A Week In Madeira – 6. The Experimental Vineyard at Quinta das Vinhas



Quinta das Vinhas is a quaint 17th century sea side villa in the middle of an experimental vineyard of the Madeira Wine Institute – the responsible entity for the supervision of regional wine activities, certification and quality control of Madeira wine. The vineyard is a library of little known Madeiran varietals. (See footnote below).

That morning we tasted at Barbeito and drove west along the coast to Quinta das Vinhas  where we were to have Espedata for lunch. This is a typical Madeiran dish of chunks of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, skewered onto a bay leaf stick and cooked over hot coals.

We were met by a representative of the Madeira Wine Institute who led the walk through the little vineyard plots which sloped down towards a deep blue sea. The Quinta is a pretty place and the vila and a few cottages further downhill can be rented as holiday accommodation. Ariane Felten who runs the Quinta reeted us with a glass of White port and tonic and gave us a quick tour of the villa.






Lunch was served in the garden. We ate olives, Bola de Caco – the traditional bread of Madeira, fresh salads, enormous slices of baked yellow sweet potato with chickpeas, the espetada with potatoes and a tart with fresh passion fruit, all washed down with a rose, red and sweet Madeira.



Grapes of Madeira

Most Madeira wines are made with four main white varietals – Sercial,Verdelho, Bual & Malvasia, and one red varietal – Tinta Negra. Two white varietals Tarantez and Bastado are also used but are not common. Onther recommended grape varieties are Malvasia and Moscatel.

Apart from these there are several ‘aruthorized’ varieties from Vitis Vinifera – Água Santa, Alvarinho, Arns Burguer, Bastardo Espanhol, Cabernet Sauvignon, Campanário, Caracol, Carao de Moça, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Complexa, Deliciosa, Ferral, Generosa, Grenache, Listrao Roxo, Malvasia Babosa,  Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia Branca. Jorge, Malvasia Cândida Romana , Malvasia de Oeiras, Malvasia Fina, Malvasia Rei, Mario Feld, Merlot, Mindelo, Perigo, Pinot Branco, Pinot Gris, Portalegre, Riesling, Rio Grande, Sauvignon Blanc, Spatburgunder, Syrah, Tália, Tinta Barroca, Tinta de Lisboa, Tinta do Porto Santo, Touriga Francesa, Touriga Nacional, Triunfo, Valveirinho.

There are also lesser grapes, planted after Phylloxera, from the American Vitis Labrusca or Vitis Aestivaldis family. Their main members are: Jacquez, Herbemont, Isabella, Othello and Noah. A simple table wine is produced from these grapes and sold on the island only, since the European Community does not allow export of wines from Vitis Labrusca.



  • “Thank you very much for your e-mail and your lovely post with the nice fotos showing and speaking about Quinta das Vinhas. We all of Quinta das Vinhas wish you all the best and send our warmest regards from Madeira.” Yours sincerely, – Ariane Felten, 31 October 2016
Quinta das Vinhas, Sítio Do Lombo De Serrões, 9370-221 Estreito da Calheta, Madeira. Phone+351 291 824 086

Our visit was arranged by:

Rita Galvão
CEO / Diretora Executiva 
+351 912304517
www.discoveringmadeira.com  www.winetoursmadeira.com

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