Ostatnia aktualizacja: 2020-04-22. Autor: Milena
Everybody who visits Terceira has to get to know Biscoitos wine.
Biscoitos is the only part of Terceira destined to wine production. A characteristic landscape of black stone walls and bright green vine leaves laying on them is even protected by the Azorean government. Biscoitos wine is an important part of the island’s heritage.
The history of Biscoitos wine started in the 15th century…
…which was the time of the colonization of the island. Already the first settlers used the volcanic soil for grapevine cultivation. In 1647 a wine Verdelho started to be commonly used. It’s a variety that adapted well to the humid conditions on the island. One of its features is a loose grapes cluster. Such clusters are less prone to rotting.
Nothing is though 100% resistant to other plagues. In the 18th and 19th century different plagues attacked vineyards in Terceira. Among them there was also destructive phylloxera, which blasted also many other vineyards in the world. It was in 1890 when a crazy man, as they thought at that time, or a dreamer, as you can say now, Francisco Maria Brum, decided to reactivate wine production. He founded a vineyard! He started in Fontinhas and then moved to Biscoitos. This vineyard has been known as Casa Agrícola Brum. It’s been working uninterruptedly for almost 130 years, led by already the 5th generation of the same family. Still with the same passion!
Biscoitos wine is volcanic wine
Verdelho variety grows on a volcanic soil aming so called „biscoitos” („cookies”) – small volcanic Stones. This viticulture is different than the ones we know from for example France or Italy. In Terceira the future Biscoitos wine grows on little squares or rectangles surrounded by walls made of black volcanic rocks. Vines don’t ramp up along the lines, but sprawl over even more stones placed on the soil around them.
Stone walls protect the vines from the cold salty wind blowing from the ocean, and the walls combined with the Stones that lay on the ground create a special microclimate. The stones warm up during the day and release the heat during the night. Thanks to that, the grapes ripen faster and produce more sugar. The Biscoitos wine, even the dry one, won’t make your face twitch. The view of the vineyard by the sea may make you smile dreamily though.
In Biscoitos you can go for a trail among the vineyards and you can also visit the Wine Museum (Museu do Vinho dos Biscoitos)
In 1990, at the 100th anniversary of its vineyard, the family Brom opened the Wine Museum in Biscoitos. In this museum you can get to know not only the history of the family Brum and their vineyard, but also the history of the island and of winemaking. You can also see the Verdelho wine variety (for the museum needs, exceptionally growing vertically) and try delicious wine.
The traditional wine of this wine house is fortified wine Chico Maria (dry, semi-dry and sweet). For the table wine lovers there are Da Resistência and Donatário waiting. All of them matured in oak barrels before getting bottled and destined to sell. Yes, yes, if you like some wine, you can buy it on the premises and then relish the memories of your visit in Terceira for long time.
Every year in the Wine Museum in Bisoitos there is a Fest of Vine and Wine from Biscoitos organized.
The nearest fest will take place in a few days – on the 30th and 31st of August, 2019. On Friday at 9 p.m. there will be some lectures and discussions about wine. On Saturday at 2 p.m. a group of volunteers will go to the vineyard to pick up grapes, which at 4 p.m. will have to be… treaded! At 5 p.m. there is a dinner planned, and at 6 p.m. music and dance animations should start.
Lately I visited the Wine Museum in Biscoitos with one of my friends.
We got a tour guided by very nice representatives of the 4th generation of the family Brum. Together with them we admired the grapes asking for each sunray, winepresses and huge barrels giving hope for more liters of the delicious drink. Of course, it couldn’t have been without wine tasting! We tried delicious fortified wines and table wines with massa sovada – the traditional Portuguese sweet bread. Conversations and smiles would never stop. There must have been a reason why I included the Wine Museum on the list of the 10 places worth visiting in Terceira.
Localization: Museu do Vinho dos Biscoitos is located on the North of the island, in Biscoitos, at Canada do Caldeiro 3.
Opening days and hours: from Tuesday do Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
How to get there: because of the wine tasting I recommend using the public transport; you will get there on the bus no. 1 from Angra (tell the driver “Biscoitos, Museu do Vinho”); you will find the schedule of the buses HERE.
Wine prices: depending on the type and year, around 10 to 40 EUR
Recommendation: fortified wine