Day 1: Tuesday 25th June
18.30 Meet your fellow passengers in the arrivals hall at Funchal airport. Most people will be travelling on BA2784 which departs London Gatwick at 14.25 and arrives Funchal at 18.15. A coach will take us to our hotel for the next 4 nights, Quintinha Sao Joao in Funchal.
Around 8pm we will meet for welcome drinks followed by a 4-course food and wine matching dinner. Master of Wine Nancy Gilchrist, who will be our wine guide during the tour, will give us a short briefing about the itinerary for the next 4 days.
Nancy Gilchrist became a Master of Wine in 1995 making her one of the early female MWs. She is a Judge at Decanter World Wine Awards, a member of the Association of Wine Educators and was UK Champagne Ambassador in 2012. Nancy has taught at Christies, Leith’s Food & Wine School and with Stephen Spurrier has just set up Académie du Vin at 67 Pall Mall. Nancy also runs Chocolate and Olive Oil seminars. You can read more about Nancy here: http://www.mattersoftaste.co.uk/
Day 2: Wednesday 26th June
This morning after breakfast we will visit the Institute of Madeira Wine where we will learn about the history and current practices of the Madeira wine industry and taste a couple of wines. Then we will walk the short distance to Borges Wine Company for a tasting. We will have a group lunch at a local restaurant in the old town, and then this afternoon we will visit another producer Pereira D’Oliveira. Late afternoon we return to our hotel and the evening is free to explore the town or relax at the hotel.
Day 3: Thursday 27th June
After breakfast we drive north-east towards the village of Camara de Lobos to visit the family producer Vinhos Barbeito for a tour and tasting. Our group lunch today is at a restaurant in the village with views over the ocean. This afternoon we visit one of the best-known Madeira producers Henriques & Henriques. Late afternoon we return to our hotel and the evening is free.
Day 4: Friday 28th June
After breakfast we drive the short distance to Madeira Wine Company, whose brands include Blandy’s and Cossart Gordon. We will have a tour of the winery and exhibition and a tasting of ‘table’ and fortified wines. Our group lunch will be at Blandy’s Bistro 1811.
The afternoon is free; you may want to visit the Botanical Gardens, have tea at the famous Reids Hotel, or explore the town of Funchal. The evening is also free to try one of the many restaurants in the town.
Note that Nancy will be returning to the UK this evening as she has a long standing commitment at home tomorrow
Day 5: Saturday 29th June
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and drive the short distance to the main town when there will be a couple of hours to explore the covered market and the cathedral before we transfer to the airport, arriving by 12.30 for the British Airways flight to London Gatwick.
END OF TOUR