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Madeira Wine Company

Avenida Arriaga, 28 | 9000-064 Funchal
The Cellars of São Francisco, "The Old Blandy Wine Lodges" include an interesting exhibition area, located in a set of buildings, largely the only remaining part of the former Convento de São Francisco in Funchal, demolished in the nineteenth century. The earliest phase of construction is due to Luiz Álvares da Costa and his son Francisco Álvares da Costa, who started it in 1473.

This set of buildings, that today are the wineries of São Francisco, belong to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in most cases, featuring some old warehouses, a small pebbled stone street and what appears to be the remnants of an old chapel. The Madeira Wine Company was founded in 1913, incorporating several companies or independent producers, who joined forces. Cases of William Hinton, Welsh, Cunha & Co. Ltd., Henriques & Câmara, Cossart Gordon, Blandy, Leacock and Miles.

The wineries of São Francisco can be visited every day, showing in addition to its architectural curiosity, wine tasting rooms, warehouses, shop, and an exhibition area. All together, the history of Madeira wine is told, from the vineyard's production process until its transformation in Madeira wine, in its many varieties, Sercial, Malvasia, Verdelho and Boal. The average stock of wines plot is about 700,000 liters, divided by 650 barrels and vats of wood, mostly made out of American oak, but also French oak and satin (white mahogany).

Many of the pieces on display were taken from its original functionality in-house, and relate either to the work of the wine production, to the documents, such as purchase orders, labels, old bottles, etc.

Very interesting is the presence and importance of the Madeira Wine Company, or even prior times, its first members, the dissemination and internationalization of the image of wine, famous since the sixteenth century.

Source: 
DRAC Madeira - Direcção Regional dos Assuntos Culturais (Madeira)
http://cultura.madeira-edu.pt/museus/Museums/MadeiraWineCompanyS%C3%A3oFranciscoWineries/tabid/290/language/en-US/Default.aspx
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