Madeira is a fortified wine made in the Madeira Islands. The alcoholic strength varies between 17% and 22% in volume and has a sugar content between 0 and 150 grams per liter.
The fermentation is made in a way that some sugar is left, interrupting it in diferent moments to get dry or sweet wines. Dry wines result from a full fermentation.
Madeira is a wine suitable to festivities and conviviality, which is drinked as an aperitif and digestive. It can be found in this categories: current, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years and more than 40 years.
The most common variety from which 90% of Madeira Wine is produced is Tinta Negra Mole that is subjected in buildings called estufas (hothouses).
This technique consists in leaving the wines protected from air and in a temperature of 50ºC for 90 days. After that it goes to a stage period for more 90 days in an ambient temperature exposed to air, causing it to oxidize and acquires an unique aroma and taste and a brown or yellowed coloration, characteristic of a new Madeira Wine.
The other 4 varieties are destined to fine wines, in general destined to a natural aging in the casks without using "estufa" (hothouse) and later marketed for better prices.
When marketed with the designation of the variety, they are: Sercial - dry, Verdelho - half dry, Boal - half sweet and Malvazia - sweet (the last one has an exceptional aroma and taste hard to find another in the whole world).