In the spirit of.. bonhomie and all that… I ditched my boycott of tours when Rich said he fancied visiting a Madeiran winery. We went in search of Blandy’s Wine Lodge in Funchal.
I was a little disappointed to discover this wine lodge is in the centre of Funchal city. I had visions of rolling countryside, green flourishing vines and a few glasses of wine in the afternoon sun. Maybe a few olives and the gentle lull of cicadas to polish it all off….
But no, Blandy’s is a dark, fragrant smelling building with sloping, wooden floors and beams to match.
We signed up for a premium visit at a cost of €5.90 each. I pre-purcashed online using a Madeiran company and paid for all five of us. However we later discovered that children’s entrance was FREE. No refund was given.
You can also just turn up at Blandy’s and purchase tickets on the day.
The tour covers the making of barrels at the Cooperage, ageing in the Canteiro, the transformation of grapes into Madeira wine, and a tour of the museum with unique items from madeira wine history, followed by a tasting.
Meeting up for the tour in the central courtyard which also links to the ticket booth, a shop with old and expensive wines, a gift shop and a bar. Here you can see many old items that were once used in the fabrication of wine.
The expensive bar
The expensive bar houses all the oldest and best wines, some of which cost up to €650. They are all locked away but you can look around and see which years produced the best grapes.
If nothing else, it provided a good maths lesson for the kids!
Vine to Wine
We were given two tastings of a fortified wine. One sweet and the other dry. Both were putrid, in my opinion.
We were given a 10% discount (only valid for that day) to purchase wine up to 15 years old however we chose not to.
FOLLOW US ON OUR JOURNEY
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