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MADEIRA

The fortified wine "Madeira” is produced in the island popularly known as "Atlantic pearl”. It is a wine of great longevity, complex aromas and distinctive flavour that has made it world famous.

The island of Madeira has a typically Mediterranean climate: mild temperatures throughout the year and low temperature range, though there’s always high atmospheric moisture. The soils have a volcanic origin and are not very fertile. As the island’s relief is very irregular, the vines are planted on the volcanic slopes.

The Denomination of Origin of Madeira is made up of 450 hectares of vine, in which red and white grape varieties are planted. Although Tinta Mole is the most planted grape variety in the region, there are also some rare grape varieties, such as Sercial, Boal, Malvasia and Verdelho.
The best Madeira wines are those that come from vines planted in low altitude areas.  The Malvasia grape is the most famous one for the production of Madeira’s fortified wine. Other grape varieties used include: Sercial, Boal and Verdelho, conferring four levels of sweetness to the wine (sweet, half sweet, half dry and dry).

The wine’s ageing period determines its quality. Madeira wines can be classified according to their ageing years: five, ten and fifteen. Madeira wines aged for twenty years and made up of one single grape variety are called Frasqueira or Vintage. Recently, a new type of Madeira has emerged – Colheita. Though produced from one single grape variety, these wines are younger than Frasqueiras. Lower quality wines are commercialised without age designation.

Besides its extraordinary qualities regarding aromas and flavour, Madeira´s fortified wine has also a unique longevity. Madeira is almost eternal, since its qualities remain unaltered for many years after bottling.

Find more at: www.vinhomadeira.pt/



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