The Douro Valley is one of Portugal’s most beautiful wine areas and home to its famous port, an increasingly popular table wine. The Douro’s richness is not just limited to its wine. Its heritage stretches back thousands of years and was infl uenced by Romans, Suevi and the Visigoths, to name but a few. Their footprints can be seen in the stunning architecture as well as beautiful monuments that are scattered across its unique landscape. Join us to discover the spectacular UNESCO-listed Douro Valley Wine Region, a traditional place born into the culture of wine production. Visit the most famous wine estates, taste delicious port wines and enjoy the local specialities – all in great company.
The traditions of Douro are clear to see with numerous UNESCO sites, museums and its medieval centre, where gold-leaf-laced churches abound. There is a contemporary buzz of chic boutiques, café culture and gourmet restaurants here, too. This interesting dichotomy makes the Douro a flexible destination perfect for every lover of wine.
The Douro comes with a cuisine to rival its wines, including a wide variety of hearty meat dishes on off er. Specialties include roasted baby goat with rice and potatoes, wild boar stew and partridge. Being located on the Douro River, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that fish is also a great alternative – especially the codfish.
Douro’s unfortified wines are receiving as much interest as its fortified. Douro’s reds deserve to be celebrated for their full body and ageing capacity. The liqueurs produced in the region, which are the result of the mixture of spirits and fruits (such as the arbutus, blackberries or cherries) are delicious served as digestifs.
This morning we fly from London to Porto, arriving in the early afternoon. We transfer up to the Douro Valley and check in to our hotel, Quinta de la Rosa, which has been in the Bergqvist family for over 100 years and produces a good range of ports as well as wines – oh, and they even produce their own olive oil! We will visit the vineyards here before enjoying a group dinner and tasting.
Leaving after breakfast this morning, we will travel to Provesende before walking to Celeiros, ready for our first visit to a Quinta. Here, we will enjoy a tour and tasting before a scenic picnic lunch in Paradelinha. This afternoon, we continue our walk through the vineyards before a second tasting at a port estate run by a husband and wife wine-making team. We come together this evening for dinner.
After fuelling up at breakfast, our third day is spent walking through Pessegueiro in the Viseau district. Our first Quinta visit will deliver some intense and complex red wines for us to taste. We once again enjoy a picnic for lunch before travelling away from the river and into the hills for our afternoon tasting at a small but excellent estate, which still uses its old vines. Here, their ports drink well at a young age, but also age superbly and they also host a range of delicious reds as well. Returning to Passadouro this evening, we will have another included group dinner.
We begin our day with a lodge visit to one of the most famous names of port for a tasting of some of their finest vintages. Hopping on a train from Pinhão, we travel next to Pocinho where we lunch at a Quinta that produces both wines and ports, made on specially selected land, considered relatively flat to allow mechanisation. We have a tasting here and a visit to the museum, and then we return to Pinhão for a farwell dinner at our hotel.
Travelling to the point where the Douro and the Tedo rivers meet, our first tasting is at an 18th century estate where traditions from Burgundy and California come together to create new distinctive Douro wines. After a tasting here, we walk to a neighbouring Quinta where they produce a whole host of delicious drinks, from vintage ports to LBVs, old Tawnies to ancient Colheitas, and modern table wines. Impressively, their whites are also generally considered to be the best white wines from the Douro. After lunch here, we travel to Warre’s for another tasting before a walk to the port town of Pinhão. We return to our hotel this evening to freshen up and then an included group dinner awaits.
Today we make our way back to Porto, where we board our return flight to London.
Having worked in the Dutch wine trade for eight years before moving to the Douro in 2001, Ronald managed Quinta do Passadouro for a number of years before moving to the traditional old wine village of Provesende. An acute observer of the Douro and Port trade, he is both well-known and widely respected in the Douro, as well as a friend to many local winemakers. He has been guiding Arblaster & Clarke tours for over 10 years now.