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Torna Viagem

Portuguese name for very special dessert wines from Madeira or Setúbal which is the traditional and formerly usual journey by ship to the tropics have been through The special way of making, regarding typical taste and colour also as maderisation has already emerged in the 17th century (at the latest) purely by chance, as, besides other goods, Madeira wines from the capital Funchal by ship, especially from the Dutch exported to South America (Brazil) and other overseas colonies such as Angola, Mozambique and Macau. To get a certain sweetness and that durability to increase these wines, they were fortified with fermentation-stopping alcohol ( Spriten ). That was nothing out of the ordinary and is also from 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; So they crossed the equator twice. It was found that the longer the voyage and the longer the ship was in the tropical climate, the better the wine became. The rocking ship movement (as one suspected at the time), the salty sea air, which came into contact with the wine through barrels that were not quite tight, but above all the hot climate or the extreme temperature fluctuations contributed oxidative Processes and thus to the typical taste. That is why many ships were now loaded with the wine and sent to the East Indies and back only for the purpose of Madeira production; the wines therefore crossed the equator twice.

The wines were called in Portuguese "Vinhos de torna-viagem" (meaning "wines take a trip") or "Vinho da roda" (roda = rotate / rotate) and are also documented on old Madeira bottles on the bottle label (short name TVE) , For a time, the Madeira barrels were rocked with mechanical devices in order to save the expensive and time-consuming ship trips. However, an increase in quality could not be achieved with this. There are still TVE Madeiras today; such almost priceless ones from the period 1870 to 1890 are stored in the company's cellars Fonseca, but also some other producers.

When the actual cause of the special character of the wines was recognized, the wines were stored in the attics of the lodges (warehouses) and thus exposed to extreme heat or temperature fluctuations. So the conditions of the voyage were imitated. The wines produced in this way are 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 elaborate production only a few more produce them.

The Portuguese seafarer Pedro Áalvarez Cabral (1468 / 1469-1518 / 1520) is considered one of the discoverers Brazil, The Spaniard Vicente Yáñez Pinzón (1462-1514) is also mentioned two years earlier. Anyway, Cabral reached the Brazilian coast in 1500. On the occasion of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the discovery, the company Fonseca mentioned above carried out an interesting project. The DOC wine Setúbal was suspended from the 2000 vintage using the traditional method of a three-month cruise. The wine was considered by experts to be "rounder, softer" and with complex flavors just as judged in old times.

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