Verdelho is said to have been widely cultivated on Madeira in the 17th Century and some say it may have actually originated from the island. The family works with 26 famers found in 5 main regions of the island. In the north in Porto Moniz, Santana and São Vincente and in the south in Calheta and Funchal. Verdelho produces a must with moderate sugar levels, marked acidity and produces a medium-dry style of Madeira wine. Blandy's 10 year old Verdelho undergoes pelicular maceration followed by fermentation with natural yeast at temperatures between 18°C - 21°C in temperature controlled tanks. After approximately 4 days, fortification with vinic alcohol takes place, arresting fermentation at the desired degree of sweetness. Blandy’s 10 year old Verdelho 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.