Made from Tinta Negra Mole grapes collected from multiple small, terraced vineyards that cling to the steep mountainous slopes of the island, this is a medium-dry wine combining soft fruit flavors with a dry, nutty quality. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks until a neutral grape spirit brandy is added to stop the fermentation. Following fermentation, the wine undergoes a heating process, estufagem, where it is placed in cask in a special lodge or estufa where it will remain for at least three months. This heating process oxidizes the wine, giving it a very long shelf life and its characteristic nutty, rich flavors. 18% alc.
An island off of Portugal, Madiera is best known for its fortified wine. Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. During the 18th century of exploration to different continents, shipments of the wine had a problem of spoiling. To prevent this from happening, neutral grape spirits were added. When an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip, the flavor of the wine was transformed by exposure to heat and movement. This resulted in a "nutty" taste. Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine and deliberately exposing it to oxygen.