All About Portugal welcomes Autumn with an irresistible proposal: a road trip through colourful vineyards and river-shaped roads, with stops to taste good wine, take part in the grape harvest and fill the soul with breathtaking landscapes. Sounds good? Don't waste any time - this is the perfect season for a getaway to the Alto Douro Wine Region. To help you out, we have mapped out 10 farms that are an oasis for oenophiles. Book early and hit the road. Days of pure magic await you, which can include harvesting and treading grapes in old mills, wine tasting, countryside picnics and even dream nights in giant barrels!
Quinta do Vallado
Head towards Peso da Régua. On the banks of the Corgo River you will find one of the oldest and most famous "Quintas" in the Douro Valley. It once belonged to the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, a businesswoman who, in the 19th century, revolutionized the Port Wine sector. Their descendants preserved the legacy and, to the excellent wines, added wine tourism. At harvest time, you can enter the wine presses and "get your feet wet", literally. Visits also include wine tasting, workshops and jeep tours in a delightful setting.
Quinta dos Murças
Is there a better way to know the soul of a people and their wines than by taking part in the daily routines of a production unit? In Covelinhas, the doors of Quinta das Murças are open for an immersive experience - you can use the kitchen, visit the winery, picnic in the vineyards, help harvest or tread the grapes. On your way back, take a small detour to São Leonardo de Galafura. With breathtaking views, it is one of the most insta-worthy places in the region.
Quinta do Portal
We take a ride up north, to the village of Celeirós in Sabrosa. Until mid-October, learn from experts the tricks and secrets of the art of harvesting and the production process, from the vineyard to the glass. The programme includes tastings of Port and Douro wines, to take place in the Aging Warehouse, designed by architect Siza Vieira. Enjoy the disciplined and contemporary design of the building and the harmonious way it fits into the landscape, among terraces of vineyards that touch the horizon.
Quinta de La Rosa
Return to the road towards Pinhão. About a kilometre from the small village, you will find, by the river, the Quinta de La Rosa. Owned by the Bergqvist family, hospitality is their motto. You'll feel at home as you take part in pruning and traditional stepping on granite wine presses. Walk the trail that leads you to Hell Valley, the biggest star of its vineyards, and anticipate the pleasure of savouring the nectar to be. The visit does not end without the longed for wine tasting. The Key word: moderation.
Quinta da Roêda
The story goes that, before the construction of the dams, the Douro ran wild on the upstream curve of Pinhão. Quinta da Roêda, named precisely for the “noise” of the river in that place, offers you an irresistible challenge - a picnic among the vineyards, with a chequered tablecloth and a wicker basket loaded with regional delicacies. Also a must-visit are the "lagares" (wine presses) and the old stables, where you can taste the nectars and learn more about viticulture, grape varieties and traditions.
Quinta das Carvalhas
If you leave Pinhão via the Metal Bridge, you will find one of the most spectacular Douro properties. In the approximately 600 hectares that make up Quinta das Carvalhas, there are vineyards that go beyond what our eyes can reach, but there are also forests, Mediterranean woods and centuries-old olive groves! Between wine tasting and grape harvesting, climb to Casa Redonda, at 550 meters, and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view. How many shades of red, orange, yellow and violet can you see?
Quinta do Seixo
The trip now follows the EN222, a kind of Portuguese “Route 66”, with its stunning backdrop and perfect for those with a passion for driving! Reaching Quinta do Seixo requires a small detour, but we guarantee that the visual delight does not slow down, on the contrary -at the top of a slope we are presented with one of the best views of the river and the vineyards. After visiting the winery and the robotic wine presses, take the time to look around with a glass in one hand… and the camera in the other.
Quinta do Panascal
There is an old saying: "From Roncão and Panascal come the best wines of Portugal". We do not dare to confirm or disprove such a theory, but here's the thing: since the eighteenth century that the vineyards of Quinta do Panascal, along the Távora River, have presented us with some of the best and most awarded wines in the world. Even today, the juiciest grapes are trampled on the presses, as tradition dictates. Follow the whole process, sharpen your sense of smell and taste and deliver your verdict.
Quinta do Tedo
Where the Douro and Tedo rivers meet, there is a particularly beautiful and lively farm, regularly visited by various bird species. The black wheatear is an illustrious and desired visit, as it is the brand image and, they say, it also foreshadows a good harvest. Be amazed by the family atmosphere of Quinta do Tedo and observe the traditional way its wines are made, with its manual pressing, its ageing process, in the 19th century wineries, and its hand bottling and labelling!
Quinta da Pacheca
Emerging before the creation of the Demarcated Region, in 1756, the Quinta da Pacheca is one of the oldest "quintas" in the region, and offers several grape harvesting experiences. In addition to the traditional wine pressing, wine tasting and typical dinner, you can add, if you choose the full programme, a mid-morning snack which consists of onion broth, baked sardines in bread… and wine, of course! If you decide to spend the night, be eccentric and book a room inside a giant barrel with the vineyards at your feet.