Portuguese Wine Route

Jan 21, 2019Douro, Northern Portugal, Porto

When planning a trip to Portugal usually you start by visiting Lisbon, the capital. Well, we decided to take a risk and go North and explore a bit more of the northern wine region. Portugal is famous for its wine and we wanted to discover more about the winemaking process.

Porto and the wine cellars

Our departing point was Porto. A city is famous for the Port wine, excellent food, and warm welcoming people.

Porto’s historical center is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage.

Walking through the narrow medieval streets, going up and down the hills and visiting the Cathedral is mandatory.

São Bento’s train station and its tiled entrance is the first pit stop of a delightful stroll in downtown Porto. Clerigos Tower is a climbing challenge worth accepting. After climbing the 225 steps and catching your breath, the view will leave you speechless. Across the block, you’ll walk in one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world Lello Bookshop, a place of wonder and history.

After a busy sightseeing tour, walking down towards the river, walking along Ribeira and crossing D.Luís I bridge towards the Port wine cellars area. Now it´s time to relax and prepare you for the breathtaking view of Porto, from the other side of the Douro river.

Take a moment to breathe in and breathe out and take it all in. Your reward will be a wine tasting experience. Nothing better than that to help you end the day

 

Guimarães, Ponte de Lima and Monção

Heading North, from Porto, your first stop will be Guimarães, know to be Portugal’s cradle, as it’s the city where D.Afonso Henriques, our first king, settled.

Enjoy a walk through the historical center, also UNESCO’s World Heritage. Guimarães is a very picturesque city. Don’t miss the chance to visit the castle.

 
From this historical site, we’ll head north towards Ponte de Lima, home of ‘vinho verde’ (translated as ‘green wine’, but known as ‘young wine’). You will be warmly welcomed to the oldest city in Portugal. And one of the most beautiful and well preserved.
 
A short drive away your next destination awaits, MonçãoSeparated from Galicia (Spain), by the Minho river, Monção is located at the heart of the Alvarinho wine area. And we couldn’t let you go back to Porto without tasting some local wines, in a local cellar.

Bairrada and Aveiro

We’re headed for a gastronomic experience. Food and wine together in the Bairrada area. A short drive from Porto will take you to Aveiro, where you can enjoy the canals and one of the most appreciated delicacies from our country: ‘ovos moles’. It’s a mix of egg yolks and sugar. Smooth and sweet. Heavenly.

Yes, it’s highly caloric but we’re walking around the city so you can give away into temptation this time.

Bairrada is known for its deep colored tannic red wines that often have bell pepper and black currant flavors, as well as its emerging rosé production. As we told you before, this is a gastronomic experience so we’re headed to a local wine producing estate. ‘Leitão assado’ (roasted suckling pig) is the main dish, accompanied by the local ‘espumante’ (sparkling wine).

You’re in for a truly sensory experience!

Dão – Viseu

Pack your bags and get ready to drive along the most beautiful roads in Portugal.

Off to Viseu, a city that dates back to the Iron Age. One of the most famous historical events took place in Viseu: Viriatus lead an army to fight the Roman army but was betrayed by his allies. Theodor Mommsen compared him to Homeric heroes: ‘It seemed as if, in that thoroughly prosaic age, one of the Homeric heroes had reappeared’.

Dão, DOC wine region, Surrounded by mountain chains, the Dão region is protected from cold winds, summer rain clouds from the Atlantic, and even continental storms. The vineyards lie high in the hills, at 400 to 500m, even sometimes as high as 800m, on decomposed schist or granite.

After wandering through Viseu and Dão region, we’ll take you to a local wine producing estate for a delicious meal and well-deserved wine tasting.

This will get you ready for the last part of the day: arriving at the Douro Valley

Douro Valley

Here we are, the Douro Valley. World Heritage Site. The landscape is characterized by old, narrow, stone-walled terraces. This is the traditional vineyard scenery. Take as long as you like to appreciate the view. It’s one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth.

Long famous as the source of Port wine, the Douro region is now also renowned for its fine, rich unfortified wines of the highest quality. The Douro Valley is probably the last of the world’s major wine regions still to be pressing significant quantities of its grapes by foot – in shallow, open wine-fermenters, called “lagares”.

Today we enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, along winding roads and admire the beautiful ‘azulejos’ (tiles) depicting the wine harvest process at Pinhão’s train station.

The experience would not be complete without a visit to a local ‘quinta’ (wine producing estate), to learn more about the wine-producing methods and enjoy a wine tasting. Get your glass, walk to the nearest window or terrace, breathe in and taste the wine.

All the flavors, smells and breathtaking landscapes that you experienced along this journey will all be present in this last glass of wine.

Come explore the best wine tours with us and experience one of the most unique traditions in the world!

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