The Wine Festival is one of the summer highlights on the island. Over the course of two weeks, one of the oldest Madeiran traditions is celebrated: the grape harvest.
Madeira has the ideal conditions for production of the wine that is so appreciated all over the world.
By the end of August or early September, unforgettable shades of green, brown, and red fill Madeira’s landscapes. The vineyards in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Porto da Cruz, and Santana are some of the best spots you can visit.
Locals and visitors gather at large parties, taking part in the various stages of the harvest, from harvesting to the treading of the grapes in the winery, and enjoying wine tastings.
What are the unique moments of this party?
1.Live grape harvest in the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos
One of the high points happens at Estreito de Câmara de Lobos. It begins early in the morning with the harvesting of grapes in a traditional Madeiran farm. It is wonderful to be under a “latada” (a traditional system of horizontal vineyards) surrounded by thousands of bunches of grapes. The sun rays peering through the grapevine leaves as well as the joy of people gathered for the harvest, make the ambience magic. After filling the baskets and tasting some grapes, these go to the winepress. Anyone can participate. Admission is free, either on the farm or at the winery. It is also a great opportunity to taste some local delicacies, such as “espetada” and “bolo do caco” available at the stalls set up on the streets. It’s a day well-spent accompanied by folk music, regional traditions and excitement.
2.Wine tasting on Avenida Arriaga
This avenue, located in the heart of Funchal, is a great introduction to the diversity of Madeiran wines. In the stalls scattered across the central square, you can taste the different types of wines from table wines, reds, whites or rosé to traditional fortified Madeira wines. There are about ten producers who proudly announce their wine brands.
3.Madeira Wine Pavilion
This pavilion is also located at Avenida Arriaga, where, on a daily basis, you can witness an exhibition regarding wines produced in Madeira. In the area you can have wine tastings and is organized by Madeira’s Wine, Embroidery and Handcrafts Institute (IVBAM).
4.Blandy’s Wine Festival
Over five days, you can join Blandy’s Wine Festival. You’ll find visits to the vineyards, dinners and wine pairing with some specific dishes. Join the grape harvest and the traditional music. You can also attend workshops and learn a little bit more about some of our traditions.
5.Ethnographic Parades, Folklore, and Parties
In the municipalitiy of Câmara de Lobos, parades of folkloric and ethnographic groups stroll along the main streets. Hundreds of people revive traditions, including musical instruments and handicrafts, related to the production of wine. In the Funchal Municipal Garden auditorium, the European Week of Folklore takes place with the gathering of several national and international Folklore Groups. In the municipalities of Ribeira Brava, the market is decorated in festive mode. In Porto da Cruz, the Casa do Povo organizes the Grape Festival.
6.Madeira Wine Lounge
The Madeira Wine Lounge is the ideal meeting point for long summer evenings. Praça do Povo, by the sea, is full of life, good energy, music, and excellent gastronomy. This village is the perfect setting for a glass of wine at nightfall.
Get a glass at the entrance and go through the different exhibitors, allowing yourself to be carried away by the pleasure of the tastings. There are fabulous and varied pairings, recommended for gastronomic treat!. You can also taste cocktails and sangria made with Madeiran wines. On some days, you can also have themed dinners where you can enjoy a special menu prepared by inveted chefs, in combination with wine producers. Those who are interested must sign up in advance to attend it, at Madeira’s Wine Lounge reception.
This Festival is a real paradise for wine lovers.