Tinta Negra

Negramoll was thought to be a native variety of the Canaries and Madeira (under the name Tinta Negra Mole), where it was already widespread in the 19th century. However, recent DNA studies have shown that Negramoll is identical to Mollar, an old variety from Andalucia, possibly from Cadiz where it was first mentioned in 1787. It is therefore likely that this variety was introduced from Andalucia to the Canaries and to Madeira in or before the 18th century. Here it was given the name Negramoll or (Tinta) Negra Mole (officially Tinta Negra since 2000), based on the old Andalusian synonym of Mollar Negro. Under the name Tinta Negra Mole, the variety dominates on Madeira. According to official statistics there were just 277 hectares in 2009, cultivated in Funchal and Câmara de Lobos in the south and São Vincente in the north. It is by far the most widely planted varietal on the island and represents between 80-85% of all wine produced on Madeira. (The second is verdelho with 47 ha). This dominance was particularly marked when phylloxera hit the island in 1872, when growers preferred to plant the more robust dark-skinned Tinta Negra Mole, rather than the light skinned white varietals.

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