For centuries, the Douro wine region in Portugal was difficult to reach: it was isolated, and the challenging trip along the river, down winding roads was not for the faint of heart. Luckily for Portuguese wine lovers and Port aficionados, the journey is not so daunting anymore; on the contrary, nowadays, the Douro Valley can be easily reached by car, by yacht -with stops at different vineyards, by helicopter or river cruise. It is easy. It is beautiful. Why wait?
Here are 5 reasons why you should visit the Douro wine region during your next wine trip:
The Douro wine region was demarcated in 1756, which makes it the oldest delimited wine region in the world -it took France, Italy and Spain two more centuries to mark theirs for the first time. For almost two hundred years, the Douro wine region’s designation applied only to fortified wine, but in 1979 table wine was included in it.
The Douro wine region is the birthplace of this world-famous fortified wine so this is definitely the place to visit to learn about its grapes -which grown on the steep man-made terraced vineyards of the valley, its production and, of course, to take part in original and educational Port tastings at one (or more) quintas in the area.
In 2001, the Douro wine region was included on the UNESCO list in recognition of its 2000-year old viticulture tradition, which has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and economic evolution.
Known the world-over for their luxury wellness resorts, hotels and spas, Six Senses chose the heart of the Douro wine region to build their first European resort: the Six Senses Douro Valley opened its doors in July 2015, on a 19th-century manor house overlooking the surrounding vineyards of the Douro wine region and its namesake river. This luxury resort an hour and a half away from the city of Porto was named one of the Top 25 European resorts by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler US in the annual Readers’ Choice Awards in November 2016.
The Douro wine region was named one of the “Best Places to Travel to in 2016” by celebrated publisher Travel+Leisure. Hurry up and come discover it before the 2017 list comes out!
This UNESCO site has it all: delicious Port, breathtaking natural beauty and some serious pampering on offer. If you don’t believe all the awards hype, come see the Douro wine region for yourself. You won’t regret it.