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    Vinho Madeira Vinho Madeira

    Madeira began exporting its wine to the rest of the world in the 18th century. The wine was transported in barrels in the holds of ships, where it was subjected to temperature variations during the long voyages before arriving at their destination. Any wine not sold came back to the island, where it was found to be much more aromatic and flavourful than it had been before it left. From 1730 onward, barrels of Madeira wine were deliberately sent on long voyages in order to bring out the best qualities in the wine.

    At the beginning of the 19th century, producers did a study to try to find a way to reproduce the warming and cooling phenomena that the wine was subjected to on the high seas. After completing the study, they began using a process of “estufagem” (heating the wine) followed by a rest period to simulate shipboard phenomena and improve the qualities of the wine without sending it out to sea. The best Madeira wines are those made from grapes grown at lower altitudes. Malvasia is a grape variety that has been used for centuries to produce the sweeter style of Madeira wine. The following varieties are also used in the production of Madeira wine: Boal, Verdelho and Sercial, which impart different levels of sweetness to the wine (medium-sweet, medium-dry and dry, respectively).

    Fun trivia

    The signing of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776 was toasted with a glass of Madeira wine, probably because it was Thomas Jefferson’s favourite wine. William Shakespeare mentioned “our” wine in his play, ”Henry IV”, when Falstaff is accused of selling his soul “for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon's leg”.

    Another case dates from 1478, when George of York, brother of Edward IV of England, was sentenced to death. He purportedly chose to be executed by being drowned in a cask of Malmsey wine.

    The ageing period determines the quality of a Madeira wine, which is classified according to the number of years it is aged: five, ten and fifteen years.

    Wines of lesser quality are sold without an indication of their age.

    In addition to the extraordinary qualities of Madeira wine in terms of aroma and flavour, this fortified wine is known for its unusual longevity. Madeira is practically eternal - even many years after it is bottled, its qualities remain virtually unchanged.



    WINERIES IN FUNCHAL - with guided tours and wine tasting



    Location: Avenida Arriaga, 28
    Tel: +351 291 740 100
    Email: pubrel@madeirawinecampany.com

    Site: www.blandys.com

    Opening hours: Monday to Friday:10:00 – 18:30; Saturday: 10:00 – 13:00



    Location: Rua Ferreiros, 107
    Tel: +351 291 720 784
    Email: perolivinhos@hotmail.com

    Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:30-18:00; Saturday: 09:30-13:00



    Location: Rua 31 Janeiro, 83
    Tel: +351 291 223 247
    Email: perolivinhos@hotmail.com

    Site: www.hmborges.com

    Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:30-12:30 and 14:00-17:30


    banner Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago, was declared a city in the 1500s, and became an important point between the old and new worlds. The laid-back city owes much of its historical prominence to the white gold, the Madeiran sugar. Today Funchal is known for its appealing temperatures, wine and crafts. Top spots to visit include the open Worker's Market, Blandy's Wine Lodge and the Sacred Art Museum. Friendly locals, walkable streets and cheap taxis make the city easy to get around. SEE ON TRIPADVISORseta Mapa Turístico do Funchal

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