My passion for the Douro and Porto: a curated experience

Hi, I’m James Mayor, the founder of Grape Discoveries and a wine writer focusing on the Portuguese wine industry and sustainability. I am currently making a series of interviews of leading Douro vineyard owners and winemakers (see the in the news and videos section of this website).
Before ‘falling in love’ with Portugal, I lived in England and France, where in my twenties I worked as an intern on a famous Medoc wine estate. In Paris, I owned an art gallery, later working as a consultant for the wine and spirits division of the luxury goods group LVMH. I am bilingual in English/French.

Douro Valley

Today I live in the magical city of Porto and spend as much time as I can in the Douro Valley, with friends and leading a limited number of Douro Valley wine tours. Many wonderful people in the region have been incredibly welcoming, and over the years I have been privileged to become an ‘insider’.
Grape Discoveries was born from my desire to share Douro wines unique context, to show you where physical and cultural terroir meet to produce innovative wines often world-class.

A talented winemaker is like a great artist, creating in a fertile space between agriculture and artistic invention. Winemakers are fascinating people to talk to!  
I have curated an immersive, textured experience for you to discover the Douro. We explore my favorite hidden corners of this beautiful wine region, visit wineries, talk to authentic people, taste exceptional wines and see how vineyards are adapting to changing climate conditions through sustainable farming.


In 2020, I created Porto Taste Discoveries, the first of a series of small-group Porto wine tours that also include gastronomy, culture and even running.
Porto is today at the center of the international wine and food map. Our city tours are more like a conversation with friends than a conventional tour, rhythmed by pauses in beautiful places and delicious tastings. They provide an opportunity for immersion in the sensory Portuguese culture, a wealth of marvelous aromas, flavors, sounds and sights.
I look forward to sharing these experiences with you, so you can create your own unforgettable memories!  
“James Mayor has to be the best Guide we have ever traveled with and the places we visited were second to none.”
Melanie, Tripadvisor, October 2019


Taste of Lisboa

Lisbon non-touristy, local food & cultural immersive experiences — food tours, cooking classes, home dinners, culinary vacations – held privately or in small groups and curated by Lisbon natives, who take you where locals go. You will explore and discover the city like a local and learn about Lisbon history, culture, architecture and neighborhoods’ local entertainment and restaurant offerings.

I Love Douro

I Love Douro is the Internet platform for information about the Douro and Porto. It hosts some of the best wine producers, hotels, restaurants and tours, as well as interesting articles and a great Instagram section…

The Porto Protocol

Grape Discoveries is a Founding Member of the Porto Protocol. We fully support this groundbreaking initiative which is providing a platform for wine industry participants to share climate change mitigation best practices. The Porto Protocol is backed by Taylor’s Port, and has been endorsed by world opinion leaders such as Barack Obama and Al Gore.

Tasting Escapes

Discover Unique Tastings Around The World New booking platform for local food, beer, wine & spirit tasting experiences. Their mission is to bring people, travelers, and local quality experts together in high-quality tasting activities and share their experiences with other users. More info on Tasting Escapes website.

The Wine Line

The Wine Line offers a great selection of wines from Portugal, for delivery in the UK and Scotland.

Inspirock Travel Planner

Inspirock enables users to quickly and easily explore a destination’s offerings and create personalized sightseeing itineraries by utilizing local expertise and cutting-edge artificial intelligence.