A Beginner's Guide to Madeira Wine
written by Ryan Opaz | 20th January 2016
You know that ever-so-frequent moment when your mind starts drifting to a tropical island filled with swaying palm trees, soaring cliffs and vine covered mountains? That place where you conjure up an afternoon of gratuitous lounging, filled with copious amounts of wine and food while listening to soft island tunes in the background?
Fortunate for you, the only difference between a daydream and reality is a plane ticket!
Madeira is by far one of the most dramatic places you’ll ever rest your eyes upon. If you’re looking for a straight line…anywhere, forget it. There are two directions: curved and vertical. To survive this incredible half-day tour, you must embrace your inner island Jedi to revel the swirling among canopies of grapevines, juicy technicolored fruits, whitewashed cottages and enough island charm to put Gilligan to shame.
We were part of the 2016 Harvest Tour and had the experience of a lifetime! The Douro Valley is breathtakingly beautiful and our guides were wonderful. Ryan and Gabriella must have called in all of their personal favors because we met and drank wine with many winemakers, a wine shop owner and tasted ’72 port which Oscar Quevedo’s grandfather had made. Doesn’t get any more special than that!
If you love exotic flavors, adore vibrant colors and shapes, or simply appreciate a sea of gorgeous humanity, you’ll adore the first stop of your tour. Located on the edge of the old town in Funchal, this charming, quaint, youth driven market is an absolute joy to visit, not to mention, a masterclass on island flavors! Ever taste a Custard Apple, a Split Leaf Philodendron, an Indian Fig or a Pitanga? What about a half-dozen different varieties of passion fruit, where each color expresses a completely different flavor! At the end of your sensorial adventure, enjoy a cultural guided tour of Funchal’s late 15th century Cathedral followed by a historical tour and tasting at one of the oldest wine cellars on the island. Happy and satiated, we’ll whisk you off from your Madeira tasting to lunch where you’ll savor island favorites such as Espetada (grilled meat on a skewer) and Espada – black scabbard fish. If you’re needing to commune with nature, we’ll happily provide a guided tour of Funchal’s famed Botanical Garden with a stunning bird’s eye view of the city.
|9:30am||Expert English-speaking guide and driver will pick you up at your desired location in Funchal|
|9:45am||Tour an iconic Farmer's Market renown for its fresh fish and produce|
|11:00am||Visit Funchal Cathedral|
|12:00pm||Private visit and Vintage wine tasting at renown Madeira Lodge|
|1:00pm||Transfer to lunch|
|1:30pm||Lunch at traditional restaurant|
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