Vinhos Barbeito (Madeira) Lda.
The company of Vinhos Barbeito was founded in 1948 by Mario Barbeito. After his death his daughter Dona Manuela de Freitas and her two sons Miguel and Ricardo took over. In 1991 Barbeito sold 50 % of the company to the Kinoshita Shoji Company Ltd., a Japanese company trading in beverages. Ricardo today is the winemaker of Vinhos Barbeito and loves experimentation, as a lot of interesting (and well-tasting) developments show, like blends from different grape varieties, single cask wines, single vineyard wines and so on. Also Vinhos Barbeito produces the Rare Wine Company's Historic Series of Madeiras. This series offers Boston Bual Special Reserve, New York Malmsey Special Reserve, and Charleston Sercial Special Reserve. Also in Spring 2007 a limited bottling of New Orleans Special Reserve Terrantez has been released.
Today Vinhos Barbeito is one of the largest producers of Madeira wine on the island. Barbeito does not own any vineyards, but purchases grapes from their producers, mainly from Sao Vicente and Camara de Lobos and Estreito de Camara de Lobos. The wine is made in Estreito de Camara de Lobos, all the other work is done in the lodge at the Estrada Monumental. This building was once a sugar mill but today houses the storing vats, the laboratory, the bottling line and the tasting room as well as the office. Some potential vintage wines are maturing in Barreiros. The others are maturing in the lodge. The company participates in the POSEIMA programm of the EU.
View of the Barbeito lodge.
The most important export market by far is Japan, followed by Taiwan. Also Great Britain, the United States, and some other European countries are important export countries.
Vinhos Barbeito offers the classic range of blends, but the real treasure is the stock of old vintage wines. Probably the most famous wine is -or better was- the Terrantez 1795. Please refer to the chapter about “The 1795 Vintages” for more information about this wine. A lot of other old vintages, some dating from before 1900, are still available. In the tasting room you will find a changing display of old vintage wines. Vinhos Barbeito also acquired some of the Oscar Acciaioli wines when this company went out of business. The wines already bottled were sold under the Acciaioli label, the wine in cask was sold under Barbeitos name. Personally, I like the Oscar/Barbeito 1839 Verdelho the best. Also the Malmseys of 1834, 1875 and 1900 are very good as well as the 1863 Bual.
Steel tanks seen at Barbeito’s.
Old casks at Barbeito’s.
Big storing casks at Barbeito’s.
Diogo’s Wine and Spirit Shop is another outlet for Vinhos Barbeitos. The shop also houses the Columbus museum in the basement. The books and other items connected to Christopher Columbus were collected by the founder of the company, Mario Barbeito.
Address: Vinhos Barbeito (Madeira) Lda., Estrada Monumental 145, P-9000 Funchal, right besides the famous Reid's hotel, left to Banco Espirito Santo, Tel 00351-291-762434, Fax 00351-291-765832. Storing facility: Torre, Camara de Lobos, Tel 00351-291-942094.
View of the bottling line.
The tasting room at Barbeito’s.