Insula Vinus: Singular wines from Azores


The Azores in Portugal is a wild, beautiful, volatile place. The maritime climate of the islands along the Atlantic Ocean is humid and windy. It can vary from year to year, as can the Insula Vinus wines which are a direct reflection of their unique terroir. The grapes grow on the rugged island's trademark black, rocky soil.

Winemaker Paulo Machado has an intimate knowledge and relationship with the region as a native to Pico Island. He is a fixture in the Azores wine community, along with Antonio Macanita who he co-founded the ​​Azores Wine Company (AWC) with.

Paulo planted his own vineyards in São Mateus which produced many of the grapes used for AWC. As AWC grew, he began bottling wines for his own project, Insula. He farms every plot himself, organically. He ferments and ages his wines in small stainless steel tanks placed horizontally to maximize lees contact.

Many of Paulo’s vineyards lie on the southern facing side of Mt. Pico, which charge the wines with vibrant acidity and the unmistakable minerality and salinity from the Azores volcanic soil.
These are charismatic, aromatic, and high toned wines that are always exciting to open.

The wines

Insula Vinus wines 

→ 2020 Insula Vinus, Verdelho, Azores, Portugal

Made from the native Azores varietal, this Verdelho has nice weight with green apple and smokey mushroom notes.

→ 2020 Insula Vinus, Arinto Dos Açores, Azores, Portugal

Distinct smokey, volcanic aromas with ripe, clean fruit and a streak of salinity made from another native varietal.

→ 2022 Insula Vinus, Chao de Lava AA Branco, Azores, Portugal

An Azores field blend of mostly Arinto dos Açores and Verdelho with some other native grapes. Aromatic, fresh, and mineral-driven.

→ Insula Chao de Lava Pahoehoe 10 Year, Azores, Portugal 375ml

A tribute to the Azores’ long history of fortified wine production and a unique expression of this region. The blend was fermented, then fortified, and aged in french oak barrels for 10 years. It’s more textural and weighty than Madeira with a complex smokey, salty, caramely character.