First F.I.C.B. sponsored discovery tour to Madeira
The first discovery tour sponsored by the F.I.C.B. took place from 22 to 26 September 2022 on the island of Madeira (Portugal).
The entire Madeira wine and gastronomy brotherhood (Confraria Enogastronomica da Madeira) was at work to enable the thirty or so participants from France (Conseil des Echansons de France/ Cocorico-Clos de Clamart), Portugal (Federação das Confrarias Báquicas de Portugal-Cofraria Bo Vinho de Carcavelos), Finland (Knights of the Vineyard) and the United Kingdom (Federação das Confrarias Báquicas de Madeira) to discover the wines, gastronomy and beauty of their region: France (Conseil des Echansons de France/ Cocorico Clos de Clamart), Portugal (Federação das Confrarias Báquicas de Portugal), Finland (Knights of the Vine - Finland), Slovakia (Wine Brotherhood Ohrady - Slovakia), Czech Republic (Rytíři vína Sv. Urbana - Czech Republic), Italy (Cavalieri del tartufo e dei vini d'Alba), the United Kingdom (Wine Guild of the United Kingdom) and the United States (Brotherhood of Knights of the Vine).
The welcome meal was of a high gastronomic standard, with delicious fresh fish and pork roasted in its rind, served with appropriate wines including the famous Madeira 10 year old Verdelho and Boal.
A visit to Blandy's, an internationally renowned producer, allowed everyone to familiarise themselves with the history and original vinification of this fortified wine with mythical grape varieties such as Malvasia, Boal, Sercial and Verdelho, famous since the 16th century.
The tourist circuit of the island was the occasion for other tastings of local wines at the Quinta do Barbusano estate,
as well as rum at the old "Engenhos do Norte" distillery.
During meals in restaurants or traditional houses, often hosted by musical groups,
a festival of the island's gastronomic specialities were presented : beef brochettes, roasted pargo (an imposing wild sea bream), pig's ears, belt fish fritters..., as well as the traditional " panelo " (a kind of stew) ,
all accompanied by local aperitifs ("poncha", cider) and wines.
An induction ceremony was held on Sunday at the Regional Assembly (ALRAM), in the presence of its president José-Manuel Rodrigues, who made a remarkable speech recounting the history of Madeira and its wine.
Several members of the participating brotherhoods were inducted, including FICB Vice-Presidents Bianca Vetrino and Michael Hildesley, and Secretary General Marc Lesk.
The President of ALRAM presenting the General Secretary of the FICB with a crystal replica of the statue of the trilogy of powers.
In the end, beyond the discovery of a land, it is that of a brotherhood attached to its territory, and of its members totally devoted to the success of this stay, which was made.
This discovery tour was also an opportunity for participants from Europe and America to get to know each other, and to create links between brotherhoods which we hope will last.
We thank Grand Master Alcides Nóbrega, Secretary General Marcio Ribeiro, Ambassador Lino Dinisio, our guide Dina Silva, and also Gregorio Freitas, Carlos Soares, Olga Mendes and all those who worked to make this discovery tour a great success.