Douro Valley Wine Tour

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The Douro Valley Wine Tour: an exclusive tour along a magnificent wine river

— A luxurious wine tour with spectacular views. The wine world has many well-known rivers. The Douro River in Portugal is the most magnificent of them all. The scenery is dramatically beautiful and the grapes grow on neck-breaking steep slopes. We enjoy two nights in the pleasant city of Porto and two nights inland, in the heart of the Douro wine region. During the tour, you will get to know both the classic port wines and the modern table wines of very high quality.

Tour Highlights

  • 4 nights
  • Private tastings, approx. 10
  • Luxurious hotel
  • Magnificent landscape
  • Price: [this is a sample programme]
  • Traditional and modern winemaking
  • Outstanding port wine tastings
  • Portuguese gastronomy
  • Porto and Pinhão

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Please Note: This Is A Sample Programme

This is a sample programme, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the programme, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.

Next Wine Tour To the Douro Valley in Portugal

  • This tour is currently not on our tour schedule. Contact us for information about future dates or to discuss a custom tour.

In the stunning landscape along the Douro River in northern Portugal, the vines grip the steep slopes with their fingernails, often with the help of narrow terraces. In summer it is very hot and dry, autumn is often lovely. The grapes will be transformed into the famous port wine but more and more also into “table” wine. The new generation of winegrowers in the Douro valley has in a few decades gained a reputation for making excellent, world-class non-fortified “table” wines.

The tour starts in Porto, the second biggest city in Portugal. The city centre is a gem, very old and with winding streets climbing the hills. There are many architectural sights as well as a wealth of restaurant, bars and cafes.

Our bus will pick us up at the hotel in Porto and we will start our journey into the Douro Valley, up the river. We will drive up from Porto on winding roads, over the mountains with breath-taking views and into the wine region. We will spend the following two nights in the Alto Douro, the heart of the valley, in the small town of Pinhão. The last evening, we are back in Porto where we will spend our final night.

A white village in the vineyards in the Douro
A white village in the vineyards in the Douro, copyright BKWine Photography
A white village in the vineyards in the Douro
A white village in the vineyards in the Douro, copyright BKWine Photography

We will get to know both the port wines and the red table wines of the region, and even a few whites. But calling these wines “table” wines may give the wrong impression. They are very serious wines with high ambitions. The vineyards are very difficult to work and making wine here is a tough task. Making simple wines would hardly be worthwhile. The winemakers focus on top-quality blends in order to gain an international reputation. Which they have done successfully. We will get to know wines made from genuine Portuguese grape varieties, such as touriga nacional, tinta roriz, touriga franca, souzão and many others.

We will have ample opportunities to get to know the traditional Portuguese food, a gastronomy of its own. Cooking is often traditionally rustic but high-class cuisine has also arrived in the Douro Valley. We will enjoy three lunches together, at least two of them as guests at a vineyard. On Thursday and Friday evenings, we will also have two gastronomic dinners together.

The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.

The harbour in the small town of Pinhao, Douro
The harbour in the small town of Pinhao, Douro, copyright BKWine Photography
The harbour in the small town of Pinhao, Douro
The harbour in the small town of Pinhao, Douro, copyright BKWine Photography

Programme — Douro Valley wine tour

Preliminary programme.

Contact BKWine for more details.

Sample programme

This is a sample programme, an example. You can find the wine tours currently on the schedule here, or you can explore a custom designed wine tour by contacting us.

There may be changes to some details of the programme, e.g. which wineries we visit. We put great effort into making your visits both exceptional and memorable. For this reason we often visit other than the most obvious, big-name producers (where there are often a number of guides employed). Instead we chose to give you a more unique, personal experience at our carefully selected estates, often (but not always) meeting the owner or the winemaker.

Programme overview

  • Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Porto
  • Day 2, Thursday — Between Pinhão and Regua
  • Day 3, Friday — Far into the Douro Valley
  • Day 4, Saturday — Traditional and modern winemaking
  • Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home

Wednesday, day 1 — Arrival in Porto

Arrival in Porto at your leisure and check-in at our centrally located hotel.

Our hotel is in the old town, just next to the old harbour with plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance. Go down to the river and look across to the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. This is where all the traditional port lodges of the big “houses” are located: Taylor’s, Sandeman, Dow’s, Ferreira, Croft, Ramos Pinto etc. Along the river, you can also see a few well-preserved examples of the traditional boats, the barcos rabelos, used for transporting wines on the river. These days they are mainly for show.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars along the quay-side and if you want to stroll over to Vila Nova it is just a short walk across the Eiffel-inspired bridge. Which will give you an amazing view of Porto.

The evening is free to discover the city. One of the very best restaurants in the region is just around the corner from our hotel. Perhaps a good way to begin the tour?

The Douro River and the Dom Luis I bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia
The Douro River and the Dom Luis I bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, copyright BKWine Photography
The Douro River and the Dom Luis I bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia
The Douro River and the Dom Luis I bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, copyright BKWine Photography

Thursday, day 2 — Between Pinhão and Regua

Our comfortable bus picks us up in the morning and our journey across the mountain and along the river valley begins.

The road along the Douro River is slow and winding and to get a good start we take the motorway to Vila Real and Peso da Regua. From there we will go along the river more slowly, into the Alto Douro, the heart of the district. When we arrive there and you see it you will understand why this is on the UNESCO list of Cultural World Heritage.

This day we will visit some top-quality wine producers who have invested heavily in recent years to gain world reputation not only for the port wines but also for the table wines, what is now called simply Douro wines as opposed to port. We start with a visit to Quinta da Gaivosa, located just north of Peso da Regua. The owner, Domingos Alves de Sousa, is one of the pioneers of high-quality Douro wines. The estate is modern and Domingos and his son make wines of very high quality. This is one of the most famous estates in the valley. We get an interesting tasting of both white and red Douro wines as well as port wines.

Steep slopes with vineyard terraces along the Douro River
Steep slopes with vineyard terraces along the Douro River, copyright BKWine Photography
Steep slopes with vineyard terraces along the Douro River
Steep slopes with vineyard terraces along the Douro River, copyright BKWine Photography

For lunch, we will go to Quinta de Tedo, owned by the Frenchman Vincent Bouchard (with family ties to Bouchard Pere & Fils in Burgundy) and his American wife Kay. They bought this 250-year-old estate, including 14 hectares of vineyards, in 1992. After a quick visit to the cellar, we sit down for a traditional lunch. We will, of course, taste the range of wines from the winery along with the food, including some delicious ports, and we will taste their very exclusive olive oil. After lunch, we will visit a quinta owned by one of the major port wine companies. It will be a big contrast to the small Quinta do Tedo. The dimension is very different, but the landscape and the vineyards around this quinta are just as incredibly spectacular.

Late afternoon we check-in at our hotel, the beautiful five-star hotel Vintage House, located in the small town of Pinhão, which is one of the main towns in the wine region of Douro. The hotel is in an old-fashioned English country style and one of the most luxurious in the Valley.

You can take a walk along the river, relax in the garden or in the comfortable bar. Perhaps the weather even allows for a swim in the pool. Later in the evening, we all gather for aperitif and dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Pinhao, a small town in a bend in the Douro river
Pinhao, a small town in a bend in the Douro river, copyright BKWine Photography
Pinhao, a small town in a bend in the Douro river
Pinhao, a small town in a bend in the Douro river, copyright BKWine Photography

Friday, day 3 — Up, far into the Douro valley

After breakfast, we continue our journey along the beautiful wine river. Today we will go far into the valley, along very winding roads. The view will be breath-taking.

We head upstream towards São João da Pesqueira where we will visit Quinta da Senhora do Rosário, perhaps better known as Quevedo Wines. Oscar Quevedo and his family have some 100 ha of vineyards in Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. The road up to São João da Pesqueira is a never-ending series of curves and bends so one tends to grip the bus seat firmly. The views are spectacular. Quevedo Wines makes both table wine and port, including some very exclusive tawny (barrel-aged) ports. We will taste a series of older and older tawnies. Oscar started his career working in finance in Madrid and Geneva but has come back to the Douro some years back and is now working with his sister, who is the winemaker, to develop the family winery.

We will have a delicious lunch in the nearby town of Ervedosa. This is a family-owned restaurant, very ambitious. We will be served different Portuguese specialities, everything delicious. The wine list is superb and we will try several different Douro wines with lunch.

In the afternoon we will visit the Quinta do Panascal, which is owned by the port wine house Fonseca. Panascal has a very beautiful location on the river Távora. We will take a walk in the vineyard and we’ll have an interesting tasting of some fabulous ports.

Late afternoon we are back at the hotel with time for a relaxing break before it’s time for our dinner together. We recommend a walk in the village of Pinhão to look at the beautiful azulejos, the painted tiles, at the small train station, a must to see. Just two minutes’ walk from the hotel

A winery on a hilltop above the steep vineyards and the Douro River
A winery on a hilltop above the steep vineyards and the Douro River, copyright BKWine Photography
A winery on a hilltop above the steep vineyards and the Douro River
A winery on a hilltop above the steep vineyards and the Douro River, copyright BKWine Photography

Saturday, day 4 — Tradition and modernity in the Douro Valley

We will leave our hotel in the morning and slowly begin our journey back to Porto. You must never be in a hurry in the Douro Valley. It is simply impossible.

We will start the day by going to the small village of Vale de Mendiz. Mendiz is a tributary that joins the Douro near Pinhão. Here we will visit a family estate called Wine & Soul, specialized in Douro table wines, that has received much attention in recent years. Here the grapes are still trodden in traditional lagars. The wines are world-class and today much sought after, especially the wine Pintas.

Then we head back towards Regua. Our last visit on this tour will be at Quinta Senhora da Graça. This is a small family estate outside the village of Lobrigos, near Regua. Here we have a beautiful view of the river and some very old vineyards, over 80 years old. We will meet Vasco, the owner and the winemaker, probably both his father and his mother will be there too. After a short visit and a wine tasting, Vasco’s mother will serve us a typical Portuguese lunch that she has prepared herself for us. We always enjoy our lunch here very much and are often reluctant to leave. But after cheese and dessert, it will be time to start going back to Porto.

On our way back we pass once again the mountain range that protects the upper Douro from the maritime breezes and that gives the Douro Valley its very special climate, with sometimes stunningly hot summer days.

Early evening, we arrive back in Porto for our last night. The evening is free to discover the restaurants and nightlife of Porto. We are happy to share with you our best restaurant addresses! Perhaps a stroll along the quayside, or a walk across the “Eiffel Bridge” to Vila Nova an all the water-front restaurants? Or a short trip to the coast and a visit to one of the fish restaurants? There is plenty to do in Porto.

A small house surrounded by steep vineyards in the Douro Valley
A small house surrounded by steep vineyards in the Douro Valley, copyright BKWine Photography
A small house surrounded by steep vineyards in the Douro Valley
A small house surrounded by steep vineyards in the Douro Valley, copyright BKWine Photography

Sunday, day 5 — Heading back home

The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.

There may be changes to some details of the programme, e.g. which wineries we visit. We put great effort into making your visits both exceptional and memorable. For this reason we often visit other than the most obvious, big-name producers (where there are often a number of guides employed). Instead we chose to give you a more unique, personal experience at our carefully selected estates, often (but not always) meeting the owner or the winemaker.

Go For It!

We’d love to have you with us.

Colourful houses in the old part of Porto along the Douro River
Colourful houses in the old part of Porto along the Douro River, copyright BKWine Photography
Porto along the Douro River with rooftops
Porto along the Douro River with rooftops, copyright BKWine Photography

Wine books

We have written more than ten wine books. They have won both national and international wine writing awards.

No other wine tour organiser has a comparable knowledge, competence and experience.

A collection of wine books written by BKWine

Tour Details — Douro Valley Wine Tour

Dates: [this is a sample programme]

Price per person: [this is a sample programme]

Single room supplement: [this is a sample programme]

Sample programme

This is a sample programme, an example. You can find the wine tours currently on the schedule here, or you can explore a custom designed wine tour by contacting us.

ADJUST TOUR DETAILS AS NEEDED, LUNCHES DINNERS ETC ETC ETC

Included in the price:

  • 4 nights hotel accommodation, double occupancy, including breakfast
    • 2 nights in 4-star hotel in Porto
    • 2 nights in 5-star hotel in Pinhão
  • Meals as described in the programme above (*):
    • 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches including tasting of different wines and port; at wine estate or local restaurant
    • 2 gastronomic multi-course dinner with local specialities, including different wines and port
  • Start and end point: Porto
  • Bus transport during the whole trip
  • All vineyard and winery visits
  • Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
  • Interpretation from French as needed, though some visits may be in English
  • Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide

(*) See below for more important information on our meals.

Not included:

  • Travel (flights etc) to the destination and back to your home location.

You are responsible for organising your travel to and from Douro yourself.

If you would like assistance organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.

We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time. It is a very interesting place and well worth some regular, non-wine related tourism too. We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights as needed.

For this tour to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered by the “book before” date. Maximum number of tour participants: 8.

Book This Tour

Book before: [this is a sample programme]

Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of [sample programme, this varies by trip]. Full payment should be received at the latest [sample programme, usually one month or 60 days, depending on the trip] before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.

It is important that your read our travel booking terms and conditions.

We also invite you to read more on why you should travel with BKWine, about customer protection, and about what you can expect from our wine tours in the section below “More on our wine tours”.

You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:

  • phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
  • Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
  • email: info@bkwine.com, or use the contact form below

“I want to book this tour” or “I want more info”

* = required

Important: We automatically send you a copy of this email when you submit it. If you have not received it within a few minutes: 1) check your spam folder, 2) consider resending it, you might have misspelled your email address. Or simply send us a normal email using our address noted just above.

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More on our wine tours

Why travel with BKWine?

We are Britt and Per Karlsson. We are specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also experts in wine in general. We are internationally published wine writers and have written ten award-winning wine books.

No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tourism and gourmet travel.

We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours, and this is what we love to do. We take it very seriously – it is not a sideline or a hobby – and what we want more than anything is to share all these wonderful experiences with you.

All our tours are led and managed by guides who have in-depth wine knowledge, and in many cases we lead the tours ourselves.

Read more on why you should choose BKWine for your wine and food tour.

Thousands of happy customers

Over the years, thousands of wine lovers have travelled with us. Many come back to tour again and again with BKWine to new wine regions. Our record-breaking client has been on more than ten BKWine tours. We are happy and proud to have such faithful customers.

Read more on what travellers have said about our tours.

Awards and Mentions

We’re pleased and proud to have received many accolades, including:

  • “World’s Top Wine Tours”, Travel+Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
  • “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
  • “Recommended Wine Tours”, Munskänkarna, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year”, Gourmand International awards, and many other book prizes
  • Three OIV book awards, International Organisation of Vine and Wine
  • “Wine Personality of the Year”, an honour bestowed on Britt Karlsson by Munskänkarna in 2011, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • Inclusion on the Wine Media Power List, by Wine Business International magazine

About the wine producers and wineries we visit

Our aim is for you to experience some of the very best and most interesting aspects of the wine world, in terms of wine and food.

We put great effort into creating outstanding winery visits, and in this way we are quite different to many wine tour organisers. It is not always the most renowned, internationally known estates that offer the best experiences. Organising a wine tour featuring famous names of the wine world is relatively easy: it is merely a question of making lists and ticking boxes. On those kind of “bucket list” wine tours, you rarely meet the winemaker or the owner. You will simply be one of thousands of visitors they receive each year.

We do things differently. With BKWine Tours, you will meet the people behind the label, often the winemakers and/or the owners. Thanks to them, you will have a unique, truly personal experience and an insight into the wine world that no one else can offer. When you travel with BKWine, you are more like a special guest than a tourist.

We have personal connections and unparalleled knowledge thanks to more than 20 years as wine journalists, with 10 wine books published, and as wine tour organisers with more than 30 years’ experience. You can be sure of getting the best wine travel experiences with BKWine Tours.

Read more on the wine producers and wineries we visit.

A true gourmet experience: food and gastronomy

For us, wine and food are intimately linked, and this is a fundamental part of our wine travel philosophy. For this reason, a wine tour with BKWine is always an outstanding culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A BKWine tour is a gastronomic voyage that explores the deep relationship between food and wine.

Read more On Meals: Food and Gastronomy on Our Tours.

Customer Protection,  Financial Travel Guarantee, and Terms and Conditions

You can always feel safe when you book your tour with BKWine. BKWine has a bonded bank guarantee that gives full protection according to EU and Swedish law. BKWine is a Swedish limited company and as such is regulated by strict rules.

Read more on Customer Protection, Financial Travel Guarantee. and our Terms and Conditions.

When you book a tour it is important that you read the terms and conditions. BKWine’s booking terms and conditions follow the guidelines developed by the Consumer Protection Agency.

Health, vaccination and allergies

Our tours have no particular health requirements although inevitably we will be walking a certain amount in wine cellars and vineyards. Sensible footwear is a must.

Most of our travel destinations have no particular health guidelines or requirements for vaccinations or medical certificates, but if in doubt, you should always consult a medical professional, vaccination centre or relevant embassy in your country of origin.

We can always accommodate food allergies. However, in order for us to manage such requests you must let us know about any allergies before the tour starts.

Read more in our FAQ and in our Terms and Conditions.

Travel insurance

BKWine does not sell travel insurance. If you want travel insurance, check if your regular home insurance policy includes some kind of travel insurance, or contact your regular insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.

Custom Tours

We also offer custom wine and food tours if you want to travel on different dates, or if you want something different to what we currently offer on our scheduled tours. This tailor-made service can be offered for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.

Important information

Our groups are always small. The number of people in the group may vary. The maximum can range from 8 to around 20; check the details in each programme. But our groups are always modest in size. This is important because it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.

Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!

You are expected to organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours, but once you are at the location, we take care of everything.

For more inspiration

Read our wine travel blog. For more, read our online wine magazine the BKWine Magazine with articles from all over the wine world.

And also:

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Subscribe to our free wine and travel newsletter, the BKWine Brief. Each month, it gives you news from the world of wine, restaurant recommendations, tips on our favourite wine producers and much more. It will also keep you updated on forthcoming wine and food tours.

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