Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

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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franch
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Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by franch » 05:55 Tue 13 Jan 2015

Hey guys. I am flying into Porto Saturday March 28, arriving at 2:35PM. I can either fly out the next day at 4:30PM or two days later (Monday) at 4:30PM.

I have a few questions for you guys. First, will anything be open on Sunday? Lodges appear to be during the day but what about Vinologia and restaurants?

Second...I'm a bit of a port newbie. I've had tawnies of various ages. I am a big fan of 40 year tawnies. I've also had a vintage from 200...6? It was fantastic as well. What should I be looking for? I'm looking to drink great port and expand my horizons. I would also like to bring some vintage stuff back that I can't find in the US if possible, but not required.

And would you recommend staying the second day?

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djewesbury
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by djewesbury » 17:01 Tue 13 Jan 2015

Yes, stay the second day. A trick question, I'm sure.

Go to the Graham's Lodge, it's the furthest away from the bridge from Ribeira and a good place to start. The tour is very good and you can tailor your tasting afterwards and purchase ports (including vintage ports) by the glass - it's one of the best places for this in fact. If you're going to be hungry, the Vinum restaurant at Graham's is an excellent place to satisfy that, and with food comes thirst. You know where I'm going. Vinum is really worth the visit on its own.

The other lodges are all repeating a similar format, most of them less well. They'll give you a cursory tour and then let you taste some fairly basic, standard ports. The one that really stands out is Oscar Quevedo's lodge (Google maps link), which is just behind the riverfront and which is not really a lodge, in that all their wines are bottled and stored at their winery in the Douro - it's really a very good bar, at which you can buy by the glass everything that Quevedo sell, including their vintage ports. Get a few sardines, a few glasses of different VPs and sit and enjoy the fado. (I hope you like fado.)

What others might be worth visiting.. There's a Kopke / Burmester / Calem shop which does tastings, worth a visit. Not sure of Vinologia's opening hours but I'm sure they're online. On the Ribeira side of the river, there are some really nice, very good value restaurants one street back from the waterfront, and a nice-looking restaurant (with a promising wine list) at the bottom of Rua da Reboleira (we missed it last time we were there, too late).

If you buy from the Graham's lodge shop (which apart from Graham has Warre, Dow, Vesuvio, and some others in the Symington stable, including Single Quintas) they'll most likely offer you good prices (or rather, as good as you'll get in Porto). Other places to shop include a couple of bottle shops just up from the Ribeira, including a swanky one on several floors that sells Niepoort wines and ports and one called the Cabaz do Infante Garrafeira (link to Google Maps there). You may find things you can't easily get Stateside there, but the prices may not be as good as you're expecting: Porto is not a great place to buy Port, generally. But a cheap Euro is in your favour, of course!

Others will have their tips - but also have a browse through the posts here in the Travel section, there are some excellent tips there. Be aware that the IVDP shop is sometimes the only place to get some very nice bottles - certainly they have the best price on the Dalva Golden White colheita from 1971!

Have fun!
Daniel
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Glenn E.
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by Glenn E. » 17:32 Tue 13 Jan 2015

Sandeman has probably the best basic touristy tour, but as that suggests it is both pretty basic and aimed at drop-in tourists. They also have a small museum to look through while you wait, which is nice. I like this tour as a starter to get you in the mood. Now that several other lodges, Graham's included, have remodeled and revamped their tours, the Sandeman tour no longer stands out as much as it used to. Many lodges now provide an excellent, basic, touristy tour.

Nearby is Ramos Pinto. In my opinion theirs is the best tour in Gaia because it includes their original headquarters which is now a museum. Not a small 1-room thing like what Sandeman has, but a full-size lodge/office building museum. Lots of wonderful artifacts there. Tours can be had in many languages, so you'll want to stop by and ask for your favorite ahead of time. The languages throughout the day are typically first-come first-served.
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by Andy Velebil » 06:29 Wed 14 Jan 2015

The relatively newly opened Cockburn tour is worth it. One of the better public tours I've had. Upgrade to the better tasting it's worth it.

That said is it still the off-season there at that point? If so some things may be closed on Sunday or close earlier than normal. So check before you go, most have websites where you can check hours.


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franch
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by franch » 16:57 Wed 14 Jan 2015

thanks for the recommendations. it is still off season in Porto, but it seems that the lodges close a half hour or hour earlier only.

for those of you mentioning grahams, they have several tastings available. are these what you meant by the vintage port by the glass offerings, or is there also a bar there to try vintage port by the glass as well? here are the tasting - some of these i am not familiar with and don't know how the pricing compares to other places:

in the main tasting room:
classic tasting 8EUR - six grapes, LBV, 10yr tawny
premium port tasting 12EUR - crusted, six grapes, quinta dos malvedos
premium tawny tasting 12EUR - the tawny, 10yr, 20yr

private tastings in the vintage room:
graham's 20EUR - six grapes, 30yr tawny, vp 2000
super premium tawny tasting 30EUR - 30y tawny, 40yr tawny, single harvest 1982
super premium VP tasting - 30EUR - 1983, 2000, 2011
luxury tasting 50EUR - single harvest 1952

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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by Glenn E. » 18:07 Wed 14 Jan 2015

I don't believe they serve by the glass. The tastings that you've posted are what I've seen in the past, and are what separates Graham's lodge from the others. Most other lodges would only offer the equivalent of the "Classic" tasting, or perhaps not even one that nice. Though the lesser tastings (a ruby reserve, a tawny reserve, and a white Port) are typically also free at the end of your tour.

The Super Premium Tawny Tasting is a reasonable deal at 30 Euros, at least compared to restaurant pricing. In the US any of those Ports would probably be $20 by the glass off of a restaurant menu, possibly as much as $25. The Premium Tawny Tasting is probably a better deal at 12 Euros, but is of course not as high-end. As much as I would have loved to have tried the 1952 Single Harvest Tawny the last time I was there, it was no longer available. I wouldn't have paid 50 Euros for one glass anyway, as that implies the bottle should be 500 Euros which it is not.

The Super Premium Vintage Port Tasting seems a little excessive at 30 Euros, but it's a nice selection of Graham's VPs if you're in the mood. As with the tawny Ports, the Premium Port Tasting for 12 Euros is probably a better deal if you want to try a range of ruby Ports.
Glenn Elliott

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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by Andy Velebil » 00:25 Thu 15 Jan 2015

franch wrote:private tastings in the vintage room:
graham's 20EUR - six grapes, 30yr tawny, vp 2000
super premium tawny tasting 30EUR - 30y tawny, 40yr tawny, single harvest 1982
super premium VP tasting - 30EUR - 1983, 2000, 2011
luxury tasting 50EUR - single harvest 1952
The Vintage Room is worth the slight uptick in price alone. A wonderful place to escape the rest of the visitors and enjoy the selections of Ports in beautiful and semi-private area. I'd stick with one (or both) of the 30 Euro tastings.

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djewesbury
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by djewesbury » 00:40 Thu 15 Jan 2015

Agree, the Vintage Room is excellent. And when the man serving you puts the bottle of '52 Single Harvest in front of you and tells you and your companion to help yourselves, it's even better.
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idj123
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by idj123 » 13:52 Thu 15 Jan 2015

Agree withy the previous advice-the super premiun tawny option seems best value and talking of similar, 'flight' tasting is the best approach in Vinolgia (particularly with regard to the aged tawnies/colheitas) as I know to my cost that simply buying by the glass can be expensive there ! Worth also visting the Noval 'shopfront' in VNG-they even have miniatures of over 40 yrs Tawny for about 6 euros as I recall.

I believe the Solar vinho do Porto has been closed as a result of the recession which is a pity as I have sat outside in its manicured garden on a few occasions frinking Port from an extensive list whilst admiring the beatiful vista its location afforded (yes, I am now becoming envious..!)

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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by Glenn E. » 17:24 Thu 15 Jan 2015

Andy Velebil wrote:
franch wrote:private tastings in the vintage room:
graham's 20EUR - six grapes, 30yr tawny, vp 2000
super premium tawny tasting 30EUR - 30y tawny, 40yr tawny, single harvest 1982
super premium VP tasting - 30EUR - 1983, 2000, 2011
luxury tasting 50EUR - single harvest 1952
The Vintage Room is worth the slight uptick in price alone. A wonderful place to escape the rest of the visitors and enjoy the selections of Ports in beautiful and semi-private area. I'd stick with one (or both) of the 30 Euro tastings.
Just to clarify what Andy said, the Vintage Room simply gets you access to the more expensive lineups by default. It's no more expensive than the main room, you just have access to more (and different) Port. If the bar is open (it generally isn't), that's where you want to sit because at least in my experience that's where you have the best chance that someone will hand you a bottle and say "here, try this!" :lol:
Glenn Elliott

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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by AHB » 23:43 Sat 17 Jan 2015

Last time I was in Vinum (which was in June) you could buy a glass of port from the wine bar there at a reasonable price. I forget what the selection was, but remember that I drank a glass of Vesuvio 2006.
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Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by djewesbury » 00:13 Sun 18 Jan 2015

AHB wrote:Last time I was in Vinum (which was in June) you could buy a glass of port from the wine bar there at a reasonable price. I forget what the selection was, but remember that I drank a glass of Vesuvio 2006.
You also had a Graham 91, which you were finishing when I arrived.
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by PiB » 16:14 Sat 02 Jul 2016

Hi, you can find many sugestions in this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016 ... tugal.html

if you want to buy a bottle of Port I recomend you "Porto in a Bottle" https://www.facebook.com/PortoInaBottle

In that store you can buy Port from small producers like "Fragulho 20 years" or "Quinta do Estanho Vintage 1996". :660033: :FF6666: :FFCC00:

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jdaw1
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Re: Newbie With 24 or 48 Hours in Porto

Post by jdaw1 » 17:34 Tue 05 Jul 2016

PiB wrote:if you want to buy a bottle of Port I recomend you "Porto in a Bottle" https://www.facebook.com/PortoInaBottle
Hello. We welcome Port sellers here — we like to know of their shops and deals.

But we ask that people make that interest clear. Is this your shop?

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