Madeira

Grape Types

Bual, produces medium-rich style Madeira wines, it is generally planted on the Southern side of the island, ripening longer and achieving higher sugar levels than the drier Sercial and Verdelho varieties.
Historically grown widely in Italy, Spain and Portugal, it can be found as either a full white varietal or a light red. Often blended with other varietals in Orvieto or as Vin Santo in Tuscany. Malmsey is an English corruption of Malvasia, which is known for its importance in Madeira.
Sercial is vital in the production of Madeira, either as a blend or as a dry style single varietal. Planted at altitude in the cooler North facing vineyards, Sercial has very high acidity which is required for the ageing potential of quality Madeira.
Terrantez is an almost extinct white-wine grape variety from Madeira. It has previosuly been said that it was the same variety as Folgasao but more modern ampelographic research has disproved this. A variety known as Terrantez is used on the Portuguese mainland, but this is also distinct from Madeira's Terrantez.

Terrantez vines produce very low yields of high-quality grapes, so while the wine they make can be of excellent quality, growing the vines represents a significantly greater investment than hardier, high-yielding varieties such as Tinta Negra Mole (which now dominates Madeira's vineyards).
Also grown in the Hunter Valley and Victoria, Verdhelo is best known in Madeira where it produces medium-dry wines for single varietal Madeira or in blends.