Tripmadeira: Be Part of the Adventure!
Tripmadeira
More
Back to top

Wine Experiences

Discover a wide variety of wineries and fantastic wine activities throughout Madeira Island.

 

 

Wine Experiences

 

Madeira Wine, a Gift of Nature!

santana

Madeira was discovered in 1419 by the Portuguese and, twenty-five years later, it already exported wine from the island to several locations in Europe. For this reason, the Madeiran wines’ quality has been globally recognized for almost 600 years.

The Madeira Wine have their own personality and extract their acidity from the ancient volcanic soils, from the winds, oftentimes merciless, that hit the vines and provide an intense salinity, from the freshness of the mountains’ altitude, from diversified fruit and flower aromas, resulting from natural pollination, and from the ripening that many days of solar exposure allows.

Nowadays, Madeira Wine is still produced, a unique fortified wine quite appreciated throughout the world.

 

Mountainous Wines

These are magnificent wines, produced from the grape varieties introduced on the region that successfully adapted to the island’s soils and several microclimates.

The wine-growing landscape, spread throughout the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, encompasses approximately 500 hectares of vineyards. The terraces thereof, humanly built, are supported by stone walls, a creative way the Madeiran citizens discovered to enable the cultivation of their land along the steep slopes. Several of these terraces resemble stairways from the sea level to the higher plots, at 700 meters of altitude.

 

History

Throughout history, there have been several famous personalities that drank and appreciated Madeira wine.

The first president of the United States of America, George Washington, celebrated the independence of his country with a glass of Madeira Wine, which remains so to this day: when a new president of the United States is elected, the ephemeris is celebrated with a glass of Madeira wine.
Sir Winston Churchill also appreciated Madeira wines, inclusively visiting the island after the war.

The tsar Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, from Russia, loved Madeira wine and the imperial wineries were always well stocked.
Also Piotr Tchaikovsky, the great Russian composer, enjoyed Madeira wine.
Another famous composer, the Finish Jean Sibelius, appreciator of the good things in life, loved champagne and Madeira wines.

And many other famous personalities that, over the centuries, tasted, appreciated and disseminated these unique wines.

 

The vine and the Varieties

The first grape varieties were introduced in Madeira by order of Prince Henry, the Navigator, a few years after the discovery of the island. It is known that the Malvasia variety was ordered from the island of Crete (Greece), from the region of Cândida, hence the existence of Malvasia Cândida. At the beginning of the settlement, people from Minho also brought vines and, obviously, other grape varieties. These and other varieties, which arrived on the island from several origins, were faced with poor and not very fertile volcanic soils with a high acidity content, but adapted and soon began to produce fantastic wines, which were successfully exported. It has remained so to our days. Nowadays, the Madeira fortified wines are made from the Tinta Negra, Malvasia, Bual, Verdelho, Sercial, Terrantez and some Moscatel grape varieties, which also then became linked to the degree of sweetness of these wines.

Nevertheless, the Madeiran winegrowers have always produced table wine for their consumption, with these and other varieties, even red grapes, which have been planted over the centuries. On the island of Porto Santo, there is also a great popular wine tradition, for own or local consumption, mainly of two white varieties: Caracol and Listrão.

Therefore, there is no surprise that the first still wines appeared in the 90s of the past century. Initially, they were essentially white, mainly from the Verdelho and Arnsburger grape varieties, but red grape varieties quickly started to be used, namely Touriga Nacional, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aragonez and Tinta Negra. More varieties were planted, in several areas of the island.

 

Types of Madeira Wine

Madeira wine is a fortified wine, presenting an alcohol content between 17 and 22% vol., produced in the Demarcated Region of Madeira.

We may find several designations for Madeira wine: the blended wines, without an indication of age, for the wines with a minimum aging of 3 years; or with an indication of age, which may be 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 50+ years old.

Other traditional mentions are Frasqueira or Garrafeira for wines which indicate the year of the harvest and the recommended variety, produced by the canteiro process and with a minimum continuous aging of 20 years in wood. The Colheita [Harvest] wines must indicate the year of the harvest, as the name indicates, and be continuously aged in wood for at least 5 years.

The Canteiro indication is for the wines that, upon fortification, are submitted to aging in wood for a minimum of 2 years.

Other indications are Reserva (Velho) [Reserve (Aged)], Reserva Velha [Aged Reserve] (Reserva Especial [Special Reserve] or Muito Velho [Very Aged]) and Reserva Extra [Extra Reserve], when in conformity with aging standards, 5, 10 and 15 years, respectively.

There are also other classifications, such as Seleccionado, Selected, Choice or Finest, when the wines present a special quality for the correspondent age; and Fino or Fine for the Madeira wines with the perfect balance with regards to its acidity and evolution aromas in wood.

Rainwater is a designation applied to wines which present a colour between pale and golden, associating, or not, the indication of the maximum age of 10 years.

Nowadays, with less weight on the market, we may find Madeira wine with the Solera indication, reserved for wines produced in canteiro, whose base wine is from a single harvest and recommended variety, with a minimum aging of 5 years in wood. This is a blended wine.

Other types of Madeira wine, according to the degree of sweetness, are the Dry, Extra-Dry, Semi-Dry, Semi-Sweet and Sweet.

 

Classification

"RESERVE" (Reserva) for wine associated to the harvest year that presents specific organoleptic characteristics, among other more technical characteristics.

"GRANDE ESCOLHA" (Great Choice) for wine that presents specific organoleptic characteristics and which is associated to the harvest year. However, all indications authorized for the wines entitled to a DO or GI may be used on their labelling, such as, for instance, “Reserva Especial” (Special Reserve), “Superior”, (Premium), among others.

 

Production

In the case of Madeira wine, a fortified wine, after the harvest and grape crushing, it is subject to fermentation, which is stopped with the addition of vinic alcohol at 96%, depending if the oenologist intends to get a sweeter or drier wine. The production process then follows, “Estufagem” or “Canteiro”. In the first, the wine is placed in stainless steel vats, for approximately 3 months, and heated up to 45 to 50 degrees Celsius, and is then submitted to an “aging” period of, at least, 90 days at room temperature. After this process, the wine may remain in stainless steel or be placed in wooden barrels, until it meets the conditions for bottling.

In the second process, “Canteiro”, the wines are aged in barrels, normally on the top floors of the warehouses, where the temperatures are higher, for a minimum period of 2 years. It undergoes an oxidative aging in the barrel, developing unique characteristics of intense and complex aromas upon the wines. This denomination derives from the fact that the barrels are placed on wooden support beams, called canteiros.

Regarding the Madeira still wines, the process is, somehow, similar to the production of still wines around the world, highlighting the terroir of the Madeiran wines, granting them a unique acidity and freshness.

 

Curiosities

● The still or fortified Madeira wines are certified by the Institute of Wine, Embroidery and Handcrafts of Madeira (IVBAM, I.P. – RAM) and all of them, are submitted to a physical-chemical and sensorial control by the Tasting Chamber.

● According to historical records, Madeira wine with the “Rainwater” indication is due to the fact that some Madeira wine barrels were left on the Funchal pier on a night with heavy rains and some rainwater entered the barrels; nevertheless, they were sent to the United States and the importer loved it so much that he requested more of that type of wine, hence being named “Rainwater”.

● Madeira wine must be stored with the bottle upright so that the cork, is not damaged, in passing times, by the wine’s acidity. On the other hand, the Still Wines must be stored horizontally.

● The “Roda” or “Torna Viagem” wine became famous as from the 17th century, when the Madeira wine traders became aware that the wine that travelled to India registered an acceleration in its aging process during the long trips, due to the high temperatures of the tropics, originating a greater complexity and quality, hence opting for this production method for a long time. For this reason, the United Kingdom paid astronomical commercial values.

● In Madeira wine, the Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malvasia varieties are associated to the degree of sweetness, only producing extra-dry or dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet wines, respectively.

● The aromas found in Madeira wine are called Bouquet, in effect, in Madeira wine you cannot detect only one aroma but several, which derive from its aging process, third aromas, i.e. roasting aromas, caramel, nuts, vanilla, wood, among many others. On the other hand, the Madeiran still wines present the primary aromas, known for their tropicality, such as passion fruit, pineapple, citric fruits aromas; in the case of white wines, salinity and freshness, and the red wines present tones of red berries, jam, among others.

● Shakespeare mentioned Madeira wine in his writing several times, for example, in the execution ordered by the king of England, Edward IV, of the Duke of Clarence, brother of the future King Richard III, who chose to dry die by drowning drown in a barrel of Malvasia.

 

Wine Events

● The Wine Festival is one of the tourist attractions of Madeira, carried out by the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture, paying tribute to the precious nectar of the Region, around the time of the wine harvest, usually at the end of August and the beginning of September.

● The live wine harvest, at Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, must be highlighted. In a Madeiran manor house, the grapes are harvested and crushed in a traditional winepress. The ethnographic parade takes place with the participation of a wide number of folklore and ethnographic groups. All this in a festive atmosphere, with musical entertainment and regional gastronomy.

● Along the Central Walkway of Avenida Arriaga, in Funchal, besides the presence of the Madeira wine producers, it is possible to taste a variety of fortified and still wines as well as watch the performance of folklore groups. You can also rely on a diversified programme, which includes light and world music, choral singing, jazz, traditional and philharmonic music.

● The Madeira Wine Lounge, at Praça do Povo, in Funchal, is a privileged place for visitors to enjoy wine and regional gastronomy tastings to the sound of the performances of the musical groups. This unique space comprises three specific areas: one aimed for the wine, with wine sales and tastings; another aimed for the performances; and one for gastronomy.

● In the Gardens of Quinta Magnólia, the “Wine & Film Weekend” event includes the projection of thematic films on wine, but also a lounge space, in which tastings of Madeiran wines are carried out, in an environment allusive to the Wine Festival.

● At the Blandy’s Wineries, there is a programme of festivities connected to wine, ranging from the moonlight wine harvest, thematic dinners, regional delicacies workshops, cocktails with Madeira wine, among other activities, culminating with a traditional Madeiran feast.

● The company Henriques & Henriques, in partnership with the Churrascaria O Lagar (Steakhouse), in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, also develops activities connected to wine in that restaurant, in which the grapes are harvested and crushed in a traditional winepress.

● At Quinta do Furão hotel, in Santana, on every Friday and Saturday of September, a programme on the wine topic is presented, in which the participants may taste the famous Madeira on ice, have lunch near the traditional winepress, followed by the grape crushing, ending the day with a Madeira wine tasting.

● The Cliff Bay hotel, in Funchal, offers its guests the opportunity to participate in wine tastings, workshops, vineyard visits, demonstrations and presentations. The hotels are the stage of wine dinners with sommeliers and invited chefs that present exquisite degustation menu, together with a careful selection of wines.

● The Quinta do Estreito Vintage House hotel, in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, offers its customers, activities related to wine such as the traditional grape crushing, the filling of wine barrels and also a traditional Madeiran lunch.

● In Funchal, The Vine Hotel offers its customers a Madeiran Wine Party, a thematic dinner allusive to wine and exclusively with Madeiran wines.

 

Wine Producers & Cellars

Henriques & Henriques

Address: Avenida Nova Cidade, 9300-138 Câmara de Lobos.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 941 551

Email: henriquesehenriques@netmadeira.com

Website: henriquesehenriques.pt

Barbeito

Address: Estrada da Ribeira Garcia, Parque Empresarial de Câmara de Lobos - Lote 8, 9300-324 Câmara de Lobos.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 761 829

Email: info@vinhosbarbeito.com.pt

Website: barbeitomadeira.com

Madeira Wine Company

Address: Plataforma 3, Pavilhão T, Zona Franca Industrial da Madeira, 9200-047 Caniçal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 228 978

Email: avs@madeirawinecompany.com

Website: madeirawinecompany.com

H. M. Borges

Address: Rua 31 de Janeiro, nº 83, 9050-011 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 223 247

Email: info@hmborges.com

Website: hmborges.com

Justino's

Address: Parque Industrial da Cancela, 9125-042 Caniço.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 934 257

Email: justinos@justinosmadeira.com

Website: justinosmadeira.com

Pereira D'Oliveira

Address: Rua Dos Ferreiros 107, 9000-082 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 220 784

Email: geral@doliveiras.pt

Website: doliveiras.pt

Quinta do Barbusano

Address: Caminho do Barbusano, 26 - 9240-000 São Vicente.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 101 022

Email: quintadobarbusano@sapo.pt

Facebook: @quintadobarbusano

Terra Bona Wine Family

Address: Estrada do Cardo, 117 - 9240-048 Boaventura.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 925 864 904

Email: comercial@terrabonawine.com

Website: terrabonawine.com

J. Faria & Filhos,Lda.

Address: Travessa do Tanque, 85/87 9020-258 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 742 935

Email: jfariafilhos@sapo.pt

Facebook: @jfariamadeira

Elsa Ferreira - Pedra de Fogo

Address: Banda da Silva - 9200-031 Caniçal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 964 742 734

Email: elsaferr@gmail.com

Facebook: @vinho.pedradefogo

John Paul da Silva - Beijo Wines

Address: Banda da Silva, 9200-031 Caniçal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 918 240 041

Email: tintobeijo@gmail.com

Facebook: @beijo.redwine

Madeira Vintners

Address: Caminho de São Martinho, 56 - 9000-273 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 702 440

Email: info@madeiravintners.com

Website: cafmadeira.pt

Seiçal

Address: Sítio das Feiteiras – Seixal - 9270-125 Porto Moniz.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 854 261

Email: seical@sapo.pt

Facebook: @seicalmadeira

Diana Silva Wines - Ilha DOP

Address: DSW, 9240-221 São Vicente.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 966 273 301

Email: geral@dianasilvawines.com

Website: dianasilvawines.com

Seixal Wines - Terras do Avô

Address: Estrada de Santo Antão, nº 23 - 9270-139 Seixal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 964 008 001

Email: seixalwines@gmail.com

Website: @terras.avo

Quinta da Ramadinha

Address: Caminho do Massapez, 65 - 9370-077 Arco da Calheta.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 827 248

Email: fatimamenezes@live.com.pt

Casa do Caramanchão

Address: Rua da Estacada, Nº8, 9200-109 Machico.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 961 138

Email: casadocaramanchao@gmail.com

Website: casadocaramanchao.com

Palmeiras e Voltas e Xavelha

Address: Caminho João Ernesto Pereira, 7 - 9300-075 Câmara de Lobos.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 965 010 630

Email: octavioferraz@netmadeira.com

 

Wine Tours

Wine Tours Madeira

Address: Rua dos Tanoeiros 41 3ºAndar K 9000-057 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 911 911 711

Email: hello@winetoursmadeira.com

Website: winetoursmadeira.com

Hush-Hush Madeira

Address: Rua Nova da Igreja, nº10 São Gonçalo, 9060-206 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 965 714 021

Email: info@hushhushmadeira.com

Website: hushhushmadeira.com

MFF Holiday Experiences

Address: Rua Ponta da Cruz, CC Centromar, nº9 9000-103 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 782 426

Email: info@madeira-fauna-flora.com

Facebook: @mffecotourism

 

Wine Shops & Bars

enoMania

Address: Rua Levada dos Barreiros, #86B 9000-161 S. Martinho - Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 763 357

Email: enomania.info@gmail.com

Website: enomania.pt

Pérola dos Vinhos

Address: Rua da Alfândega, 119 9000-059 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 644 919

Email: geral@peroladosvinhos.com

Website: peroladosvinhos.com

Loja dos Vinhos

Address: Estrada Monumental 314A, 9000-111 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 761 508

Email: loja-vinhos@netmadeira.com

Facebook: @lojadosvinhos

Sabor a Vinho

Address: Rua da Ponte Nova 49, 9050-440 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 915 768 239

Email: saboravinho@outlook.pt

Facebook: @saboravinho

Blandy's Wine Lodge

Address: Av. Arriaga 28, 9000-064 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 228 978

Email: lojadovinho@blandys.com

Website: blandyswinelodge.com

Copo

Address: Armazéns De, Travessa Preces, Caminho Santa Quitéria Lj. J, 9020-251 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 794 433

Email: copovinhos@sapo.pt

Facebook: @copo.vinhos

Paixão do Vinho

Address: Avenida do Infante, 22 - 9000-015 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 010 220

Email: info@paixaodovinho.com

Facebook: @PxVinho

Terroir Portugal

Address: Galeria Comercial Jardins d'Ajuda, Estrada Monumental, Loja N - 9000-250 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 753 184

Email: terroirportugal@gmail.com

Facebook: @terroirportugalwinebar

Taberna do Capitão

Address: Rua da Alfândega, 135, Beco do Açúcar 3 - 9000-059 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 965 472 131

Email: tabernadocapitao@gmail.com

Facebook: @tabernacapitao

Porto de Abrigo

Address: Avenida Marcos Marques Rosa (Frente Mar de São Vicente) - 9240-018 São Vicente.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 965 019 587

Email: marciacaldeira1980@gmail.com

Facebook: @portodeabrigo2017

The Old Pharmacy

Address: Rua Dr. João Augusto Teixeira, 23 - 9360-215 Ponta do Sol.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 927 793 866

Email: theoldpharmacywinebar@gmail.com

Facebook: @The-old-pharmacy

Wine Bar 3V's

Address: Rua Gregório Pestana 8, 9400-171 Vila Baleira - Porto Santo.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 917 856 799

Email: winebar3vs@gmail.com

Facebook: @3vsportosanto

Adega Moniz

Address: Rua de São Pedro n°58, 9100-207 Santa Cruz.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 601 898

Email: luis.moniz89@hotmail.com

Facebook: @adegamoniz

O Americano

Address: Rua da Carreira, 120 - 9000-042 Funchal.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 967 925 452

Facebook: @oamericanocoffeewinebar

Tinta Negra

Address: Rua José Joaquim da Costa, Ed. Vilas da Quinta, Loja M - 9325-100 Estreito de Câmara de lobos.
GoogleMaps

Phone: +351 291 638 941

Email: tintanegra2019@gmail.com

Facebook: @tintanegra.winebar

Check out the wine related events and thematic programs in Madeira Island.