The exceptional quality of the grapes in perfect union with Man's expertise
Quality excellence associated with technological evolution, while maintaining the traditional values of Madeira's wine production are the key pillars of H.M. Borges.
It all begins with the harvest. The grapes are transported to the wine cellar in small boxes (about 50kg), in the shortest time possible in order to avoid the crushing of grapes, the beginning of fermentation, oxidation and loss of freshness of its flavours
The selection is made in the wine cellar taking into account various factors such as the quality, sanitary status of the grapes and probable alcoholic degree of the grapes (the degree of the grape is measured through a refractometer, and must have at least 9°). The acceptance or rejection of the lot depends on the combination of these factors.
Once this initial screening of grapes has been carried out, they undergo a transformation process through various stages, grape stripping and crushing. The must is then placed in stainless steel tanks, and the fermentation begins. It stops with the addition of wine alcohol at 96%. The fermentation process is carried out in accordance with the degree of sweetness desired, it is shorter for sweater wines and longer for drier wines.
Other stages follow, such as filtering, storing, blending, stabilization, and the wines are submitted to "Drying" or to natural ageing by "Gentle Heating". (link to the meaning of the term "Estufagem" and "Canteiro")
"Estufagem" (Process of ageing the wine through heat)
"Estufagem" is the process of placing the wine in inox stainless steel vats that are heated via a serpentine method for a period of at least 3 months at a controlled temperature between 45 and 50 degrees Celsius. Once the "estufagem" is complete, the wine is subject to a period of "estágio" or rest of at least 90 days, at room temperature. At this moment, the wine may be placed in vats or in wooden barrels.
The name comes from the fact that casks or barrels are placed on wooden support beams called “canteiros”). The wines selected for "estágio" in "Canteiro" are essentially Malvasia, Boal, Sercial, Verdelho and Terrantez.