Welcome to Madeira!

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Don’t ask me why I bought it. I have no idea even though I suspect some fascination concerning the label saying Vintage 1940 was involved. It was the Sercial from Justino’s and the amount I paid was way over my limit as a student at the university. I was only twentythree years old back then and a sample of the 1940 Sercial was all I needed to start a love affair for life with Madeira.

After more than a decade of reading and sampling I then visited the island of Madeira some years ago, aware of the risk I had built up an image impossible for the island to live up to. It did however manage to meet my expectations and Madeira today is not only a wine passion, it is just as much an urge to travel back to a most fascinating, dramatic and mind bogging vulcanic island out in the Atlantic. Last but not least; its people and their genuine friendliness and generosity we’ve met are only that worth returning for.

Sunset over Funchal with Cabo Girão in the background.
When the opportunity spending a longer period on the island arised we were not late to start planning our dream stay! Now, after thirtysix days in the outskirts of Funchal, we’re back home and if I thought I knew Madeira before I was wrong! Checking the notebook I have tasted 103 different Madeira’s (!), some memories for life and for me, new reference points. And the respect for the wine and its producers I had before leaving is now even greater knowing the incredibly hard work they’re facing every day.
Vintage tasting at Henriques & Henriques
Hopelessly out-of-date for well, most likely decades, I now hope I can contribute to shred some light on the immortal, unique and absolutely stunning wines of Madeira. So, tired of walking the same path, never trying anything new (or in this case, old!), not daring to pick up a bottle of Madeira or knowing what to do with it, well then you’ve come to the right place!
Terrantez at Calheta. Will it survive?
Let me guide you through a resurrecting Madeira, some of its producers, grapes struggling for their existence, wines and history. And much more for a series of postings the coming weeks. But be aware – you might get hooked for life! Welcome !
Rua dos Ferreiros – the most classic wine street in Funchal.
First out: the keepers of century old Vintage Madeira – Pereira d’Oliveira.
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