Your browser (Internet Explorer {{browserVersion}}) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all the features of this and other websites.
Update my browser

The Douro's Sweet Spot

For more than 2,000 years, grapes have been harvested and wine has been produced in Portugal's Douro Valley. Vineyard boundaries were laid here in 1756, making this the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Joe Boulous highlights why the Douro Valley remains the heart of Portugal’s wine country. 

The Douro River's surrounds flowing west from the Spanish border to the Atlantic, are renowned for their port wines and more traditional red and white still varieties. The rugged terrain is planted with vines along steep slopes leading down to the river and its tributaries.

Cliffside township along river, Portugal
Two boats on river with city buildings in background, Porto
At the mouth of the Douro lies the city of Porto, the obvious first stop for the country’s fortified wine that has been quality defined and regulated since 1756. However, it is the river’s principal tributaries (namely the Varosa, Corgo, Tavora, Torto, and Pinhao), that form the backbone of the mountainous landscape, which is protected from the harsh Atlantic winds and provides the idyllic setting for winemaking. 
The Douro’s iconic quintas are major landmarks, easily identified by the groups of farm buildings and wineries surrounding the main homesteads. The landscape is dotted with small chapels located high on the hills or next to manor houses. See the quintas from the river on our 8 Day Douro Discovery tour.
Aerial view of the Douro Valley in Portugal
t-eu-portugal-old-wine-cellar europe-181957576-i-web-12-5
Between the city of Regua and the village of Pinhao is an institution of considerable notoriety, Quinta do Seixo. Established as Sandeman’s calling card in the Douro Valley, the property spans 100 hectares along the river’s south bank. All bottles carry the distinct image of the Sandeman Don, a mysterious figure with a Portuguese student’s cape and a Jerez sombrero, designed by Scotsman George Massiot Brown in 1928. During a stroll among the estate’s hundred-year-old vines with the river at its feet, it boasts one of the the region’s most enviable locations. 

Portugal’s longstanding traditions have produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty where landowners can still be seen using time-honoured farming methods. Explore Porto, taste Portugal’s signature wines and learn more about the Douro Valley on our 11 Day Lisbon with Douro Discovery.