08.10.21 - 24.10.21

Madeira Wine Festival

Madeira: View of village on the Atlantic

A coincidence was the inspiration for the invention of Madeira Wine: in the middle of the 17th century, sailors discovered that the quality of their wine improved due to the long transport routes.
And they quickly realised that the heat on the long voyage to the East Indies was responsible for this. From then on, the barrels were sent on the so-called Vinho da Roda and stored for months in the warm bow of the ship. The principle is still the same - except that today the barrels mature in special heat storage facilities at up to 50 degrees.

Madeira Wine Festival: Wine Barrel as Sales Stall

The result - after up to 20 years of storage for the top-precious wines - is a dark, caramel-coloured wine with high residual sweetness: the most famous product of the flower island.
Before that, the winegrowers had to bring in the harvest in painstaking manual labour - the cultivation of vines on small, steep plots along the coast and in traditional pergola prohibits mechanical cultivation.
In the middle of the harvest period at the beginning of September, the workers take a break - and celebrate their wine festival.

Madeira Wine Festival: Historical Press

The festival in the island's capital Funchal begins with an open-air exhibition on Avenida Arriaga. Historical wine presses, barrels, baskets and other traditional tools of the winegrowers are on display.
The decorated pedestrian zone becomes a large tasting room where Madeira wines - the spicy Verdelho, the caramel-coloured, sweet Boal or the full-bodied, dark Malmsey - can be tasted.

Madeira Wine Festival: Traditional Dance


Traditional costume societies process through the streets, accompanied by traditional music groups. In the evenings, bands and orchestras play traditional, classical and modern music. Part of the festivities is always the European Folklore Week - with performances by dance and folk music groups from all over Europe.

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Madeira Wine Festival
  • Location: Funchal, Madeira
  • Date: End of August, beginning of September
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