Câmara Municipal do Funchal
Praça do Município
Contact Center CMF
291 211 000
(every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Madeira Wine started being exported all over the world from the 18th century. The barrels were transported by boat, being subject to numerous temperature variations until they reached their destination. The wine that was not sold would return to the Island where it would be checked if it was more aromatic and had a new flavour. From 1730 onwards, Madeira wine barrels started being sent on long journeys to refine their qualities.
At the beginning of the 19th century, producers began a study to find a way of reproducing the heating and cooling phenomena to which wines were subjected on the high seas. After the study was done, they used the “estufagem” and the “canteiro” as processes used to simulate these actions and consequently improve the qualities of the wine. The best Madeira Wines are those that come from vines planted in lower altitude areas.
The Malvasia grape variety is the one that has stood out in its production since secular times. The following grape varieties are also used in Madeira Wine production: Sercial, Boal and Verdelho, which give four levels of sweetness to the wine (sweet, half-sweet, half-dry and dry).