One reason for all the talk about the Douro Valley is its new reputation for creating fresh styles of spirited, award-winning table wines. On this tour, you’ll get an insider-view (and taste) of the Douro’s innovative, new wines and Portugal’s movers and shakers who make them.
An appropriate start to the day is coffee in the idyllic village of Sabrosa, known as the birthplace of Magellan, the first man to circumnavigate the globe.
A breathtaking drive down the Vale de Pinhão takes you to Quinta do Bomfim, the flagship property of the Symington Family Estates. This influential Scottish-English-Portuguese family has been making port since the 1600’s, yet they are always evolving: bio vineyards, and new production methods and wine types. A winery visit and tasting is followed by a picnic lunch (supplied by the Quinta) on the terrace of Echo House among the vineyards’ wonderful views.
After a gentle post-lunch stroll, we’ll head to one of two wineries that are not part of the tourist-track. Their work schedule will determine where we’ll go:
Quinta de Napoles, home of Douro’s rebel vintner Dirk Niepoort, fifth generation Dutch owner of the playful Niepoort brand, and pioneer of table wine production. The impressive modern winery is another first, designed by Austrian architect Andreas Burghardt for energy efficiency and ergonomics, producing innovative wines of great quality.
Or Wine & Soul*, an emerging wine label from a young Portuguese couple determined to flip Douro wine production on its head. Consistent award winners, and an unconventional philosophy and approach, this intimate scale winery is a privileged visit.
Another gorgeous drive back and, time-dependent, we’ll stop at the dreamy Romanesque town of Amarante.