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Volcanos | Azores and Madeira

Venture beyond mainland Portugal and discover a world of distinct flavors in the volcanic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira. These remote islands, scattered across the Atlantic Ocean, cultivate unique grape varieties and produce wines unlike any others in the world.

The Azores, a string of nine islands west of Portugal, boast a cool, maritime climate heavily influenced by the Atlantic. Volcanic soils rich in minerals provide a unique terroir for viticulture. Here, Verdelho reigns supreme. This white grape, likely of Madeiran origin, thrives in the Azores' conditions, producing crisp and vibrant wines with notes of citrus, minerality, and a touch of salinity. Other indigenous varieties like Arinto, Terrantez, and even some international grapes like Merlot and Syrah, also find a home in the Azores.

The unique volcanic soils of the Azores impart a distinctive minerality to the wines. The cool climate allows for slow, even ripening, resulting in wines with refreshing acidity and a lower alcohol content compared to mainland Portugal. Many Azorean wines are produced in the DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada) regions of Pico, Graciosa, and Biscoitos, each offering slightly different expressions due to variations in soil composition, grape selection, and winemaking techniques.

The island of Madeira, further south than the Azores, boasts a warmer climate and a long history of viticulture dating back to the 15th century. Here, the star is the fortified wine of the same name. Made primarily from the white Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malmsey grapes, Madeira undergoes a unique process called "estufagem" or "canteiro." After fermentation, the wines are subjected to gentle heat, either in a warm room (estufagem) or exposed to the natural heat of the Madeiran sun (canteiro). This process concentrates the sugars and develops the wines' characteristic nutty, caramelized, and dried fruit flavors.

Madeira offers a spectrum of styles, ranging from dry Sercials to the lusciously sweet Malmseys. These fortified wines are incredibly age-worthy, evolving in complexity over decades. Madeira's unfortified table wines, still relatively new, are also worth exploring. Made primarily from the same grapes as their fortified counterparts, they showcase the fresh fruit character of the varieties and the distinctive volcanic influence of the island's terroir.

Whether you seek the refreshing acidity of Azorean Verdelho or the complex richness of Madeiran Bual, the wines of these Portuguese islands offer a unique and unforgettable experience. So, next time you're looking for something different, consider venturing beyond the mainland and exploring the island gems of the Azores and Madeira.

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Entre Pedras - 2021 - Verdelho dos Açores
Entre Pedras - 2021 - Efusivo Branco
Sold outEntre Pedras - 2021 - Efusivo Clarete
ETNOM - 2351 Metros - Branco
ETNOM - 2351 Metros - Branco Sale price€70,00
ETNOM - 2022 - Canada dos Ladrões
ETNOM - 2022 - Vinho Branco LG Açores
Sold outEntre Pedras - 2021 - Arinto dos Açores
ETNOM - Laranjinha - Laranja Vulcanica
Azores Wine Company - 2018 - Proibida Tinto