Madeira Wine Festival
September, the time of the wine harvest, is an intense month on the island of Madeira. Festivals add to the bustle of grape picking. What began as a ritual of winemakers restricted to the fields is today one of the major tourist draws in the archipelago. The festival is in honor of the Madeira Wine, which is the winner of numerous prestigious awards. It starts in the parish of Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, where tourists and local residents are encouraged to participate in the grape harvest by picking and stomping grapes, and enjoying regional folkloric rituals. A beautiful procession in honor of the grape follows. This event is very felt by Madeira’s population.
From the Estreito, the celebrations continue to the center of Funchal. The central island of Avenida Arriaga is decorated to perfection to receive the Wine Festival, highlighting living scenes associated with the harvest. The activities include folk music and dance as well as stands selling traditional foods. This event is part of the European Week of Folklore, an initiative of the Folk and Ethnographic Group of Boa Nova and includes the participation of national and foreign groups.
The festivities are also extended to the district of Porto da Cruz, where the ‘Grape and the Farmer Festival’ is celebrated annually.