- Tour Description
- Outline Itinerary
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An exclusive and intimate deluxe tour (max. 12 people).
Enjoy an unprecedented experience with the extraordinary and intellectual Madeira wine!
Madeira Island, also known as the “Pearl of the Atlantic”, is a true landmark of tourism in Portugal. The island’s sub-tropical climate, rich vegetation, tempting cuisine and astounding variety of hotels make it a destination of choice.
The island is part of an archipelago, which also encompasses the islands of Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. Out of the eight islands, only the two largest (Madeira and Porto Santo) are inhabited.
This island was discovered by the Portuguese navigators Tristão Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419. They named it “Madeira” (wood) given the abundance of this raw material.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, wine was the main trend, which strongly boosted Madeira’s economy.
It is precisely this product that we wish to emphasize.
In the mid 16th century, the renowned English playwright William Shakespeare, in his play “Richard III”, mentioned the notoriety of the vastly exported Madeira “Malvasia” (Malmsey). This Drama ends with the death of the brother of England’s King Edward IV, the Duke of Clarence, who drowned in a barrel of this wine.
Madeira wine was actually quite exquisite for most European crowns. It was even used as perfume, applied to scarves of ladies of the court. In England, Madeira and Port Wine often fought for the first place in the crowns’ preference.
The fame and prestige of this wine are supported by countless situations, such as the Celebration of Independence of the United States in 1776, which was toasted to with Madeira wine!
Many celebrities – namely statesmen – were charmed by this wine, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both connoisseurs of Madeira wine, or Winston Churchill, who in his various visits to the island had the opportunity to taste and enjoy the wine.
That is exactly what we are aiming to replicate with this tour: a journey of knowledge and pleasure, dedicated to the noble Madeira wine, and to its surrounding cuisine, culture and lush landscape.
With that in mind, we have chosen Sarah Ahmed to guide you. She is known as The Wine Detective and is now considered one of the main (if not the highest) UK authorities regarding Portuguese wines.
Her comprehensive knowledge of winemaking methods, of all the different producers and wines you will taste during the trip will make your experience all the more enriching and unforgettable.
We have great pleasure in providing you with a wide range of tastings, from Madeira 5 Years Old all the way to 19th century Madeira. You will visit and meet its main producers and winemakers and will taste wines from different degrees of sweetness, from dry to sweet, blended wines and single-grape wines, produced with the main grape varieties used in Madeira, such as Sercial, Verdelho, Terrantez, Bual and Malmsey.
You will also join a masterclass, which will give you great insight into history and viticulture, as well as the methods of winemaking and wine aging, also characteristic of this unique noble and dramatic wine!
Your Madeira Wine experience would not be complete without an appropriate harmonization with the local cuisine. Therefore, we will present you with wonderful meals, ranging from the most typical to the most sophisticated, which you can find here. You will be given the opportunity to taste different table wines produced on the island, from which the whites made from the Verdelho grape variety stand out the most. They are fresh, mineral, salty and have already proven to age very well.
To ensure that your trip is fully enriching, all the information we give you concerning wine will be complemented with insights into local culture and tourism.
You will stay in a lush 5-star hotel and will enjoy some free time to explore the island, namely the city of Funchal at your own leisure.
Pack your bags and join us for a once in a lifetime wine experience!
Video provided by the Madeira’s Institute of Wine, Embroidery and Crafts, IP – IVBAM
Day 1. Monday 5th October
Arrival in Funchal and hotel check-in.
Around the end of the afternoon, a short briefing session followed by the departure to our first enogastronomic experience.
Welcome drink on the Choupana Hills Resort balcony – where you can indulge in the magnificent view of Funchal bay – followed by a meal at Xôpana restaurant. A dream dinner awaits you; harmonized with local wines, along with the mythical sardines by Chef Júlio Pereira.
Day 2. Tuesday 6th October
After breakfast, we will visit the Madeira Wine Institute, where a masterclass will take place. During the explanation on this noble wine, you may taste the truly special Madeiras. This is a unique and rare experience.
We will have lunch in Funchal, an opportunity to grow more familiar with local cuisine.
After lunch we shall visit Blandy’s Wine Lodge and take part in a guided tour of the museum, the aging cellar and the old cooperage. The tour will end with a tasting of extraordinary wines, with special attention paid to 70’s, 60’s and 50’s Madeiras.
After the tasting, you may take your time to explore the area and escape to a restaurant of your liking in the city center.
We will provide top tips on restaurants, major monuments and other points of interest, to suit your personal tastes and needs.
Day 3. Wednesday 7th October
After breakfast, we will make our way to Câmara de Lobos, a small town near Funchal, and visit the producer Henriques & Henriques. We will tour through their facilities and taste a special range of their wines, known for their strong character and remarkable features.
At lunch we will taste the famous Madeira espetada (skewered meat). A vegetarian option is provided.
After lunch, our destination will be the very popular Cabo Girão and its breath-taking views. If you are feeling brave and do not suffer from vertigo, you can take the cable car down to see the Fajãs, a typical tilling method in Madeira, which is also used for growing vines.
Next, we will visit the modern winery of Barbeito wines. They have excellent new approaches to Madeira Wine, which we will of course be able to taste. The brilliant mind behind them is Ricardo Diogo, a very original producer who believes that tradition and innovation go hand in hand.
Lastly, in Funchal, a delicious gourmet dinner by the Michelin-Star Chef – Benoît Sinthon will be the perfect way to end the day.
Day 4. Thursday 8th October
This day will be dedicated to the center of Funchal, visiting classic producers of Madeira wines.
Our visit will start with H. M. Borges: a traditional, boutique winery, where you will taste special small-production wines.
Lunch will be served in the old part of town. This is the best place to enjoy fresh fish and shellfish of local sources.
We will spend our early afternoon with Pereira D’Oliveira, perhaps the most traditional producer known. He also owns the largest stock of old wines. A memorable tasting and a journey to the 19th century awaits for you.
After the tasting, you may once again explore the area in your own time and choose a restaurant of your liking.
Day 5. Friday 9th October
We have prepared a tasting of Madeira table wines for this morning, with special focus on whites made from the Verdelho variety of grapes. We have no doubt that you will be charmed with this variety, judging by its ability to produce great quality wines, and marked by the minerality and saltiness that only this island’s topography and winegrowing may brand.
The chosen accompaniment for this sampling is local tapas, for they harmonize with the table wines you will taste.
Your departure will take place during the afternoon. We hope that you begin your return trip as delighted as we are to be able to provide such a fantastic wine & food experience in Madeira Island.
*Minor alterations could occur on this itinerary.
The flights are not included on this tour. We are very happy to quote on the main scheduled airlines and to book these for you (the full price of the flight will be payable in advance along with an administration charge). Please note that, if we book your flight, the flight details cannot be changed and the flight cost and administration fee are non-refundable.
5* PESTANA CASINO PARK HOTEL – Funchal
The Pestana Casino Park is part of the most emblematic tourist complex of Madeira island. With the sea at its feet, the Pestana Casino Park Hotel is one of the most fabulous hotels in Funchal city centre. Here you will have the opportunity to make use of a series of services and activities available for all tastes, and soon after you arrive you will be able to relax outdoors, where you will find a swimming pool and luxuriant gardens.
Fact sheet – Madeira Wine Tour:
Price: € 1.800 per person | Sole Occupancy: € 300 | Deposit: € 450 per person
– 4 Nights at 5* Hotel;
– 4 buffet breakfasts;
– 4 lunches (typical dishes with local wines – half a bottle per person);
– 2 dinners (gourmet and sophisticated);
– A journey to 19th century Madeira wines;
– All visits and tastings (during the trip more than 60 wines will be tasted);
– Air conditioned bus;
– Tour Manager: A Portuguese guide with generic knowledge on the region, monuments, local gastronomy, etc.;
– Wine Guide: The leading British Portuguese wine authority, Sarah Ahmed;
– Start and end point: Funchal;
– Visits will be in English language.
– Travel (flights or boat) to the destination and back from your home location.
– Transfers from and to Funchal Airport or Harbour.
* You organise your travel to the destination yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets, transfers, etc, please contact us.
* Because it is not easy to transport wine on the plane, if you want to buy some of the wines tasted or any other, we will be happy to buy them and send them to your home. For this, a list of choice and notation will be made available where you can put your options to buy with respective quantities. Our buyers-partners will do it for you.
Bear in mind that there’s only 12 places available for this once in a lifetime wine experience. So, the applied policy is first come, first served.
Booking is confirmed on receipt of the booking fee/deposit. Full payment should be received at the latest one month before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.
You book by contacting Blend | All About Wine:
- phone: +351 220 995 432 (10:00h – 13:00h; 14:00h – 18:00h)
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- 4 Nights at 5* Hotel
- 4 Lunches (typical or local dishes)
- 2 Dinners (gourmet & sophisticated)
- All visits and tastings (during the trip more than 60 wines will be tasted)
- A journey to 19th century Madeira wines
- Wine Guide: Sarah Ahmed (the leading British Portuguese wine authority)
- Price € 1.800