdelho and Malvasia. But there are many other grape varieties, with wines of different degrees of sweetness: dry, half dry, sweet and half sweet. There are several wineries and restaurants offering tastings, traditionally accompanied by Madeira honey cake.
In recent years, the production of Madeiran table wines of various types has started: white, rosé, red and sparkling.
The harvest season generally takes place in late August and during the month of September. This is also the time of the Wine Festival, in which the wines produced in Madeira are honoured, with various themed events: learn more about Madeira’s Wine Route.