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Glossary

 

Madeira, the Island

 

Terraces

Cultivation on terraces or horizontal or sloped surfaces, supported by walls or slopes, on naturally steep land. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Type of Grape Varieties


Sercial

Grape variety used to produce Madeira Wine, traditionally dry.


Malvasia

Grape variety used to produce Madeira Wine, traditionally sweet. It was the first variety to be planted on the Island.


Terrantez

Grape variety used to produce Madeira Wine, traditionally between the Off-dry and semi-sweet type.


Tinta Negra

Grape variety used to produce Madeira Wine, adaptable to the production of any degree of sweetness.


Boal

Grape variety used to produce Madeira Wine, traditionally semi-sweet.
 

Verdelho

Grape variety used to produce Madeira Wine, traditionally Off-dry.


Wine-Making Process

 

Refractometer

Prism optical device used to assess the sugar level of the must. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Fermentation

Transformation produced by a fermenting agent on an organic substance, sometimes accompanied by the release of carbon gas, the formation of alcohol, acids and complex compounds. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Fortification

Halting of the fermentation of the must by the addition of grape spirit at 96% volume.


Estufagem

Aging process used in the production of some wines, consisting of heating them to a temperature of 49º - 54ºC, for several months. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Gantry

Wooden, stone or cement support placed on the floor of the cellars or warehouses, on which the wooden casks are placed. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Levadas

Manmade watercourses on the mountains, built during the early days of colonisation, to take water to inaccessible agricultural areas. Nowadays, the lavadas are a major tourist attraction in Madeira. (in the Official Tourist Site of Madeira)


Oidium

Fungus which attacks the green parts of the vine. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)
 

Phylloxera

Hemipterous insect native of America, parasite of leaves and especially vine roots. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Vinho da Roda(wine sent to on a round-trip to the equator)


Vat

Large volume tank (30 to 700hl) used for winemaking or storage of wines. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)

 

Frasqueiras or Vintage

Term reserved for wine made from at least 85% of grapes of the same harvest and of only one variety, from the recommended varieties, or of a mixture of recommended varieties, which, relative to the abovementioned 85% of grapes of the same harvest, has undergone a minimum aging of 20 years in wooden casks and shows exceptional organoleptic characteristics. The label should indicate the vintage year, bottling date and specific current-account before and after bottling.


Poios

Madeira designation given to terraces carved into the slopes and cultivated. (in Infopédia, Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa, Porto Editora)


Espalier

Flattened vine frame, covering a wall. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Sarmento

1st shoot of the year in the vegetative period, in an advanced state of lignification, but still keeping its leaves; 2nd completely lignified shoot (early vine shoot, leaf). (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Espoldra

Suppression of new or useless shoots on the trunk or branches of the vine. (in Lexique de La Vigne et du Vin)


Vintage

Term reserved for wine made from at least 85% of grapes of the same harvest and of only one variety, from the recommended varieties, or of a mixture of recommended or authorised varieties, which, relative to the abovementioned 85% of grapes of the same harvest, has undergone a minimum aging of 5 years in wooden casks and shows exceptional organoleptic characteristics. The label should indicate the vintage year, bottling date and specific current-account.


Organoleptic characteristics

Sensorial analysis (sight, smell, taste) which is given to the wine.


Solera

Term reserved for a wine showing exceptional organoleptic characteristics and aged in gantry casks for at least 5 years, forming the base of a lot from which a quantity not greater than 10% is removed from each cask, each year, for bottling, being replaced by an equal quantity of another wine of equivalent quality up to a maximum of 10 additions, after which the existing wine may all be bottled at the same time. The label should indicate the vintage year, bottling date and specific current-account.

 

Rainwater

Term reserved for wine with a recommended maximum of 5 years, the organoleptic characteristics of which are in conformity with the typical quality standards of the age in question, presenting a colour ranging from golden to semi-golden, and with a bulk density equal to or less than 1.0150 g/ml, and should indicate the specific current-account.