Why us

Off-the-beaten-path in the Douro Valley

Grape Discoveries is less a tour and more a private guided adventure, an off-the-beaten-path to lesser known, barely discovered places in Portugal’s breathtakingly beautiful Douro Valley wine country.

Just you and your chosen small group will explore the personal rooms of a family’s manor home, eat homemade “petiscos” (small plates) around an eighteenth-century kitchen table, walk secret paths through fragrant orchards, taste rising-star  wines on a sunny estate terrace, and meet the real people who devote themselves to making great Douro wines every day.

The magic of Grape Discoveries is James Mayor’s unique way of blending his passion for winemaking and wine tasting with intimate nature explorations and delightful cultural experiences in the Douro’s lesser-known places. We help you discover what makes Portugal’s Douro Valley wines so fantastic; it’s not only the terroir, but the unequalled combination of its people, heritage, land, and culture.

“And man made the wine, the wine made the men, and the men made the Douro.” António Barreto

 

The Douro Valley is often called the most wild and romantic wine landscape of Europe’s more remote wine regions. For decades it was inaccessible. Dramatic steep terraces embrace rugged stony soil, forcing the vines to work hard at survival and produce grapes with flavors that most of the world never tasted. This is not unlike the story of Portugal and its people.

Grape Discoveries gives you intimate and exclusive access to some of the Douro Valley’s legendary private vineyards, and less-discovered, pioneering wineries. Most places we go are reservation-only (no/low-tourist) thanks to our personal relationships.

Our off-the-beaten-path, in-depth wine tours are curated and designed by founder James Mayor to be intense yet relaxed, fascinating and fun, with jaw-dropping beauty and warm human connections. You’ll taste rising-star wines, walk secret paths, take-in spectacular remote views, and engage with locals whose families have devoted their lives to making Douro Valley wine for generations.

With tour size limited to only your small group, Grape Discoveries lets you explore and discover the Douro as you choose, at your pace, for one-of-a-kind memories.

Appreciation

Our customers comment

Amanda and Tim (United Kingdom)
"It’s almost impossible to describe the beauty of the Douro! It's like Tuscany without the tourists. We'll treasure our many wonderful memories."
Bert and Monica (USA)
"We went on some of the best walks we have ever done. An amazing holiday. We totally recommend Grape Discoveries."
Martha and Dirk (USA)
"The Douro is definitely one of Europe's best kept secrets. We loved the small traditional villages out of another century. James was the best guide you could hope for."
Silvia and Rodrigo (Portugal)
"Excellent wine and amazing views! We're telling all our friends about Grape Discoveries..."
Vicky and Archie (Canada)
"James was an outstanding host, showing us the hidden heart of the Douro and its rich culture. The wines and food were extraordinary. We can't wait for our next trip with Grape Discoveries!"
Michelle and Adrien (France)
"We did not know the Douro has so many great treasures. This was a wonderful trip with everything looked after. Merci Grape Discoveries!"