With every trip my cousin and I go on, we aim to book one sort of hiking tour and one wine tour - and the Madeira Wine Tour did not disappoint. It was not your typical vineyard tour so I wouldn't compare it to experiences in say Napa or Sonoma, but it was extremely beautiful, fun, and a unique experience to Madeira that I would highly recommend. The full day tour takes you to multiple areas of the island, with short breaks to experience a levada walk, check out the scenery from up high on a mountain along the drive, and a delicious home cooked lunch traditional Madeiran stew at a family friend's home in one of the valleyswith of course, wine. Our guide, Sophia, is from the island and was extremely knowledgable so we definitely learned a ton throughout the day. And in true Madeiran style, she was beyond friendly from the moment she greeted us at our hotel to the moment we hugged her goodbye at the end of the tour! My one tip would be to bring a bottle of water as it isn't provided through the tour so good to have handy! But everything else you are set on with food, transportation, etc. I would definitely do this tour again and recommend it if you'd like to really experience Madeira outside of the main area of Funchal. Great day spent while we were there!!
This is the second time on this tour, once last year with my husband and then this year with my elderly mother. I would highly recommend the tour to anyone visiting Madeira as the guide Sophia is very knowledgeable, there is a short lavada walk on fairly flat terrain, visit 2 Madeira wine producers with tastings, try Madeira table wine from 2 producers, including meeting one of them, trying typical Madeira food and it's s great way to see part of the island, including the Unesco forest. There were 6 people both times and the travel was in a nice air conditioned minibus, making it a lovely personalised tour.
I would also like to mention that the person who rated the tour 1star obviously did not read what the tour included and has never been wine tasting in Madeira or Portugal before. Please read what the tour consists of and the positive comments. Madeira is a beautiful island and this tour gives you a great introduction to the terrain, food and especially the wine -Madeiran fortified and table.
We had a fantastic day on this tour. Sophia was immediately welcoming and extremely knowledgeable. It was more than just a wine tour, it was a history of the island with amazing views and a very intimate portrayal of wine making in Madeira. We visited several wineries and sampled multiple Madeira wines and table wines, there was no shortage of food either! Being invited into someone's house to sample authentic, traditional food was quite humbling and made the experience so much more personal. Even when taking the scenic route with all its twists and turns we felt that we were in safe hands as the driver was fantastic.
We had a wondefull experience on the wine tour with our guidance Sophia. She was lovely! The food we had was a local dish at a person's house within the mountains of Madeira. Although it wasn't on a vineyard, the food was nice, the house was a authentic place to be and the wine Barbusano was lovely. We bought a bottle to bring home... Later on we went to see a local wine maker and learned about the history of the Madeira table wine. Ofcourse the tour on the local typical Madeira wine form Blandy and Barbeito was very special and we tried different kind of Madeira wine. Here we bought the typical Madeira wine with the sugar honey bread. We liked the tour, but this is our personal opinion...We didn't know that to expect and that made it for us a good experience. We believe every wine tour can be different, but it's good to do this without any specific expectations. We say.....Give it a try!.Sophia can tell you everyting during the tour and makes you laugh....And Sophia., agian thanks for a wondefull day! Best regards Geoffrey and Claudia