Haus Alpenz

About Us/Contact


Known variously as Malvasia, Malvazia and Malmsey, Malvasia is historically the most celebrated of the classic grapes varieties on the island: the sweetest and most unctuous of madeiras—the stuff of legends, literature and song. Yet there are at least two, genetically distinct Malvasia now planted on the island: Malvasia Cândida and Malvasia Branca de São Jorge. Thought to have first been planted in the fifteenth century, the former is notoriously difficult to grow and now quite limited in acreage. Malvasia Branca de São Jorge was first planted during the late-1960s and early 70s; it dominates all Malvasia bottlings since that time and accounts for the large majority of Malvasia’s 37 ha currently planted on the island. In its youth, Malvasia is lighter-hued than Boal, but with elevage it darkens considerably, resulting in wines that are full-bodied and opulent, rich with flavors of toffee, molasses, caramel, coffee, quince and spice cake, yet (like all madeiras) never cloying.