Represented exclusively in the U.S. and California by The Rare Wine Co.

Of the hundreds of families who’ve produced and shipped Madeira over the past two centuries, only four remain: Blandy, Borges, D’Oliveira and Barbeito.

The first three of these are proud survivors from the nineteenth century—their legacy secured by having stockpiled old vintages during and after the Phylloxera epidemic of the the 1870s.

The Barbeitos, on the other hand, entered the business much later, in 1946. Yet, their accomplishment could be even greater, given not only the number of firms that have since vanished, but the fact that they entered the business during a particularly dark time for Madeira.

During World War II, production and sales had ground to a virtual halt. The U.S. market disappeared because of a government ban on poorly made Portuguese glass bottles. And for six years, marauding U-boats made it nearly impossible to ship wine to Madeira’s most important market, the United Kingdom.

Looking Ahead

As a result, far more companies were leaving the business than were joining. But Mario Barbeito had faith in the future. He also believed—just as Charles Blandy, H.M. Borges and João D’Oliveira had nearly a century earlier—that the value of great Madeira could only go up as it became older and production of young vintages declined. And so, a former accountant for Borges, Barbeito went around the island buying substantial stocks of priceless old vintages from important families.

But while Barbeito saw those vintage wines as a nest egg for the future, he was content to let the wines age. He wisely built the business in the early years around more modest Madeiras.

It was left to his daughter Manuela—when she gradually took over the business from him in the 1970sto begin selling her fathers priceless old vintages.

Thanks to her efforts, now-famous Barbeito wines like 1795 Terrantez, 1834 and 1875 Malvasia, and 1863 Bual began to make regular appearances at auction in London. This built a lasting reputation for the Barbeito name among Madeira collectors.

Ricardo Freitas

In the early 1990s, Manuela Barbeito began to turn over the reins of the company to her son Ricardo Freitas. Armed with a history degree from the University of Lisbon, Ricardo not only brought a deep respect for Madeiras classical roots, he also brought new energy and new ideas to the company.

One of these ideas was to restore the role that Madeira once had as a companion to food. Ricardo also joined with The Rare Wine Co. to create our pioneering Historic Series Madeiras, which have pumped enormous new vitality into the once-vibrant American market for Madeira.

Of course, Ricardo is continuing his grandfathers and mothers legacy of sourcing great old wines, and preserving them for future generations. But he is also creating his own legacy: a series of Madeiras he calls his “Signature” wines.

These handcrafted wines combine the best elements of Madeiras classical tradition with Ricardos own quest for purity and vineyard and varietal expression. Made in tiny lots, their astonishingly graceful style has prompted British wine critic Jancis Robinson to call Barbeito the “Lafite of Madeira.”

Ricardos quest to express the soul of Madeira for a new generation of wine lovers has shown other producers the way to reversing Madeiras fortunes. Virtually every wine he makes is marked by profound complexity, tangy acidity and elegant balancecharacteristics which have set them apart from other Madeiras.

His extraordinary craftsmanship has resulted in a steady stream of important awards, including Portugals Best Fortified Winemaker in 2010 and his 20-year-old Malvasia being named Portugals Wine of the Year for 2011. 

Wines by this Producer

Item Name Size Notes Qty Price
NV Barbeito Bastardo 50-year-old Avo Mario Madeira 1 $575.00 add
1863 Barbeito Bual Madeira MBV (stenciled) JG95
1 $1,545.00 add
1912 Barbeito Bual Madeira MBV (stenciled) 1 $675.00 add
1960 Barbeito Bual Madeira MBV (stenciled) ST95 1 $475.00 add
1978 Barbeito Bual Madeira (bottled 1/2011) NM97 1 $245.00 add
1995 Barbeito Bual Madeira 3 $145.00 add
1870 Barbeito Bual Vasconcelos Madeira MDF92 1 $1,350.00 add
NV Barbeito Malvasia 20-year-old Madeira (2018 Release) 12+ $149.95 add
NV Barbeito Malvasia 20-year-old Madeira (2014 Release) JG92 6 $175.00 add
NV Barbeito Malvasia 30-year-old Vo Vera Madeira 1 $295.00 add
1986 Barbeito Malvasia Candida Faja dos Padres Madeira 2 $395.00 add
1990 Barbeito Malvasia Candida Faja dos Padres Madeira 500 mL 2 $295.00 add
1952 Barbeito Malvasia Favilla Vieira Madeira 1 $595.00 add
1963 Barbeito Malvasia Favilla Vieira Madeira 1 $395.00 add
1875 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira MBV (stenciled) TA100
1 $1,495.00 add
1901 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira (Stenciled) ST92(+) 1 $950.00 add
1913 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira (Bottled on 10/2002) 1 $895.00 add
1954 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira (Bottled 4/2011) AG95 2 $595.00 add
1964 Barbeito Malvasia Madeira MBV 2 $425.00 add
2004 Barbeito Malvasia Single Cask 132 a+d Madeira 500 mL 12+ $49.95 add
NV Barbeito Ribeiro Real Sercial 20-year-old Madeira 11 $165.00 add
NV Barbeito Ribeiro Real Tinta Negra 20-year-old Medium Sweet Madeira 12 $165.00 add
1981 Barbeito Ribeiro Real Verdelho Madeira 4 $199.95 add
1910 Barbeito Sercial Madeira (stenciled) NM97
1 $845.00 add
2003 Barbeito Tinta Negra Single Cask 327 a+d Medium Sweet Madeira 500 mL 12+ $49.95 add
1926 Barbeito Verdelho Madeira (bottled 03/2010) ST95 1 $645.00 add

Related Content


A Family's Odyssey: Barbeito Madeira

An unprecedented journey across 174 years of Barbeito Madeiras. A Family's Odyssey: Barbeito Madeira

Matriarch of Madeira: Manuela Barbeito

A dinner focusing on the Madeiras of Manuela Barbeito.

A Trip Through Time

A dinner exploring Madeira’s incredible history in America.

Homage to a Madeira Great

The 25th anniversary of Mario Barbeito's death was an opportunity to honor his imagination and courage. Homage to a Madeira Great

Rain and Money

A discussion of the effects of mother nature and capitalism on Madeira's oldest vineyards.
Rain and Money

Madeira Struck by Devastating Floods

The greatest floods in 207 years strike an important wine-producing island. Madeira Struck by Devastating Floods

Haiti & Madeira Benefits

The remarkable generosity of Eleven Madison Park and Acquerello sets the tone for two charitable evenings. Haiti & Madeira Benefits

Madeira & Food: An Old Frontier

Exploration by chefs and writers triggers a growing appreciation of Madeira as food wine. Madeira & Food: An Old Frontier

The Game Changer 

2010 was the year that Madeira finally dusted itself off, recapturing some of the lofty prestige it enjoyed two centuries ago. The Game Changer

The John Cossart Collection

The late John Cossart left behind a priceless collection of old Madeiras as his family’s legacy. The John Cossart Collection

Madeira Wine

Mannie Berk writes about Madeira's stature as a wine of time & place.

Madeira, a holiday treat, enjoying revival

Jon Bonné lauds Madeira’s exceptional versatility at the table. Madeira, a holiday treat, enjoying revival

Forbes discovers RWC's back catalog of old Madeiras.

Forbes discovers RWC's back catalog of old Madeiras. Forbes discovers RWC's back catalog of old Madeiras.

Best Source for Vintage Madeira in the US

“The Rare Wine Co., renowned for being the best source of vintage Madeira in the U.S.” Best Source for Vintage Madeira in the US

Accessibly Priced Line of Historic Madeiras

Jon Erickson extols the accessibility of RWC Historic Series Madeira. Accessibly Priced Line of Historic Madeiras

Please Wait
Adding to Cart.