The best wines in Madeira
The history of wine-making is as old as the history of human civilization. (Or well, almost). People have extracted the nectar of Dionysos since time immemorial, but there are certain regions where the production of this beverage truly has an outstanding tradition and Portugal falls into this category, as well as its remote island, Madeira. The best wines in Madeira are counted among the top alcoholic beverages in the world.
The rich soil and the warm, but humid weather is optimal for growing grapes. Here’s a list for all those who want to feel the bouquet of Madeira Island.
Boal (or Bual to the English) is a medium sweet variety of wine made up of large white grapes. This sort of grape is widely cultivated in the northern region of Madeira, around Sao Vicente, and in the southern area, in Camara de Lobos and Campanario. Its sweetness is mellowed by the acidity of the grapes and the coloring of the liquid tends to be a bit darker.
Another white grape which grown abundantly in Madeira is Verdelho, from which the Atlantis Whine and the light Rainwater wine (prefered by Americans) is made. It is medium dry and only began to be cultivated on the island again, after a long absence, around the years 1980.
There is a grape variety in Maderia that is grown only for wine production; it is called Terrantez and it is a white, sweet and medium dry variety. It is not so widespread and the vintage wines made from Terrantez mainly fall into one of two categories: sweet and rich or rich and very dry. Terrantez has a specific bitterness that is hard to miss for an expert.
Have you drunk enough of the sweet bouquet of Madeira? Join us again for Part 2. Meanwhile, in case you are planning a trip to the island, choose a Madeira tour and you might even get a wine tasting.