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.

Where agriculture and art meet

I’ve always been a wine lover and passionate about art.

My first job was selling wine in London. Later, I moved to Paris and opened an art gallery. As a writer, I have always written about cultural and socially engaged subjects. Through these experiences, I became fascinated by the place wine occupies in art and realized I really enjoy talking to people who make wine. I discovered that a talented wine maker is like a great artist: they create in the exciting space between agriculture and artistic invention.

During these years, I often travelled to most of Europe’s notable wine regions. Yet on my first visit to Portugal’s Douro Valley, I was knocked completely sideways by the grandeur of the landscape. I soon found this spectacular place has a different rhythm from other wine regions: it’s peaceful but with the energetic undercurrent of strong local communities and gifted producers making superb wines. The traditional way of life is balanced with bold innovation, resulting in truly great wine making.

I returned often to the Douro. My best trips were those where I met the people who make a place special. I got to know the locals. Later, I became one of them by moving to Porto.

Grape Discoveries was born from my desire to share Douro wines full and unique context with people like you, to show you where its physical and cultural terroir intertwine to produce extraordinary wine.

I’ve curated a textured experience for you to intimately explore the cultural phenomena that makes Douro wine special. We get close to and connect with the land, the people, their heritage and their creativity to discover together, how they create amazingly exceptional wine.

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

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

James Mayor

Founder of 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.