Madeira wine producers

There are eight manufacturers of Madeira wine. You may feel that Madeira is an area which continues to bravely defend itself with its own vibrant culture and idiosyncratic wines against the big world of mass-produced alcoholic beverages. It is what this world needs, a promise for the future. Today many Madeira wines have become icons, and while every year prices have been rising, an amazing stock of old wines are still available, leaving some incredible treasures for wine aficionados.

14) Chris Blandy & Franceso Albuquerque


In 1808, John Blandy arrived in Madeira with a letter of recommendation from London, stating that he was suffering from illness and was looking for a job as bookkeeper. Not a flashy start to a new career, but apparently, he had quickly adapted to Madeira, as he founded Blandy’s Madeira only three years later. His son and successor Charles Ridpath had the spirit of his father; he was one of the few British winemakers who did not give up in the 1850’s crisis, but instead expanded. Today, Blandy’s is Madeira’s oldest family enterprise with a commendable age of over 200 years.

Henriques Henriques

In the early days, it was a family business, known as ‘partidista’ meaning they only sold grapes and must (partidas de vinho) to the English merchants and exporters established on the island. The appearance of the vine diseases Oidium, and soon after that Phylloxera in the 19th century, led to serious damage. In addition, in 1869 the Suez Canal was opened, and the majority of ships stopped calling at Madeira. As a result, many British families left the island, and H&H turned to the exporting business themselves as of 1925, instead of supplying wine to other exporters.

Everything in the company is done with a focus on modern techniques and complete control, from grape to wine.

14) H&H Humberto
14) D'Oliveiras Luis, Filipe

Pereira D'oliveiras

D’Oliveiras wine house takes pride in the fact that their winemaker has always been a member of the family who has gradually, from a young age onwards, acquired the skills and experience of the older generation.

Older generations only traded wines on Madeira, they showed no interest in exporting them and in the past century only 20% of production was sold, with the remainder being kept as investments. This strategy resulted in a vast stock of old and complex Madeira, of which most are bottled as Reserva or Vintage wines.


In general, consumers have romantic ideas about small companies, but the quality of the wines can make a big improvement when companies start working together, as this often means that more capital is available to invest in better equipment and expertise, resulting in economies of scale, etc. In 1993, Justino’s merged with a large French wine and spirits group: La Martiniquaise, and immediately built a new winery to improve the winemaking, ageing and bottling processes.

The wines are made in a modern style, pure, with high levels of flavour concentration such as dried fruit, paired with a refreshing acidity. They never taste burned or roasted.

14) Justino's JuanJuan Teixeira


Henrique Menezes Borges, the founder of the company, was a wine merchant who bought and aged Madeira. Today, Borges is managed by two cousins: Isabel and Helena Borges.

Quality excellence associated with technological evolution, while maintaining the traditional values of Madeira’s wine production, are the key pillars of H. M. Borges. Wines are made in a traditional style, they are pronounced and powerful, with toasty notes, lots of extract, and a high acidity. They are therefore suitable for long ageing. Tastings are intensive and very much worthwhile.


Barbeito was founded immediately after the Second World War. Their focus has always been on building relationships and promotional activities. With the arrival of Ricardo Diogo Freitas as winemaker in 1991, the insight dawned that maintaining very low-price levels will lead at its best to ‘acceptable’ wines. Since then, Barbeito no longer has thought this was a good strategy. Bulk exports stopped and the quality of the Barbeito wines has continued to improve.

Barbeito has a modern style of wine making, focusing on acidity, freshness, and elegance, with sugar levels at the lower limits. The wines are primarily intended to be paired with food.

14) Barbeito Ricardo Diogo Freitas
14) jfaria

J. Faria & Filhos

J. Faria & Filhos has been committed to producing a wide range of drinks, such as Madeira Agricole Rum, and Poncha, a cocktail of Rum sweetened with honey or sugar, diluted with orange juice or lemon juice.

J. Faria & Filhos has entered a partnership with
P.E. Gonçalvez, and since the year 2000 they have been producing various styles of Madeira wine together. In this firm, Rum occupies a special place, because J. Faria owns the ‘Engenhos do Norte’ in Porto da Cruz, one of the three cane sugar mills, where a very exclusive Rum is made according to traditional methods.

Madeira Vintners

Madeira Vintners is managed by an exclusively female team: technical control, production and marketing, everything is done by women.

Madeira producers are required to maintain a minimum stock of 75,000 litres, or at least a quarter of the stock sold annually. Only for new producers, such as recently Madeira Vintners, a transition period applies. The investments are enormous, because Madeira takes a long time to ripen, and wines that are going through the ageing process cannot be sold.

Madeira Vintners wines have less alcohol. They contain hardly any volatile alcohol, and caramel aromas are avoided. The Colheitas are made without the estufagem process. The aim is a very pure, fresh, and light Madeira wine style, well suited for a first taste of Madeira.

14) Madeira Vintners Lisandra