Douro Valley and Porto. A possible itinerary

Post your experiences of travel, especially for the Douro region. Make recommendations for places to stay and visit or ask advice from those that have already been there.
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Cruz Ruby
Posts: 4
Joined: 14:49 Sun 29 Jul 2018
Location: Naples, Italy

Douro Valley and Porto. A possible itinerary

Post by Pelitcka » 09:00 Tue 28 Aug 2018

Hi everybody,
I returned a few days from a tour in Portugal and, hoping to do something useful for users of the forum, I would like to describe my itinerary during the period in the Douro valley and in Porto.
I'm really excited about my planning, I think I managed to make the most of the few days I had. Maybe my planning can serve as a canvas for those who have few days to spend in those areas.

First day
I rented a car in Porto in the morning at 9 and in an hour and a half I reached the first destination: Quinta do Panascal (Fonseca)
I recommend the visit because in addition to allowing you to move freely between the patamares, you will walk accompanied by an audio guide that explains in a precise and concise the key points of the production of the port. Perfect to start with if you are in the company of people who know almost nothing about Port wine. It is also a wonderful landscape on the affluent Tavora, with many socalcos of many years.

After Fonseca we reached Quinta do Bonfim (Symington Estates, in particular Dow's). Excellent guided tour, which gives the opportunity to see a modern organization of a Quinta. Crossing the vineyards we had a picnic on a terrace with a beautiful view of the Douro, exactly on the loop that kisses Pinhao. In Italian we have exclaimed "La bellezza del Creato" (the beauty of creation), we normally refer to God but here a lot has been done by man.
We stayed in a farmhouse in Folgosa, simple and cheap, but there are many possibilities depending on how much comfort you want.

Second day.
Visit to Quinta do Noval. Beautiful welcome, it is a truly evocative place that has a monumental and seraphic aspect. Very exhaustive the guide who really explained everything to us and with a wealth of details. It will be stupid but I was thrilled to try a few grapes directly from the Nacional plot. :D

After the visit we crossed the Pinhao bridge looking for a wonderful Miradouro. I think the best view ever is the one exactly above Quinta da Vargellas. The panorama is particularly harmonious and is in front of Quinta dos Canais.

On the way back we stopped at Quinta do Napoles (Niepoort). Really nice to visit with tastings directly from the Douro wine barrel. As well as being evocative, the visit allowed us to see a winery at work. Beautiful people.

We came back in the evening in Porto.

Third day

We visited 3 wineries: Sandeman, Cockburn's and Graham's.
Of Sandeman I really appreciated the exhibition area, with real relics, old bottles and the marketing story that arrives in Porto.
Cockburn's hit my heart with its immense rooms and the workshop where the barrels are repaired.
Graham's is a concentrate of English elegance but I think you're almost all better prepared than me about this.

I spent really beautiful days, collecting something different from each stage.
Last but not least, I tasted so many wines but listing them would make the post just more boring than it already is. I only tell you that even the most experienced connoisseurs of Port wine will find an interesting tasting 88)

Have a nice day and forgive me if I was verbose

P.S. if someone is interested in seeing some photos, can search on google "instagram Pelitcka", it's a public profile

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Alex Bridgeman
Fonseca 1963
Posts: 12829
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: Douro Valley and Porto. A possible itinerary

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 13:41 Tue 28 Aug 2018

Hi Pelitcka,

Thank you so much for writing up your visit. It was really interesting to read and to think of times when I have visited some of the places you write about. I am excited as this year I will have my first visit to Napoles and I really look forward to seeing it at work.

And if you think the list of wines you tasted would be interesting — please do post the list! I love reading about the wines other people taste.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

Cruz Ruby
Posts: 4
Joined: 14:49 Sun 29 Jul 2018
Location: Naples, Italy

Re: Douro Valley and Porto. A possible itinerary

Post by Pelitcka » 14:47 Tue 28 Aug 2018

I think that Quinta do Napoles is an important step in understanding how a place of centuries-old traditions can marry wonderfully with the desire to experiment, where young skilled workers work by drawing on the best of European wine making cultures. The landscape and the winery are really beautiful, like a small Zen garden in the heart of the very old Europe

I tasted directly from the barrel the Redoma Tinto '17, the Bioma Tinto '17 and the Charme '17, obviously they are not yet ready but the tastings let the peculiarities of each one shine through.

I also tasted the White Port 10 years old for the first time in my life and find it really interesting: orange peel, cigar cedar spill and turmeric. A rich and round nose that is supported at times by more vertical notes such as pink grapefruit and medlar. In the mouth the most spicy part prevails enriching with a pleasant nutmeg. Balanced, fresh and pleasantly juicy. Good persistence.

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