The premier experience – wine harvest in Douro
When visiting Porto, there are things you just cannot miss: like a glass of Port wine or our delicious food tours, which will give you an excellent head start for discovering the city. On our Vintage Tour you will even try some of the best small producers of Port wines.
But from where does the Port wine come? In one of our previous articles – Day trip to Douro valley – we gave you a hint of what to expect from the magnificent Douro valley, home to the grapes that produce Port wine, and how to make the most of a one day visit. Yet, one day will give you only a mouthwatering taste, leaving you for craving more. If you have more than just one day free to visit the Douro Valley, we highly recommend the months of September and October so that you can experience also the Douro wine harvest season like a local.
What is the Douro Demarcated Region, you may ask? The Douro is the world’s first wine-growing region to have a formal demarcation. Only true ‘port’ comes from the Douro Valley. Let us also share with you, that the Douro valley is considered to be one of the most beautiful vineyard areas in the world having been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Go for the Vindimas adventure
Vindimas literally translates to mean wine harvest, yet for the Portuguese it is much more than just harvesting grapes. It is an old, unique tradition, filled with hard work, singing, colors, textures and aromas that everyone should experience at least once. The grape harvest is one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking that still leaves us speechless with its uniqueness.
To start solving the harvest mystery, we went to see David from Touriga Vinhos de Portugal, one of the stops on our Vintage Food Tour. Our partners are not only experts in local gastronomy, but they sure know how to give fabulous recommendations. So we challenged David, a wine lover and sommelier with more than 20 years of experience, to name his 5 favorite wineries worth a visit during Vindimas.
“Favorite is quite complicated!” says David and makes his choices based on the best quality of wines produced. Each of these places will offer you a completely different type of visit and experience during the Vindimas. Some of these little wineries are not accustomed to handling visitors daily, but all of them will be happy to offer you a personalized experience, if contacted in advance.
Discover the origins of Port and other amazing Portuguese table wines. Here are the 5 wineries for the ultimate wine harvest experience.
Quinta Seara d’Ordens
A fascinating place in the heart of the Douro Demarcated Region that has kept its beauty and authenticity intact for more than 200 years and is currently a reference point in the production of high-quality Douro Wines and Port Wines. Meet the place that is the birthplace of their wines and go on to enjoy unique and authentic moments. You can choose from visits to the ageing cellars & wine tastings, walk in the vineyards, and even get spoiled with a jeep ride through their Estate. For more details, contact the Quinta team.
Quinta do Mourão
In the magnificent surrounding of the Douro, only a few minutes from Régua, you will find Quinta do Mourão. Located in the district of Lamego on the Baixo (Lower) Corgo, an area that is furthest to the west of the Douro Valley. At Quinta do Mourão you will be able to experience a unique and genuine wine adventure. Even their Port wine – Sao Leonardo – has an adventure behind its name. They offer a wide range of tastings that you can personalize with wines from 10 to 100 years old! All the visits must be arranged in advance, so be sure to contact them early.
Quinta dos Mattos – Valriz
The most traditional vineyard on our list is part of the Coimbra de Mattos family. A winery that was born during a family lunch and since then has been expanding its area in the Douro Demarcated Region. The Quinta dos Mattos vineyards are located on the steep hillside of Galafura, surrounded by remains of the ancient Roman roads that connected the area to the other parishes. Visits are upon request, just contact them in advance.
Ramos Pinto possesses a vast heritage. Their port wines are prepared in the vinification centre of Quinta do Bom Retiro. Surrounded by traditional vines, the Quinta do Bom Retiro lies in the heart of a sumptuous garden built many decades ago, with a swimming pool which is one of the oldest in the Douro and fruit and exotic trees brought from different corners of the world. Each year, the harvest is different: in the temperature, in the rain, in the time it takes, in the memories we keep of it. Contact them to arrange a visit to the quinta.
And last, but not least, David recommends a boutique winery that lies just outside of the Douro Demarcated Region. However, it is nevertheless worth a visit if only for its unique approach to wine making.
Quinta da Palmirinha
With only three hectares, Quinta da Palmirinha is located in Borba de Godim, near the entrance to the city of Lixa. It does not belong to the Douro Demarcated Region, however, it has an astounding view of the Marão and Alvão Mountains. What else is so special, and why did David put them in his Top 5? It is due to their Biodynamic Agriculture approach. Biodynamic agriculture is a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming, but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. So if you want to step out of Porto to try a completely new experience, visit them. They only accept visitors upon request, contact them here.
When booking a food tour with us for months of September and October, use the “HVindimas2018” code. You will receive an exclusive 10% discount.
Happy travels & harvest!
Taste Porto foodie team.