My passion for the Douro and Porto: curating a textured experience I am the founder of Grape Discoveries and a writer focusing on the Portuguese wine industry. I am currently doing a series of interviews of leading Douro vineyard owners and winemakers (see the In the News section of this website). I am also a Founding Member of the Porto Protocol, a dynamic initiative to mitigate the effects of climate change through the dissemination of wine industry best practices. Before “falling in love” with Portugal, I lived in England and France, where in my early 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.
Douro Valley Today I live in the magical city of Porto and spend as much time as I can in the Douro Valley, making friends and leading a limited number of 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 its 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 favourite 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.
Porto In 2020, I launched the Porto Taste Discoveries tour, a small-group culture, food and wine experience in Porto, a city today in the centre of the international wine and food map. Our city tour is more like a conversational walk with friends than a conventional tour, rhythmed by pauses in beautiful places and delicious tastings. It provides an opportunity for immersion in the sensory Portuguese culture, a wealth of marvellous aromas, flavours, sounds and sights. I look forward to sharing these experiences with you, so you can create your own unforgettable memories!
James Mayor, Founder, Grape Discoveries
“James Mayor has to be the best Guide we have ever travelled with and the places we visited were second to none.” Trip Advisor, October 2019