The Madeira wine festival is held annually in Funchal around the last week of August or the first week of September and marks the end of the harvest.
You can find details of the 2017 Madeira wine festival here.
While Funchal is the focus there are celebrations across the whole of the island and most notably in Camara de Lobos.
The focus is on all the wines made in Madeira, not just the traditional famous Madieras but the table wines as well.
Downtown Funchal is decorated and more than 20 booths built to try the differing wines of Madeira. Most of the producers are there and the event is attended by Madeirans and tourists all mixing in with the fun.
Fun is provided by Madeiran musicians and dancers as well as other great attractions such as pairing Madeira wines with food for example.
The opportunity to taste Madeira’s wines over 3 lovely evenings and partake in food and wine pairing makes this my favourite time to be in Madeira.
My first wine festival was in 1989 I think and I wish i could remember more of it as it was an amazing experience of drinking, dancing and grape treading in several different locations.
In 2015 we attended the Blandy wine lodges wine festival party that offered a very sophisticated mix of drinking, dining, dancing and grape treading (if you wished) along with some stunning other musical acts…..the Academic Band in particular was just fantastic.
So is you are interested in Madeira wines and love to dance (or just watch the colourful folk dancers of Madeira) this is great time of year to be on the island.
You can see more of Blandy’s great 2015 wine festival party in this video:
Every year I am delighted to note the steady improvement in the festival with a growing choice of quality table wines now on offer to try and experience yet more Madeiran hospitality.
Perhaps we can understand why the end of the harvest is celebrated so enthusiastically when we understand the sheer amount of hard work that went into the harvest (and still does) in years gone by.
Madeira wine is no longer pressed by the growers and transported in skins, today the pressing and the entire production process is carried out by the wine producers at their wine lodges.