(Redirected from Cerceal)

Sercial is the name of a white grape grown in Portugal, especially on the island of Madeira. It has given name to the dryest of the four classic varieties of Madeira fortified wine.[1]

Grape (Vitis)
Sercial in Viala & Vermorel
Color of berry skinBlanc
SpeciesVitis vinifera
VIVC number11497

The grape is grown in diminishing quantities at the southern end of the island. After phylloxera devastated Madeira's vineyards, the grape became more common on the mainland, where it is known, somewhat curiously, as Esgana or Esgana Cão, meaning respectively Strangler or Dog Strangler.[2] Its late ripening allows it to retain its characteristic acidity.[3]

Madeira made from the Sercial grape.

The anglicised name Sercial came to be associated with the Madeira style rather than the grape variety, being the lightest, most acidic and delicate expression of Madeira that takes the longest to mature.[3] EU rules for varietal names on wine labels now require Madeiras labelled Sercial to be made from minimum 85% Sercial.

For obscure reasons, Sercial was the name given to the Gascony grape Ondenc when it was planted in Australia.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Oxford Companion to Wine. "Cerceal". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20.
  2. ^ "Madeira Island Terroirs - Cossart Gordon - Madeira Wine".
  3. ^ a b Oxford Companion to Wine. "Sercial". Archived from the original on 2008-08-09.