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Torna Viagem

Portuguese name for very special dessert wines from Madeira or Setúbal The traditional and formerly usual travel by ship in the tropics have gone through. The special kind of production, which concerning typical taste and colour also as maderisation is already known (at the latest) in the 17th century purely coincidentally revealed, as well as other goods and Madeira wines from the capital Funchal by ship especially from the Dutch to South America (Brazil) and to other overseas colonies such as Angola, Mozambique and Macau. To get a certain sweetness and the durability of these wines, they were enriched with fermentation-stop alcohol ( Spriten ). That was not unusual and is also from the port wine and the Spanish sherry known.

Vinhos de torna-viagem - barrel and sailing ship

Sometimes the Madeira wines could not be marketed and came back again; they crossed the equator twice. It was found that the longer the journey took and the longer the ship stayed in tropical climates, the better the wine became. The rocking movement of the ship (as was then supposed), the salty sea air, which came in contact with the wine through not very tight barrels, but above all that hot climate or the extreme temperature fluctuations contributed to oxidative Processes and thus the typical taste. Therefore, many ships were loaded with the wine, and sent to the East Indies and back only for Madeira production; The wines thus crossed the equator twice.

The wines were called in Portuguese "Vinhos de torna-viagem" (meaning "wines make a trip") or "Vinho da Roda" (roda = rotate / rotate) and is also documented on old Madeira bottles on the bottle label (short name TVE) , For a while, the Madeira barrels were made to rock with mechanical devices to save themselves the costly and time-consuming boat trips. An increase in quality, however, could not be achieved. There are still TVE Madeira today; such almost priceless from the period 1870 to 1890 store in the cellars of the company Fonseca, but also some other producers.

When one recognized the actual cause for the special character of the wines, one stored the wines in the attics of the lodges (warehouses) and set them thereby from high heat and / or temperature fluctuations. Thus, the conditions of the voyage were imitated. The wines thus produced become Canteiro (Vinho canteiro) and are naturally much cheaper (Canteiro literally means "bed" or "flower bed", but also the storage racks for the barrels are called). Today, these wines are exposed to the heat in cellars, but due to the laborious production only a few are produced.

The Portuguese sailor Pedro Áalvarez Cabral (1468 / 1469-1518 / 1520) is considered one of the discoverers Brazil, But it is also the Spaniard Vicente Yáñez Pinzón (1462-1514) called two years earlier. In any case, Cabral reached the Brazilian coast in 1500. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the discovery, the company Fonseca, mentioned above, carried out an interesting project. The DOC wine Setúbal was suspended from the year 2000 on the traditional method of a three-month voyage. The wine was called by professionals as "rounder, softer" and with complex flavors just like in the old days.

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