“Engenho Novo da Madeira is a company oriented towards the transformation of sugar cane into Agricole Rum under the William Hinton brand and the production of liquors using traditional techniques and locally selected fruits. We also produce a unique Vermouth that is made with Madeira Wine – it is the first and only of its´ kind!
Established in 2006 by one of the heirs of the Hinton family, owners of the largest sugar cane processing plant in Europe – the Torreão Factory – from which it inherited its´ centenary column still, from which it still extracts its´ rum today. Under the leadership of this new generation of entrepreneurs, the historic legacy of the Hinton brand has been reborn, and Rum da Madeira is now its´ main bet.
Experience, authenticity, innovation and transparency of communication are some of the values that govern the way of being of the William Hinton brand, which in 2019 received the “Portuguese Product of the Year” award at the most prestigious spirits fair in Portugal, Lisbon Bar Show.
Although Madeira Rum is a relatively new spirit in the international scene, we do have a big history with sugar cane that dates from the early colonization days. Sugar cane juice runs in the veins of our people!
It is almost 600 years of history and very early on we understood how to take advantage of not only the natural conditions offered by the island, but also how to adapt this beautiful landscape to make the most out of it. We created irrigation channels, which we call “levadas”, across the island from one end to the other to bring water from the north – in the heart of the “Laurissilva” forest, to the south.
For most parts, the “Levadas” were built by hand, amazingly they stretch through 2200 km, following the shape of the valleys, crossing mountains literally, built through centuries at the expense of the effort and sacrifice of those who put their life at risk to bring this good to the fields and feed the water-powered mills.
Even today, they are fundamental for agriculture, and they are an attraction not only for the tourists, but also for the Madeira people who greatly appreciate their beauty.
Because we are mainly valleys and mountains, we had to work with the landscape in order to have our agricultural fields, we call them “Poios”. It is in these small parcels of land that we cultivate and harvest the sugar cane resorting to manual and handcrafted processes. The harvest season and the production of our agricole Rum only happens for two months a year, April and May, when sugar cane is mature and ready to harvest.
Like the Caipirinha that is made with Cachaça, like the Mojito that is made with Rum from Cuba, we also have our own cocktail that is made with Rum from Madeira, it is called Poncha and it is the main responsible for the non-export of the Rum produced in Madeira.
Poncha is consumed all around the island, it is so widely appreciated that all the rum produced was consumed by us and there was no wish or need to send it overseas.”