The mild climate observed throughout the year on the island and the fertile soils have greatly contributed to the establishment of grape cultivation on the island and for the purpose of wine production. Madeira Wine has played an important role in the island’s economy over the years, becoming a popular and quality product all over the world. As a curiosity, Madeira Wine was present in 1776 at the independence of the United States of America, being the favorite wine of Thomas Jefferson.
The grapes most produced on the island are those of Tinta Negra, Sercial, Boal, Verdelho and Malvasia. Tinta Negra is the most produced, its culture is in the south of the island, in Funchal and Câmara de Lobos and in the north, in São Vicente. Sercial, very acidic, is produced in the north of the island and in Câmara de Lobos. Verdelho is generally grown at 400 meters above sea level. Boal is produced between 100 to 300 meters and is more present in Campanário and São Vicente. The Malvasia grape variety, which is believed to have been the first to be introduced to the island, is mostly found on the north coast of the island.
It is also worth mentioning the production, albeit in a very small quantity of white grapes in Porto Santo, sweet and light grapes that are rarely seen outside the island of Porto Santo.
The harvests traditionally take place at the end of August and the beginning of September, and from 3 to 27 September there is the Wine Festival, which is one of the tourist posters of the destination Madeira. It is also worth mentioning the Grape and Farmer Festival that takes place in Porto da Cruz practically simultaneously.
The vast majority of grapes produced in the archipelago are for the production of wine, although some are also available for sale in traditional markets. it is worth noting that although it is an alcoholic beverage, when consumed in moderation wine presents health benefits, such as the effects of lowering blood pressure or even anti-inflammatory effects. The grapes themselves have a high degree of satiety, being rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and K, and also in flavonoids, which help in reducing the so-called bad cholesterol.