There is something unique about the Douro Valley that you will have the chance to discover on all Portugal wine tours: the vineyards of the Douro were the world’s first to be legally demarcated. That’s right, long before the AOCs of France, the DOs of Spain and the DOCs of Italy, the Portuguese delimited the Região Demarcada do Douro in 1756 (almost 200 years before its European neighbors).
The Douro Valley was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and it is considered one of the most beautiful wine regions on the planet, so it is easy to understand why Portuguese wine tours have been on the rise in the past few years. In truth, there are a few things that play a role in this: Portugal has been, slowly but surely, recovering from the hit it took during the European crisis, and it shows -wine tourism has boomed and prices are significantly cheaper than in the rest of the “main” wine countries in the continent. Portuguese wines alone -and the nation’s brightest star, Port- make a visit to this Iberian state worth one’s while: there are fantastic white, red and fortified wines all across the country, made mostly of indigenous grapes that cannot be found elsewhere. In Portugal, wine tours put the stress on food pairing, which entices foodies from all over the world to come and try local specialties, like the ubiquitous bacalhau and pesticos (Portuguese “tapas”) while learning about their best possible wine match.
To help you find the perfect match for what you’d like to see during your wine trip to this amazing country, Wine Paths has selected the best Portugal wine tours our select local travel experts have to offer. Take a look below for some inspiring ideas and proposals.
Some of the most interesting wine tours Portugal is famous for are linked to Port wine, its production and tasting, and the remarkable Douro river. In the northern region of Portugal, only a three-hour drive (or an even shorter flight) from Lisbon, lies the second-largest city in the country: Porto, namesake to the wine that has made it known the world over. Here, you can get onboard a Douro river cruise to see the city from a different perspective while sipping on a trendy white port and tonic, or you can cross the recognized Louis I bridge to get to Vila Nova de Gaia and visit some of the most celebrated Port houses on the planet. Unlock the secrets of their impressive cellars on a guided tour of the premises or, if you are there at the right time of the year, stomp on freshly-harvested grapes to obtain the must that will later become Port.
Other wine tours Portugal has to offer take place in the country’s capital, Lisbon. Wander around town to discover its art and culture, museums, historical monuments and Portuguese wine bars: uncork bottles of typical vinho verdes (“green wine”), try out the up and coming Port-based cocktails or enjoy a Port tasting. You can also venture out to a neighborhood just outside Lisbon, home to the famous pasteis de Belem (local egg tarts delicacy) and try to figure out which Port to pair them with.
There are many unique opportunities to step into the extraordinary world of Portuguese wines: from a train ride with striking views of the man-made terraced vineyards (ideal after a full day of tasting Ports, when driving is not advisable) or a relaxing sail down the winding Douro river -Port glass in hand, to an afternoon of fun stomping on grapes in a typical lagar (wine press), these are just some of the original wine tours Portugal has in store for you.
Thanks to our close partnerships with the leading local experts of each wine-making region in the country, Wine Paths features the finest collection of Portuguese wine tours. If you can’t find the perfect one for you among our suggestions below, one of our select local travel experts can help you create a fully-customized wine trip in line with your preferences and needs. Get ready for an unforgettable experience!
Let our selection inspire you and come enjoy Portugal, Wine Paths-style.