Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Verdelho, name once given to several Portuguese white grape varieties, and most closely associated with the island of madeira, where the Verdelho vine became increasingly rare in the post-phylloxera era but the name was for long used to denote a medium-dry style of wine somewhere between sercial and bual levels of richness. Of the original four vinifera varieties that were traditionally grown on Madeira, Verdelho is the most planted today, with 47 ha/116 acres in 2010. Musts have moderate levels of sugar and notably high acidity. The Verdelho found on Madeira is the same as that found growing in the Azores and this Verdelho, cuttings of which were presumably picked up on one of these Atlantic islands en route to the antipodes, was extremely important in 19th-century Australia. Planted on 1,338 ha/3,305 acres in 2012, it has had notable success in vibrant, tangy, full-bodied table wines in more recent times, particularly in the Hunter valley of New South Wales, Victoria, and some of the hotter regions of Western Australia. See australia for more details. Verdelho has been planted to a very limited extent in savennières in the Loire for just as long and makes some interesting varietal wine there. It is also grown in New Zealand, California, and Argentina.