11 Madeira Wine Tours: Funchal Wine Tasting & Vineyard Tours [2023]

Madeira wine tasting is a must do while you’re visiting the island!

Don’t think of just your standard wine tasting tour here — Madeira has a variety of small group and private, as well as half-day and full-day experiences, with a tour to suit every taste and preference.

For those who enjoy a leisurely pace and the joy of discovering local flavors on foot, food and wine walking tours offer a delightful way to experience Madeira’s culinary delights alongside wine tastings.

view of madeira roads
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If you want deeper understanding of how Madeira’s wines are made, vineyard tours are the perfect way to learn about the unique terroir and winemaking process of these special wines.

For those seeking a more adventurous and unconventional approach, 4×4 tours with wine tastings offer an exciting blend of off-road exploration and wine appreciation.

Traverse rugged terrains, visit breathtaking viewpoints, and cap off the exhilarating journey with a delicious Madeira wine tasting!

Alternatively, for a romantic and unforgettable experience, there’s even a sailing tour with wine tasting!

No matter which tour you choose, these Madeira wine tours celebrates the island’s unique flavors, cultural heritage, and breathtaking landscapes — it’s just a matter of which speaks to you most.

With so many different ways to explore Madeira’s vineyards, of all the things to do in Madeira, wine tasting has got to be on your list!

How is Madeira Wine Made?

view of two glasses of madeira wine next to cups of coffee, on a table on a terrace, with a view of funchal behind it

The art of making Madeira wine is a labor of love: each step is fundamental to creating the sweet, complex layered flavors that are associated with Portugal’s famed dessert wine.

On a Madeira wine tour, you’ll learn every step, from harvest to bottling.

Once the ripest fruit is picked, the grapes are crushed and then fermented in stainless steel. Now, here is where Madeira wine differs from traditional wines: it is now fortified, typically with a neutral grape spirit like brandy.

Why? The infusion of brandy not only raises the alcohol content, but it also provides the young Madeira wine strength, structure, and complexity that will support its aging process.

At a minimum, Madeira wine needs to be aged for three years — this time in oak barrels, where it can pick up on those lovely oak aromas, like vanilla and butter.

But here’s where things get quirky and distinctly Portuguese: the estufagem process. This process involves purposely heating the wine to high temperatures over the course of months.

Most winemakers would cover their eyes in fear here, but this is what’s needed in order for Madeira wine to develop that distinctive caramelized flavor and scent.

Finally, after all that, winemakers will blend together several different vintages until the flavor desired is achieve.

All of the above is science: now it comes down to art, as the wine producers decide which percentages of which vintages create the most complex, delicious wine — not to mention one that has the potential to age further.

My Top 3 Picks: Madeira Wine Tours

No time to read the full article about these wine tours and just want my top 3 picks and the highlights of each?

#1 TOP PICK

View of house and vineyard in mountain village in northern part of Madeira island, Portugal

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Full-Day Madeira Wine Tour with Lunch
✔️ Full day tour with 3 wineries

✔️ Farm-to-table lunch included

#2 PICK

the city center of funchal with trees and beautiful flowers and blue sky and free of people

Food and Wine Walking Tour of Funchal
✔️ Taste 11 food samples and 6 drinks, including Madeira
✔️ 3-hour tour that covers historic center

#3 PICK

person stepping on the skywalk at cabo girao looking over the atlantic ocean below them

Madeira Skywalk, Valleys, & Wine Tasting from Funchal
✔️ 4×4 tour of Madeira with Skywalk visit
✔️ Wine tasting from a top Madeira producer

The Best Madeira Wine Tours

1. Full-Day Madeira Wine Tour with Lunch from Funchal

View of house and vineyard in mountain village in northern part of Madeira island, Portugal

Time: 8 hours | Reviews: 4.9/5 stars (70+ reviews) | Book Now!

Looking for a fun-filled day of wine tasting in Madeira? Look no further than this full day tour of Madeira’s wine region!

As you explore three distinct wineries, you’ll also take breaks to enjoy the gorgeous scenery — from the coastline of São Vicente to the laurel forests of Madeira.

Transport is included, so once you get picked up at the meeting point in Funchal, you’ll head to Câmara de Lobos for your first vineyard visit.

(Even if you’ve rented a car in Madeira, taking a wine tour is a great idea so you don’t have to deal with having a designated driver)

There, you’ll meet a local wine producer who will take you through the Madeira winemaking process step by step.

You’ll start with a visit to winemaker in Câmara de Lobos, the main winemaking region in Madeira, where you’ll learn all about this special fortified wine.

After your first tasting, you’ll stop at a local house for a meal made from local farm-to-table ingredients — all paired with some of the region’s finest wines, naturally.

Next up, you’ll visit a modern winery in Porto Moniz, where you’ll taste a different side of Madeiran wine: tropical white wines with plenty of acidity, structured but fruity rosé, and rich red wines.

As the day draws to a close (and your eyes glaze over with sleepiness from all those tastings), you’ll stop at one last winery for a final tasting.

Everything, from transit to lunch to wine tastings, are included, so you won’t have to worry about a thing. Just show up at Blandy’s Wine Lodge, and let the adventure begin!

2. Food and Wine Walking Tour of Funchal

the city center of funchal with trees and beautiful flowers and blue sky and free of people

Time: 3 hours | Reviews: 4.8/5 stars (160+ reviews) | Book Now!

For a fun and tasty way to explore the city, look no further than this food and wine tasting tour of Funchal, all done on foot.

This tour is perfect for those who want to experience the local flavors and wines of Madeira without dedicating a full day of their Madeira trip to go and visit the vineyards.

Packing a ton into a 3-hour punch, this food and wine tour is easy to fit into even the tightest Madeira schedule.

But don’t worry — you won’t miss out, with a tour that stops at nine different spots, offering a generous sampling of 11 different kinds of food and six drink tastings, including the famous Madeira wine tasting.

But this tour isn’t just about the wine – you’ll also get to taste local traditional products, giving you a true taste of Madeira. From Madeira cookies to a visit to a local chocolate factory, this tour has it all.

Among the many stops on this food and wine walking tour, you’ll visit a traditional regional restaurant, a local grocery store (with a taste of the sugar cane spirit called poncha), a tea house, a local market, a typical bar, and Blandy’s Wine Lodge — an internationally-renowned favorite.

3. Madeira Food, Wine & Culture Walking Tour

the downtown of funchal with road signs painted on the road ground indicating one-way and no-traffic spots

Time: 4 hours | Reviews: 4.7/5 stars (130+ reviews) | Book Now!

For a more leisurely paced itinerary, this 4-hour, 7-stop walking tour of Funchal is the perfect way to incorporate some Madeira wine tasting with exploring the local gastronomy!

Compared to the above tour — packing 11 stops into a mere 3 hours — this tour is slow-paced and relaxed.

This tour definitely caters to sweet tooths: you’ll get to try artisanal chocolates and the tasty local custard tart, pastel de nata. And of course, when we’re talking sweet, we can’t forget the delicious Madeira dessert wine!

You’ll also get to try Portuguese tea (also produed on Madeira — one of the few places in Europe where tea is produced, besides the Azores, another Portuguese archipelago).

Beyond the fortified wine of Madeira Island, you’ll also try a non-fortified local wine, as well as poncha, the local sugarcane spirit.

It’s not just sweets and drinks — you’ll also have a more savory sit-down meal at a regional restaurant, featuring some of Madeira’s best-known dishes.

And if you’re veg, gluten-free, or don’t drink, just let the company know ahead of time, so they can accommodate you, as they want everyone to enjoy Madeira’s flavors!

4. Madeira Skywalk, Valleys, & Wine Tasting from Funchal

person stepping on the skywalk at cabo girao looking over the atlantic ocean below them

Time: 4 hours | Reviews: 4.9/5 stars (310+ reviews) | Book Now!

Wine not add a little adventure to your vinho experience?

Embark on a thrilling 4-hour adventure on an open-roof 4×4 tour and wine tasting through the stunning landscapes of Madeira, leaving from Funchal.

Get ready to explore some of the most breathtaking views in the region, including the famous Boca dos Namorados (Lovers’ Mouth) landscape, located 1,000 feet above sea level.

From there, you’ll get a glimpse of the impressive Nun’s Valley (a bit ironic, given the whole Lovers’ Mouth and all, but we’ll let them have it, I guess) and the the Eira do Serrado viewpoint.

Next on the tour, it’s time to experience the stunning glass floor of the Cabo Girão Skywalk, located an impressive 1,900 feet up!

Brace yourself for the incredible vistas that surround you at this altitude – the mountains, the Atlantic, and beyond.

After that, take a break and relax with a cup of coffee in the idyllic town of Jardim da Serra.

Here, you can also get your morning started with a kick by trying poncha, a traditional drink made with distilled sugar cane liquor, mixed with honey, lemon peel, and other fruit.

And of course — the reason why you wanted a Madeira wine tour in the first place — a tasting from one of the top producers on the island in the cute fishing town of Câmara de Lobos.

This tour isn’t the one you want if you only want to focus on Madeira wine and exploring its vineyards and cellars — but if you want a well-rounded tour that combines some of Madeira’s attractions as well as its wine, this is a great choice.

5. Nature & Wine 4×4 Tour from Funchal or Caniço

Vineyards in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Madeira

Time: 4 hours | Reviews: 4.7/5 stars (150+ reviews) | Book Now!

Here’s another option for a 4×4 wine tour of Madeira, where the off-roading meets wine-tasting in a magical blend of excitement and relaxation.

Compared to the one above, though, this one focuses a lot more on the wines itself, including a vineyard visit.

This 4-hour tour is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some of Madeira’s finest wine while also getting to take in the views of Madeira you’d never see from a rental car (not without a hefty damage bill, at least).

This small, intimate group tour will get your engine revving with an exhilarating off-road journey through Serra d’Agua.

Take in the stunning views of Porto Moniz, Ribeira da Janela, Paul da Serra, and São Vicente as you tear through the dirt roads in a professionally-manned 4×4 vehicle (don’t worry — insurance is included).

To decompress from all that high-adrenaline adventure, next, you’ll take guided tour through lush Madeira vineyards, where you’ll learn about the production process and taste some of the best wines in Madeira.

You’ll be guided by a professional oenologist (that’s Latin for wine geek) who will share their expertise and knowledge of the delicious drink.

And to top it all off, you’ll end the day at Cabo Girão, Europe’s highest sea cliff, where you can marvel at the panoramic views and capture stunning pictures for your social media.

The tour starts at 2 PM, only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (so plan accordingly), and can pick you up from either Funchal or Caniço.

And with the tour wrapping up around 6 PM, you’ll have plenty of time to continue your wine adventure, eat a fantastic meal, scout out a great sunset spot, or explore more of Madeira’s wonders.

6. Private Half-Day Winery Tour with Pickup Anywhere on the Island

two glasses of madeira wine at a tasting area with two people blurry in the background

Time: 3 hours | Reviews: 5/5 stars (7+ reviews) | Book Now!

Wouldn’t it be di-vine to treat yourself to a half-day of wine tasting in a private group?

This 3-hour private small-group (capped at 4 people) Madeira winery tour is all about learning about the rich history (and taste) of the island’s finest wines.

You’ll visit the Henriques & Henriques winery, where you can go on a guided tour of the facility and learn from your tour guide about the different types of grapes used in Madeira wine, the various flavor profiles each grape lends the wine, and how the fortification process and aging process works.

Pickup is available in Funchal, Canico, and Camara de Lobos, with morning (10 AM, 10:30 AM) or afternoon (2 PM, 2:30 PM) options available.

And if you’re further afield, they’ll actually pick you up anywhere on the island (including Funchal Port if you’re doing a cruise and this is a shore excursion) at an added price.

Northeast, Southeast, Southwest Madeira: they’ve got you covered.

And the best part is that this tour is relatively inexpensive! It’s only about 30 euro per person if you’re a group of four in Funchal, making it an affordable and accessible Madeira tasting experience for wine enthusiasts on a budget.

To top off this already amazing experience, you’ll stop at Rancho Viewpoint for one last glimpse of the stunning scenery of Câmara de Lobos, the Atlantic Ocean, and the cliff of Cabo Girão before being returned home.

7. Half-Day Small-Group Wine Tour in Madeira

Vineyard at the Levada do Norte on Madeira

Time: 4 hours | Reviews: 4.5/5 stars (10+ reviews) | Book Now!

This half-day Madeira wine tour promises an educational experience above all, as you’ll meet a local wine producer and a professionally trained oenologist to learn all the unique intricacies of Madeira’s unique winemaking process.

You’ll learn all about the wines that thrive in Madeira’s volcanic soil, as well as the techniques involved in producing Madeira’s wines.

After learning about the wines, you’ll have a chance to taste it for yourself, appreciating the distinctive flavors that set Madeira wines apart, including dry and sweet wines.

To complement the wine tasting experience, a delicious array of local tapas will be served, paired to enhance the flavors of the wines.

After the winery visit, you’ll get a chance to see two of Madeira’s most scenic viewpooints: a visit to Cabo Girão, one of the world’s highest sea cliffs (note: the SkyWalk costs 2 euros to visit) as well as the picturesque village of Camara De Lobos.

Also, be aware that lunch is not included in the tour, but since the tour leaves at 9 AM and arrives back at 1 PM, you can easily eat lunch back in town after the tour concludes.

8. Madeira Half-Day Sightseeing Private Tour with Wine Tasting

Rows of grapes in a vineyard in Sao Vicente, Madeira island, Portugal

Time: 4 hours | Reviews: 4/5 stars (10+ reviews) | Book Now!

Ideal for those who want a more intimate experience, this private half-day Madeira wine and sightseeing tour is perfect for groups of up to 8 people.

Discover the island’s hidden gems as you venture into charming mountain villages like Monte.

Here, you can immerse yourself in local culture and even opt in on the exhilarating traditional sledge ride (additional fee of approximately 25 euros for 2 people) down the steep hill!

Continuing on the tour, you’ll traverse Madeira’s winding roads, awestruck by the stunning vistas from Eira do Serrado and other points along the route.

At the end of the tour, you’ll head back to Funchal, where you’ll enjoy a Madeira wine tasting experience, tasting the local fortified wine and learning about its unique production process from experts.

9. Private Cruise with Wine Tasting in Funchal Bay

sailboat in the madeira waters on a sunny day with very few clouds

Time: 3 hours | Reviews: 5/5 stars (10+ reviews) | Book Now!

Experience a private 3-hour sailing and wine tour of Madeira, tailor-made for an intimate and romantic couple’s adventure!

Step aboard a private boat in the picturesque Bay of Funchal, hoping to see dolphins or even whales!

The tour is perfectly timed to coincide with a breathtaking sunset — and with time for a swim in the crystal-clear waters if you wish!

Onboard, try delicious wines from the Terra Bona local winery, paired with local savory snacks.

To add a touch of decadence to the end of your wine tasting, you’ll delight in the dessert treat of chocolates from UAUCACAU, a local producer renowned for their unique chocolate truffle creations.

The combination of scenic sailing at sunset, Madeira wine tasting, and tantalizing local treats — it’s the perfect date night or special occasion celebration.

For those looking to share this remarkable experience with more friends or family, the tour offers the option to upgrade and include additional passengers.

10. Private Half-Day Tour of Wine Fields in Madeira + SkyWalk

Time: 4 hours | Reviews: 5/5 stars (2+ reviews) | Book Now!

Embark on a private tour of the breathtaking vineyards of Madeira, traversing the rugged terrain in a 4×4 Jeep.

This exclusive adventure, limited to a group size of 4 people, combines the expertise of a specialized private nature tourism company with the indulgence of wine tasting!

You’ll begin your journey at Estreito de Camara de Lobos, where the largest wine growing region of Madeira awaits.

Next, brace yourself for an exhilarating 4×4 off-road tour through awe-inspiring landscapes, leading you to a magnificent viewpoint at Cabo Girão.

Prepare to be amazed as you step onto the Skywalk (additional 2 euro fee), suspended high above the dramatic cliffs, offering unparalleled vistas of the sparkling ocean below.

Conclude your tour with a delightful Madeira wine tasting experience, learning about how the wine gets it distinctive flavors and aromas.

Families: please note that children must be 6 years or older to participate in this tour!

11. Full Day Vineyard Guided Tour with Lunch

Vineyard next to the ocean on the north coast of Madeira

This full-day private tour of the vineyards of Madeira is designed for true oenophiles, for whom a half-day tour just isn’t enough!

This 8-hour adventure promises an extensive tasting of a remarkable 15 different wines from two different Madeira wine producers, allowing you to explore all the flavors that Madeira has to offer — not just its fortified wines but its other offerings as well.

The tour begins in the charming village of Câmara de Lobos, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample wines from an acclaimed still wine producer, known for making the best white wines on the island!

From there, journey to another winery in São Vicente, where the owner of the winery will prepare a traditional Madeiran lunch using local ingredients, designed to pair perfectly with the wines you’ll be tasting.

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