Grape Discoveries is the ultimate small-group wine tour of Portugal’s Douro Valley. Each tour is a private exploratory ramble through Portuguese vine-country and a sensory explosion for wine lovers. We take you to our favorite hidden corners of the region, to secluded wineries lesser known to the general public where you’ll view terraced landscapes of exceptional beauty.

Catching heady fragrances of fruit-laden vineyards, you will stroll, unhurried, through ageless villages; and drink new-craft wines nurtured by centuries-old traditions. You’ll discover how the land and people come together into a cultural ecosystem that makes Douro wine distinctive, and increasingly, award-winning.  Our goal is to give you a unique, personal experience in the Douro Valley, the world’s most talked-about wine region.

A passion for the Douro

Curating a textured experience

I am a writer. I write about the Portuguese wine industry, and about climate change and its effects on wine. I am also a Founding Member of the Porto Protocol, an exciting initiative to mitigate the effects of climate change through the dissemination of wine industry best practices.

Before literally falling in love with Portugal, I lived in England and France, where in my early twenties I discovered fine wine as an intern on a famous wine estate in the Medoc. In Paris I owned an art gallery and worked as a consultant for Hennessy and Ruinart, as well as for Hermes.

I have always loved talking to people who make wine. A talented winemaker is like a great artist, they create in an exciting space between agriculture and artistic invention.

Today I live in Porto and spend as much time as I can in the Douro Valley, meeting wine producers and making friends. Over the years I have gradually 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 that are often world class.

I have curated a textured experience for you to explore the Douro. We visit wineries, taste exceptional wine and see how vineyards are adapting to changing climate conditions.

Our day is a rich experiential deep-dive at a gentle pace you control. You will meet our local friends and be immersed in the real Douro that many people don’t see.

I look forward to sharing this wonderful place with you, so you can create your own unforgettable memories of the Douro Valley!

James Mayor

Founder, Grape Discoveries


A Bela Aurora

Perfectly located in Porto`s art gallery district, this is the ideal place to spend a couple of nights in Porto before or after your Grape Discoveries tour. We love the spacious rooms and the garden for chilling out after a day visiting the city.

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