Why us

Grape Discoveries

Off the beaten track in the Douro Valley

We have crafted an insider network of contacts and relationships that enables us to take you deeper into the heart of the Douro, and share with you some of its hidden wine and cultural gems. Travelling at a gentle pace, we will take you off the beaten track to places hard to find to meet fascinating local people, many of whom speak good English.

We accompany private parties of 2 to 4 wine lovers in which all the participants know each other. You will taste some extraordinary wines and talk to the people who make them, admire the Douro’s fine Baroque architecture and walk in spectacular vineyards. While we are always attentive to your needs, we will also leave you space and time to be by yourselves. We equally give you the possibility to customize our intimate trips to suit your particular interests.

We are committed to responsible tourism which leaves a soft footprint in this wine country. We work with local producers, hotels and restaurants to support the local economy and community.

Our aim is to give you a memorable experience which will make you feel you have been to heaven!

 

Why the Douro

Here are the main reasons why the Douro is such an exciting blend of innovation and tradition.

Wine: Wine country for many centuries, the Douro was traditionally famed for its great Port wines. In recent years, the Douro has also begun producing some of the best non fortified wines currently being made in the world.  In 2014, 3 out of the top 5 in the influential Wine Spectator “Top 100 Lists” were Douro wines. Despite all the attention they are getting, these wines are still remarkably good value.

Food: Portuguese food has recently been creating an international buzz from London to New York. The Portuguese are fabulous cooks and the Douro has a tempting choice of restaurants to discover, ranging from simple family-run tascas serving hearty helpings of traditional fare, to new star chef establishments offering succulent reinterpretations of Portuguese classic dishes or petiscos, the local equivalent of tapas. There are also an increasing number of vegetarian and vegan options.

Landscape and architecture: The broad River Douro snakes across the region that bears its name, from its source in Spain to the city of Porto where it finally flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Along each bank noble wine estates (quintas) offer breathtaking views, while historic wine villages cluster round Baroque churches and fine manor houses. Until the 1960s, the wine was transported down the fast flowing river in flat-bottomed boats known as rabelos. Since 2001, the Alto Douro has been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Cultural Landscape.

Over the years, the wild and romantic Douro Valley has inspired many Portuguese artists, writers and film makers, from the Nobel Prize for Literature, José Saramago, to the great film director, Manoel de Oliveira.

Testimonials

Our customers comment

Wine and Walking

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."

Wine and Architecture

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."

Wine and Food

Silvia and Rodrigo
Portugal

"Excellent wine and amazing views! We're telling all our friends about Grape Discoveries ..."