What could possibly make the experience of sipping a refreshing glass of wine any better, you ask? Well, how about drinking it alongside the luxurious curves of the River Douro, with the gentle warmth of the air settled on your skin?
The Douro takes those that travel its waters winding through beautifully scenic routes, past vibrant green hills and small villages scattered with historical architecture. The sights you’ll see feel lost in time, with a poetic character that will inspire your thoughts to swim dreamily.
The extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage site of Upper Douro in particular is famous for its Portuguese wine, and entices many a vinophile to quench their thirst.
September is the time of year when the grape harvest begins in the Douro Valley, which makes Autumn a season that is perfect for experiencing the striking glow of orange and yellow vineyards that embellish the horizons.
The Douro River Valley
Some of the larger vineyards allow visitors to get involved with the process of harvesting the various regions’ world famous wines before enjoying a well-earned glass of the final product. The opportunity to do this is available all year round and also includes other activities such as browsing wine cellars.
Perhaps best known for its Port, the Douro valleys also produces non-fortified table wines. Much of the Vintage Port comes from around Cima Corgo, which is near to the town of Pinhao. Of the Douro’s three sub-regions, this is the largest, and where the majority of the wine is made through a plethora of grape varieties.
If your tastes are more suited to table wines you will want to head to Baico Corgo, otherwise known as Lower Corgo, which is to the west. While similar grapes are often used here to those that make the Port, many other types of grape from around the world are now planted here to produce famous wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. There’s also the legendary red wine, Barca Velha of course, which is perhaps Portugal’s most renowned table wine.
Whether you consider yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur or not, you are likely to leave Douro as one. You will find that you’ve never quite tasted Port the way you have here, with non-oxidised, Ruby Reserva, LBV, Tawny and Vintage Ports all on offer. Your senses are sure to be enhanced while trying these too, as the authentic environment of these drinks surrounds you, making the experience all the more exotic and unforgettable.