There are many vineyards in Douro and we know one can feel a bit uncertain, right? That’s why we’ve decided to make your life a bit easier and selected 5 Douro vineyards worth visiting this year. Keep scrolling to find out our top 5 favorite Douro vineyards.
Douro’s Wine Tradition
Just an hour and a half away from Porto, you can find the Douro region, known as the “Enchanted Valley”. Besides being “enchanted”, did you know that the Douro region in Portugal is:
- Unesco World Heritage site?
- The oldest demarcated wine region in the world?
That’s right! The region has been famed for port for over 300 years! But its table wines hold a lot of promise and are generating some international buzz as well. If you’d like to know how did it all start, continue reading.
Douro vineyards: how did it all start?
Douro’s viticulture and wine exports owe its growth mainly to the Port wine brand, which appeared only during the second half of the seventeenth century. However, remains of ancient stone tanks and casks have been found, possibly tracing wine production in the region back to the third or fourth century.
Port wine’s success is the major contributor to the Douro’s landscape modification that we know today, the terraced vineyards spread across steep hillsides. It all started when the British sought an alternative to French wines due to a time of rivalry between the two nations. They started to look at Iberian wines and that is when merchants headed inland along the Douro river searching for high-quality wines. They soon found the robust and full-bodied wines of the upper Douro river and immediately started planning their transportation back to England. The solution was obvious: they took advantage of the river to ship the wine down to Porto. Once there, the wines were transferred onto bigger ships and were finally sent to England. And this is how the wine became known as Port wine, the wine from Porto.
When is the best time to visit a vineyard in Douro?
To be honest with you: there’s no bad time to visit a winery, but it really depends on your own preference.
Autumn, for instance, gives you an opportunity to see the vineyard at full tilt. For those that like to be hands-on, this is the best time to visit a vineyard. There is no fixed date for the Douro harvest season to start, but it usually happens in the second half of September. There are many activities available only during this season and there are many experiences available all year round as well.
Nearly all Douro vineyards provide guided tours and tastings. Not only will you receive a tasting of different wines, but you will also get the chance to explore the production facilities of the vineyards you are visiting.
Douro vineyards worth visiting
QUINTA DO PÔPA
Quinta do Pôpa is a winery that breathes history, wine, and tradition. It has been passed down from generation to generation since Francisco Ferreira, known as Pôpa, built his own farm in the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. It was later expanded by his son, who added more plots of land, and “founded” the winery, with the name Pôpa to pay tribute to his father. Today, this winery is run by the third generation, Francisco Ferreira’s grandsons. They offer some of the best experiences in the region such as a picnic in the vineyards, wine lunch, wine brunch, wine pairing with cheese and other regional products, wine blending experiences, and more.
- Address: N222, 5120-011
- Site: quintadopopa.com
QUINTA DO SEIXO
Quinta do Seixo is located between the city of Peso da Régua and the village of Pinhão and offers a breathtaking view over the valley. With a vineyard area that occupies about 100 ha, where you can find dozens of different grape varieties, Quinta do Seixo is one of our favorite Douro vineyards to enjoy a picnic, with the Douro River right at our feet. Quinta do Seixo established itself as Sandeman’s calling card in the Douro Region, with an image of the Sandeman Don, the mysterious figure with a Portuguese student’s cape and a Jerez sombrero. Highly recommended!
- Address: Valença do Douro 5120 – 495 Tabuaço
- Site: sandeman.com/port-wine/visit/quinta-do-seixo-douro
QUINTA DE LA ROSA
A small family-owned vineyard and hotel, just 1 km away from the pretty town of Pinhão. Quinta de la Rosa produces high-quality ports, wines, and olive oil. Besides guided tours and tastings, guests can stay overnight. A great opportunity to mingle with the locals, soak up the atmosphere of the vineyard, and enjoy the amazing views of the Douro river. Quinta de la Rosa is always a good idea!
- Address: Quinta de la Rosa, 5085-215 Covas do Douro
- Site: quintadelarosa.com
QUINTA DO CRASTO
Located on the right bank of the river, midway between Régua and Pinhão, in the heart of the Douro Valley, Quinta do Crasto has a way of stealing people’s hearts. It has been in the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for over a century – with the earliest records mentioning Quinta do Crasto and its wine production dating back to 1615.
Quinta do Crasto today has a full range of products, from white and red Douro wines to premium Port wines and Extra Virgin Olive oils. Groups wishing to visit should book in advance and wait for confirmation.
- Address: Quinta do Crasto, Gouvinhas 5060-063 Sabrosa
- Site: quintadocrasto.pt
QUINTA DO VALLADO
If you want authenticity, Quinta do Vallado will not disappoint. Built in 1716, it is one of the oldest and more famous vineyards in the Douro Valley. It belonged to the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira and remains to this day in the hands of her descendants. Quinta do Vallado is famous for its premium Douro and Port Wines, recognized as some of the best in the world. Their team has been investing in propelling Wine Tourism in the Douro Valley and now hosts a beautiful Wine Hotel overlooking its vineyards. A must-go!
- Address: Vilarinho dos Freires, 5050-364 Peso da Régua
- Site: quintadovallado.com
Any trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Douro Valley. We hope these suggestions can help you trim down the options and contribute to a successful trip planning to the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
Wait, Porto is not only about Port wine!
Food is also a very important part of the city’s heritage and history. Discover Porto’s food, wine, and beer tradition, and its people through a Food & Drink tour with us. Why? Because a Food Tour is a vehicle for a city’s culture. What locals eat, when, where and how much is a window into their every day and therefore, into the country’s way of life. Our hosts are all passionate locals who will easily make you fall in love with our city of Porto. Book your place today!
Taste Porto Foodie Team