Sercial probably originates from Bucelas near Lisboa, where it was traditionally grown under the name Esgana Cao, which literally means dog strangler, hinting at the fierce acidity of the wines. The family work with 30 Sercial farmers who account for the majority of the fruit grown on the island. Found either at 600 metres above sea level on the south of the island at Jardim da Serra, or at sea level on the north at Sexial and Porto Moniz.
Blandy's 10 year old Sercial undergoes pelicular maceration followed by fermentation with natural yeast at temperatures between 18°C - 21°C in temperature controlled tanks. After approximately 7 days, fortification with vinic alcohol takes place, arresting fermentation at the desired degree of sweetness. Blandy’s 10 year old Sercial is a blend of wines with an average of 10 years in seasoned American oak casks. The wines were aged at the family’s Lodge in Funchal in the traditional ‘Canteiro’ system, whereby the wine is gradually transferred from the higher floors where the temperatures are higher, to the middle floors and eventually to the ground floor where temperatures are cooler. The process of transferring the barrels is absolutely critical to ensure the right balance of ullage and concentration. All through the ageing process, the primary fruit flavours of the wine are gently transformed into tertiary dried fruit notes that produce unique Madeira hallmark bouquet.
John Blandy first set foot on Madeira in 1807 when, as a 23 year old soldier, he was posted to the island with a British Army garrison under the command of Gen.Beresford who had been sent to help the Portuguese thwart any invasion attempt by Napoleon.
As a quartermaster, the young John Blandy came into contact with local wine merchants, and from there his interest in wine burgeoned.
In 1811 he returned to Madeira and founded the company that bears his name.