The Douro Valley makes some outstanding wines but it is also a spectacularly beautiful landscape. The river meanders through a landscape where wine growing has put its mark almost everywhere. Whichever way you look there are steep hills, incredibly steep hills, with narrow terraces. The terraces are sometimes no more than one row of vines wide.
At the top of almost every hill there is a winery. You just do not want to imagine the super-human effort it must take for the harvest workers to pick the grapes and then to carry them up to the winery.
These days the transport up to the winery is mostly mechanised, I hope. But once upon a time people carried heavy baskets – 70 kg – of grapes on their backs. And even today the harvest is done by hand. No harvest machine can negotiate these steep hills.
It is actually quite difficult to imagine just how spectacular the landscape in the Douro Valley really is. Until you come there. I think everyone who makes the effort to travel up the river is surprised by the landscape. And happy that they made the trip all the way up the valley and not just stayed in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia by the sea.
To show you a little bit of how beautiful the Douro Valley is I will share with you a video made by Fabien Lainé. An excellent video. But it is even more beautiful in real life.
Plus if you come here you will have the benefit of tasting the wines, walking in the vineyards and meeting with the winemakers.
Our next wine tour to the Douro Valley will be in October. There are still a few remaining places left. Book now!
Enjoy Fabien Lainé’s video. But wait, there’s more below.
One of the most iconic port wine houses is Quinta do Noval (belonging to the French company Axa). It is far up the river, high above a tributary to the Douro itself. It is perched on a hilltop, like most winery, with a winding road leading up the white quinta.
Quinta do Noval is on the program for our Douro Wine tour this autumn. Here is another of Fabien’s videos to give you a glimpse of what you will experience.
So, if you want to experience and enjoy all this yourself, then join us on this autumn’s wine tour to the Douro Valley.