Visit to Madeira

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Daniel Mattisson
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Visit to Madeira

#1 Post by Daniel Mattisson » November 13th, 2018, 5:34 pm

Our family will be in Madeira next week, and I would love some recommendations on wineries to visit as well as restaurants. I'm traveling with a 5 and 7 year old, but should be able to keep them occupied (ie. Ipad) for an hour or two at a couple of visits.

Is it necessary to book in advance at places like Blandy's, Barbeito et al?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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Otto Forsberg
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#2 Post by Otto Forsberg » November 14th, 2018, 1:22 am

Haven't been to Madeira myself, but having tasted some Faja dos Padres Madeiras, that place is definitely on my bucket list (and Madeira is one of my going-to-visit-as-soon-as-possible travel destinations). It's a restaurant about 10 km / 5 miles west from Funchal and they make a very limited amount of wine for their personal use. To my understanding they sell some wine from their restaurant but otherwise it's nigh impossible to source any bottles anywhere else.

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#3 Post by dbailey » November 14th, 2018, 2:17 am

Try the uk wine pages forum. Plenty of stuff on there. One thing you must, must, must do is the street bobsled. Trust me, it’s a blast and your kids will absolutely love it. Ask at the hotel for how to book.
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Daniel Mattisson
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#4 Post by Daniel Mattisson » November 14th, 2018, 3:05 pm

Thanks for the recs.
Street bobsled sounds very much like something my kids will LOVE. Visiting Faja Padros in advance might even make it wine related ;).

Any other recs are greatly appreciated. We're kind of going into this trip blind.

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Eric Ifune
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#5 Post by Eric Ifune » November 14th, 2018, 4:57 pm

The Faja dos Padres is the most legendary vineyard on the island. It's at the base of the sea cliffs on the south side of the island. There's an elevator now. Or you can charter a boat. There's a simple restaurant and some rooms for lodging. A rock beach as well. The adega is a small, simple affair. If you go, try to make an appointment with Mario Fernandes who owns the Faja. He's the one who you can barrel taste with, otherwise not available on the island. (Due to government regulations) Mr. Fernandes can do it since he is not commercializing these wines. He does sell fruit to Barbeito who vinifies and ages and can sell commercially. Barbeito and H&H in the Camera dos Lobos district need reservations. Blandy's has a museum by the harbor and doesn't need them. D'Oliveiras and Borges have tasting rooms open. Borges is closed for lunch.

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#6 Post by Eric Ifune » November 14th, 2018, 5:26 pm

If you want sand beaches, the neighboring island of Porto Santo is where the Madeirans go. There's a lovely botanical gardens overlooking Funchal close to where the street sledding starts. Take the cable car up there. I understand it's considered one of the top 10 in the world. There's whale and dolphin watching on boats. One big thing to do, although maybe not with the kids, is levada walks. Hikes in the interior of the island following the ancient waterways. Enclosed ocean pools to swim in in Porto Moniz on the north side. Some good restaurants are Mozart, Do Forte (in the old fort of course!), Chalet Vicente (looks kitschy on the outside but good local food), Armazém do Sal, Vila Do Peixe and Vila Da Carne (next together and same owner) in Camara dos Lobos. If you go to Vila Da Carne, get the espatada (meat on vertical skewers).

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#7 Post by Charles Weiss » November 15th, 2018, 5:31 pm

D’oliveiras has a large tasting room and if you are able to make an appointment with a principal you will have an astounding tasting opportunity.

The island of Madeira is gorgeous, well worth a trip even if no wine we’re made or available to drink there!

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#8 Post by Jörgen Lindström Carlvik » November 16th, 2018, 3:19 am

Check out http://madaboutmadeira.org for loads of info!
ITB. www.brixwine.se

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Edward H. Earles
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#9 Post by Edward H. Earles » November 16th, 2018, 5:59 am

Madeira is also famous for great marlin and tuna fishing.

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#10 Post by PFMay » November 20th, 2018, 8:03 am

I stayed in Funchal earlier this year.

Blandy's offers two tours which can be booked online, but they admitted that their system wasn't working and such bookings vanished into the ether. So I booked (again) when there. I did both tours back to back and they are both worth it. And I returned the next day for some more tastings of premium Madeiras. Tour ticket gets you discount in their shop.

I couldn't see that the 'duty free' shop in airport was any better deal than at the winery.

http://www.blandyswinelodge.com/tours.html
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#11 Post by NoahR » December 16th, 2018, 8:00 pm

How are Madeira prices in Madeira (compared to US)? Especially for the old stuff
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#12 Post by NoahR » December 16th, 2018, 8:00 pm

How are Madeira prices in Madeira (compared to US)? Especially for the old stuff
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#13 Post by Eric Ifune » December 17th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Prices used to be high on the island. Lately they've seemed to be just a tad lower. D'Oliverias is the place with the old stuff. Barbeito doesn't sell their really old wine anymore, unless you know someone in the family. The Madeira Wine Company as a few older items. Borges doesn't have old stuff anymore. A few years ago, it was much easier to find older wines. H&H started selling the "heavenly quartet" again, but at very, very high prices. Don't forget the VAT refund.

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#14 Post by AD Northup » July 2nd, 2019, 6:24 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
November 14th, 2018, 4:57 pm
The Faja dos Padres is the most legendary vineyard on the island. It's at the base of the sea cliffs on the south side of the island. There's an elevator now. Or you can charter a boat. There's a simple restaurant and some rooms for lodging. A rock beach as well. The adega is a small, simple affair. If you go, try to make an appointment with Mario Fernandes who owns the Faja. He's the one who you can barrel taste with, otherwise not available on the island. (Due to government regulations) Mr. Fernandes can do it since he is not commercializing these wines. He does sell fruit to Barbeito who vinifies and ages and can sell commercially. Barbeito and H&H in the Camera dos Lobos district need reservations. Blandy's has a museum by the harbor and doesn't need them. D'Oliveiras and Borges have tasting rooms open. Borges is closed for lunch.
Edit: Answered my own original question but interested in the barrel tasting. Did you arrange it through the hotel?
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#15 Post by Eric Ifune » July 3rd, 2019, 4:11 pm

Are you talking about the rooms for rent on the Faja? If so, then you could. I doubt you could from other hotels on the island. Once the wines are to be commercialized, then they fall into the jurisdiction of the IVBAM, the governmental agency. No barrel tastings allowed unless one of their representatives are around. It's part of an anti-fraud thing and also if you get EU money. The EU subsidizes some vintage Madeira because of the long aging required. Since the wines at the Faja dos Padres are only for guests, they're not considered commercial. There's no government seal. Mario does have a few bottles of the Barbeito bottlings which he'll sell. These do have a seal and are legal to sell. Some of the cask wines do have some age and are excellent to fabulous. The young ones, however, I've no idea what I'm tasting. Mainly Malvasia Candida, a little bit of Terrantez. I've never stayed at the Faja, but the rooms look quite comfortable and you're away from everything. A very peaceful place. I always tell myself that one day I'll spend a few days.

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Re: Visit to Madeira

#16 Post by AD Northup » July 6th, 2019, 12:13 pm

Thanks! Do have a cottage at the Faja booked, so will reach out to them.
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1994 Edmunds St. John Les Côtes Sauvages
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Re: Visit to Madeira

#17 Post by AD Northup » September 22nd, 2019, 8:53 am

Eric Ifune wrote:
November 14th, 2018, 4:57 pm
The Faja dos Padres is the most legendary vineyard on the island. It's at the base of the sea cliffs on the south side of the island. There's an elevator now. Or you can charter a boat. There's a simple restaurant and some rooms for lodging. A rock beach as well. The adega is a small, simple affair. If you go, try to make an appointment with Mario Fernandes who owns the Faja. He's the one who you can barrel taste with, otherwise not available on the island. (Due to government regulations) Mr. Fernandes can do it since he is not commercializing these wines. He does sell fruit to Barbeito who vinifies and ages and can sell commercially. Barbeito and H&H in the Camera dos Lobos district need reservations. Blandy's has a museum by the harbor and doesn't need them. D'Oliveiras and Borges have tasting rooms open. Borges is closed for lunch.
Wanted to thank you and everyone else in this thread for the advice. We had a lovely stay at the Faja over a few days, including tasting with Mr. Fernandes and we’re able to take a “sample” bottle of the Faja’s wine with us to go. A truly unique and memorable experience I won’t forget.

A n d r e w N o r t h u p

WsOTY:
1994 Edmunds St. John Les Côtes Sauvages
2016 P. S. Garcia Grenache Piedra Lisa
2010 Ridge Lytton Springs
2002 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque

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