- Tour Description
- Outline Itinerary
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A luxurious, exclusive and intimate tour (maximum 12 people), exploring the contrasting wines of Portugal’s most famous wine river and a stunning green landscape.
Our trip will start in Oporto – an UNESCO World Heritage site and a must visit. Although it has less than 200.000 inhabitants it is one of Portugal’s biggest cities.
The city centre is a gem, very old; winding streets climb the hills with many architectural sights as well as a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafés. Our hotel is centrally located within a short distance of the old harbour.
For the duration of the tour you will be accompanied by Sarah Ahmed a.k.a. The Wine Detective. Sarah is a leading (if not the leading) UK authority on Portuguese wines.
Her in-depth knowledge of Portugal’s winemaking territory, producers and of all the wines you will taste will make your trip an enriching, insightful and unforgettable experience.
On Tuesday morning our bus will pick us up at the hotel and we shall start our journey in the Port Lodges that line Vila Nova de Gaia’s riverbank before heading up river to the Douro Valley.
The Douro Valley, the world’s biggest mountain vineyard, is a miracle of nature and mankind. With gravity-defying terraced vineyards, this truly unique terroir has been the home of Port wine for hundreds of years and, on September 10th, 1756, achieved the distinction of becoming the world’s first demarcated and regulated wine region.
More recently, this dramatic, captivating landscape, attained UNESCO World Heritage Status.
These days the Douro Valley is also famous for world class red and white wines. Since the 1990s a dynamic new generation of producers has been exploiting the full potential of its multi-faceted terroir to exciting effect.
During our journey we’ll visit the three Douro sub-regions. Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. We’ll taste a great variety of terroir-driven wines, not only Ports, but also exciting whites and complex reds.
We’ll travel by train and in a charming boat along this unique river, visiting benchmark producers both classic and cutting edge.
We’ll experience the local gastronomy in its many forms and meet key players (producers/winemakers/chefs). In short, you’ll enjoy a diverse and authentic experience of this exciting, world class wine region.
This experience of Portugal’s mountainous interior will be enriched with a visit to a region closer to the Atlantic – the Vinho Verde region, so-called because of the strikingly lush, green landscape which informs its fresh, young wines. You shall discover first hand why Vinho Verde has become one of Portugal’s trendiest regions as we focus on boutique producers who specialise in single varietal, sub-regional wines made from the region’s leading grapes, Avesso, Loureiro and Alvarinho.
After this incursion into the Vinho Verde region we’ll return to Porto for a memorable farewell dinner at the Michelin starred restaurant Pedro Lemos.
Our Big Little Wine Country has so much to offer to wine lovers. Sarah, the producers and winemakers are looking forward to sharing with you exclusive insights into two of Northern Portugal’s top regions’ native grapes, diverse terroir and dynamic wine culture.
What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and join us on this intimate exclusive tour!
Day 1. Monday 22nd June
Arrival at Porto and hotel check-in. Free time to explore the city. We shall send you in advance our exclusive Blend-All About Wine guide with our team’s top tips on restaurants, major monuments and other points of interest.
Day 2. Tuesday 23rd June
After breakfast we’ll cross the river to the Port Lodges, which are located on Vila Nova de Gaia’s riverside. Here we shall explore different styles of Port wine from leading Port houses.
First we shall focus on bottle-aged Ports (Vintage, LBV, etc.), comparing and contrasting the different house styles of famous brands Sandeman, Ferreira and Offley at Ferreira Port Lodge (Sogrape Vinhos).
Our next stop will be at Calem Port Lodge where we’ll taste wood- aged Port wines from Sogevinus, which lays claim to the largest Colheita Port wine stocks. We shall taste age-dated Tawny and Colheita Ports from Barros, Burmester and Kopke.
After lunch we head for the Douro Valley. We shall spend the afternoon at Quinta de Nápoles in the Cima Corgo sub-region. Its belongs to the famous Port house and Douro wine pioneer, Niepoort. Here we shall taste among the region’s most famous wines from one of the country’s most charismatic winemakers, Dirk Niepoort, including Coche, Batuta, Charme, Turris, Bioma Vintage Port 2009 and Port Garrafeira 1977.
We shall end our day with a dinner in the capital of the Douro, Peso da Régua in the Baixo Corgo.
Day 3. Wednesday 24th June
Our first port of call will be Vale do Pinhão in the Cima Corgo where we’ll visit Wine & Soul, the joint project of a dynamic husband and wife team, winemakers Jorge Serôdio Borges and Sandra Tavares da Silva. We’ll taste excellent wines including acclaimed reds Pintas and Quinta da Manoella Vinhas Velhas from two neighbouring sites which produce very different wines. We’ll also taste Guru, one of the country’s top white wines and Pintas 10 Year Old Tawny Port.
We will have lunch at Quinta do Crasto whose wines are as stunning as the quinta’s bird’s eye view over the river. We will taste iconic wines, such as Quinta do Crasto Reserva Vinhas Velhas and Quinta do Crasto Vinha Maria Teresa. Before dinner you will enjoy an unforgettable boat ride on the river, in a charming boat.
Our day will conclude with a dinner at renowned restaurant, DOC, which is owned by one of Portugal’s leading chefs, Rui Paula. This spectacularly located restaurant in the heart of the Douro is constructed on a pontoon on the Douro river.
Day 4. Thursday 25th June
After breakfast the focus will be the Douro Superior sub-region. In order fully to enjoy the route’s wild beauty we shall travel by train, from Régua to Pocinho.
Our first visit will be to the historical Quinta do Vale Meão. Acquired in 1877 by Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, Portugal’s richest woman, this Quinta was also the birthplace of the iconic Douro red wine Barca Velha. It is still owned by her descendants, the Olazabal family. Here we will have lunch with the family in an authentic and intimate setting and taste world-class wines, including Quinta do Vale Meão red wine. The 2011 vintage made the cut for Wine Spectator’s Top Five wines of the year in 2014.
After lunch we’ll depart to Meda where we’ll taste Muxagat wines. Muxagat Vinhos is Mateus Nicolau de Almeida’s project. This Douro young gun is one of a new breed of winemakers – a vigneron who lives in the Douro and works in the vineyard as well as making terroir-focused, minimal intervention wines. We will taste a unique red, Muxagat Tinta Barroca as well as Muxagat Os Xistos Altos white. You will also have the opportunity to taste Quinta do Monte Xisto, a new red which Mateus makes together with his brother and father, acclaimed winemaker João Nicolau de Almeida of Ramos Pinto.
Return to Baixo-Corgo by private mini-bus; dinner at the hotel.
Day 5. Friday 26th June
Today we leave the Douro and head west to the Vinho Verde/Minho wine regions. The first stop will be Quinta de Covela, in Vinho Verde’s Baião sub-region, an area of transition between the Douro and Minho regions. Our tasting will include wines made with this up-and-coming quinta’s signature Avesso grape variety.
After lunch, our destination will be Ponte de Lima in Vinho Verde’s Lima sub-region. We’ll visit Quinta do Ameal whose intense, mineral wines demonstrate why the Loureiro grape variety is Lima’s star player. This Quinta has one of this variety’s best terroirs and we shall have the chance to see how Loureiro ages with a mini-vertical of the estate’s principal wines – Ameal Clássico and Ameal Escolha.
Finally, we shall head north towards the Portugal-Spain border (Galicia) where we shall be staying overnight.
Free evening until dinner to explore the walled city of Valença do Minho.
Day 6. Saturday 27th June
Our Vinho Verde visit culminates with a focus on Portugal’s top white grape variety, Alvarinho whose heartland is the sub-region of Monção-Melgaço. We’ll start with a visit to Palácio da Brejoeira in Monção, a National Heritage site which is home to the region’s most classically styled Alvarinhos. We shall tour the 18th century neo-classical palace and the old winery as well as tasting a mini-vertical of its famous Alvarinho and Aguardente, a brandy made from Alvarinho.
Next, we’ll visit one of the sub-region’s leading modernists, Quinta do Soalheiro in Melgaço where we’ll taste different expressions of the Alvarinho grape variety such as Soalheiro, Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas and Soalheiro Reserva.
After lunch we’ll still visit Solar do Alvarinho where you will be free to sample wines and local gourmet products from different producers in Monção-Melgaço.
We shall then return to Porto for a special farewell dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant Pedro Lemos.
Day 7. Sunday 28th June
Free morning to explore the city. Departures.
*Minor alterations could occur on this itinerary.
The flights are not included on this tour. We are very happy to quote on the main scheduled airlines and to book these for you (the full price of the flight will be payable in advance along with an administration charge). Please note that, if we book your flight, the flight details cannot be changed and the flight cost and administration fee are non-refundable.
4* HOTEL CARRIS PORTO RIBEIRA – Porto
Located in the old quarter of Porto overlooking the river Douro, the Carris Porto Ribeira is very close to the Ribeira Square, the Palácio da Bolsa, the Centro de Congressos da Alfândega and the Port Lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank. It is just a 5-minute walk from the train and tube stations and a 20-minute drive to the airport.
5* HOTEL SCALA DOURO – Cidadelhe, Douro
A modern, luxury hotel with pool and sauna. With stunning views over the Douro River it is located near Peso da Régua city in Cidadelhe, 5 km from the picturesque village of Mesão Frio. Immersing you in the world of wine, the Douro Scala Hotel is located among vines. It also has a chapel dating back to the sixteenth century.
4* POUSADA SÃO TEOTÓNIO – Valença do Minho
Situated at the top of the historic fortified centre of Valença near the border with Spain (Galicia), the Pousada SãoTeotónio has magnificent views over its neighbor and the surrounding countryside.
Fact sheet – Oporto, Douro Valley & Vinho Verde:
Price: € 2.000 per person | Sole Occupancy: € 300 | Deposit: € 500 per person
– 6 Nights at 4* and 5* Hotels – 2 nights in Porto, 3 in Douro and 1 in Valença do Minho
– 6 buffet breakfasts;
– 5 lunches with local wines served at the discretion of the wine estates when at wine estates and half a bottle per person at included restaurant meals.
– 5 dinners (3 gourmet) with local wines (half a bottle per person at included restaurant meals);
– All visits and tastings; During the trip more than 70 wines will be tasted.
– Air conditioned bus;
– Tour Manager: A Portuguese guide with generic knowledge on the regions, monuments, local gastronomy, etc.
– Wine Guide: The leading British Portuguese wine authority, Sarah Ahmed.
– Start and end point: Porto
– Visits will be in English language
– Travel (flights or any other kind of transport) to the destination and back from your home location.
– Transfers from and to Porto Airport or Train/Bus Stations.
* You organise your travel to the destination yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets, transfers, etc, please contact us.
* Because it is not easy to transport wine on the plane, if you want to buy some of the wines tasted or any other, we will be happy to buy them and send them to your home. For this, a list of choice and notation will be made available where you can put your options to buy with respective quantities. Our buyers-partners will do it for you.
Bear in mind that there’s only 12 places available for this great Portuguese wine experience. So, the applied policy is first come, first served.
Booking is confirmed on receipt of the booking fee/deposit. Full payment should be received at the latest one month before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.
You book by contacting Blend | All About Wine:
- phone: +351 220 995 432 (10:00h – 13:00h; 14:00h – 18:00h)
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- 6 Nights at 4* and 5* Hotels
- 5 Lunches (4 in the Estates)
- 5 Dinners (3 Gourmet)
- All visits and tastings (During the trip more than 70 wines will be tasted)
- World-Class Wines
- Wine Guide: Sarah Ahmed (The leading British Portuguese wine authority)
- Price € 2.000