Terrantez (also known as Cascal) is a white Portuguese wine grape variety that was once widely used on the island of Madeira to make the sweet fortified wine for which the island is known. Today, the variety is nearly extinct on the island. There are still some limited plantings in the Minho Province where, as Cascal, is a permitted blending variety with Alvarinho and other grapes in the Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) wine Vinho Verde. As Terrantez the grape is permitted in several of the Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada (IPR) regions of the Azores including Biscoitos IPR on Terceira Island, Graciosa IPR on the white island of Graciosa and Pico IPR on Pico Island.
Terrantez is a low yielding vine that is most widely associated with the wines of Madeira though its use in the wine and presence on the island has been slowly fading. Some plantings of the variety can still be found in the Azores, the Portuguese island chain located northwest of Madeira in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. There is also some plantings of in the Minho province on the Portuguese mainland though ampelographer Paul Truel has speculated that the mainland variety (known most often as Cascal) may actually be a different variety, though this has not be conclusively determined.
Terrantez has the potential to make rich full-bodied wines with highly perfumed bouquet. According to wine expert Oz Clarke, in older bottles of Madeira Terrantez has shown an ability to age well in developing wines with long finishes and layers of complexity.
Synonyms and other varieties
Several other white Portuguese grape varieties share synonyms with Terrantez and may be related though there is not yet any conclusive evidence. These include Folgasao which has the synonyms of Terrantez da Madeira and Terrantez de Madere and Donzelinho Branco which has the synonym of Terrantez and Terrantes.
- Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) Terrantez Accessed: August 16th, 2012
- J. Robinson Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes pg 184 Oxford University Press 1996 ISBN 0198600984
- T. Stevenson "The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia" pg 330-333 Dorling Kindersley 2005 ISBN 0-7566-1324-8
- Oz Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes pg 266 Harcourt Books 2001 ISBN 0-15-100714-4
- Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) Folgasao Accessed: August 16th, 2012
- Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) Donzelinho Branco Accessed: August 16th, 2012
- Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) Alicante Henri Bouschet Accessed: August 16th, 2012
- Vitis International Variety Catalogue (VIVC) Malbec Accessed: August 16th, 2012