The idyllic Portuguese island of Madeira is known not only for its pleasant climate and lush flora, but also for its exquisite wine. Since the 17th and 18th century, the characteristic Madeira Wine is produced and exported. The special production method of this fortified wine is said to date back to sailors who discovered that the heat during the long voyages to the East Indies improved the taste.
The secrets of Madeira Wine production
The success of Madeira Wine is due to the excellent quality of the grapes and the constant improvement of the production processes. The vineyards extend over 400 hectares on Madeira’s coast, where small plots, known as “poios”, are cultivated by hand. The mild climate and fertile volcanic soils contribute to the special quality of the grapes.
Varieties and styles of Madeira Wine
More than 30 grape varieties are grown in Madeira. The four noblest varieties – Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malvasia – determine the different flavors and sweetness levels of the wine. Sercial is dry and acidic, Verdelho semi-dry, Boal semi-sweet and Malvasia sweet and full-bodied. Each variety offers unique flavors that are perfect for different occasions.
Madeira Wine Culinary Recommendations
Madeira wine goes well with various dishes and occasions. Sercial is excellent as an aperitif, while the semi-dry Verdelho goes well with main courses. The sweeter Boal and Malvasia are perfect for desserts or cakes. Boal also adds a slightly sweet flavor to a strong gravy.
Celebrate Madeira Wine at the Madeira Wine Festival
The Madeira Wine Festival is an annual event that celebrates the centuries-old tradition of Madeira Wine. This year the festival will be held from August 31 to September 17 on Avenida Arriaga in Funchal. Visitors can learn everything about the production of wine and taste the noble drops.
The self-governing region of Madeira, which is part of Portugal and about a four-hour flight from Germany, is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa. Impressive wildlife and flora, pleasant year-round temperatures, idyllic fishing villages, hiking trails up to 1,800 meters above sea level, and fascinating views of cliffs, rock structures, and waterfalls make Madeira, known as the Island of Flowers, the perfect year-round destination for outdoor activities.