Porto visit scheduled for 12th October

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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Hopkino
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Porto visit scheduled for 12th October

Post by Hopkino » 13:29 Fri 27 Sep 2019

Finally I’m able to visit Porto - together with my wife and our 8 week old boy we will be staying for 2 weeks from the 12th.
I’m hoping to get some advice on how to spend at least some of our time whilst there. From what I have read, purchasing port is more expensive over there, and whilst I’ve always been really happy with my regular supplier, VWP in Fordingbridge, does anyone know of any local contacts that might be able to supply a more regular style of port for drinking?
I appreciate a few members may have contacts that they might not want to compromise, but I was hoping that someone may, at the very least, point me in the right direction.
I’m driving down to Porto from Santander, so I was hoping to come home with a reasonable supply of something half decent to drink when I don’t want to open a VP.

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Alex Bridgeman
Constantino 1927
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Re: Porto visit scheduled for 12th October

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 13:20 Tue 01 Oct 2019

Two weeks in Oporto gives you plenty of time to visit various spots, including all the lodges.

It's actually quite difficult to build contacts with the smaller producers, and takes quite a lot of time, but when you do the prices you are offered are reasonable, but not massively more attractive than you find in the UK unless you are looking at entry level Port where the UK levels of duty make a marked difference to the pricing structure.

Quinta do Tedo is open to the public and a really nice spot to visit, but call ahead in October as they may be operating reduced winter hours as the harvest will be over by the time you are in the area. Their entry level Ports will be cheaper than the UK but their (very nice) premium Ports will be about the same price. Also consider booking yourself in to visit Quinta do Bomfim for a guided tour and a mooch around their shop. Again, prices are not cheap but there are some interesting Ports and table wines on offer there. The Symingtons white wine from the Alentejo was in the shop when I visited last week and is very good QPR. Altano Branco is £8-10 per bottle in the UK but about €5 in Portugal. Oscar Quevedo is also a friend of this forum so would be worth a visit, and may have some Port and table wine which is of interest to you.

However, in general my experience is that while you might find some LBV and 10yo tawnies which are about the same price as they are in the UK, you'd have to look lower down the quality chain to really find lower prices. Vintage Ports are unlikely to be cheaper although there may be the occasional bargain where someone has not increased their prices for a few years. VWP are actually pretty good at negotiating bulk purchase discounts from the producers in Portugal and so able to pay shipping costs, duty and UK taxes and still offer their UK customers prices which are generally similar to the prices offered to retail customers in Portugal.

If you're considering buying something significant, say along the lines of 10 cases (120 bottles) from one producer it's worth asking if they are willing and able to offer you a discount. Some might be able to if they have plenty of stock, others may have low stock levels and so not be as able to offer a reduction in price. Don't be afraid to ask; don't be offended if refused.
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)

Hopkino
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Posts: 18
Joined: 15:51 Thu 21 Sep 2017

Re: Porto visit scheduled for 12th October

Post by Hopkino » 13:29 Tue 01 Oct 2019

Such a helpful reply. Thank you so much for more insight.


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