The Douro Valley, Portugal

Portugal's wine country.

Douro Valley hills covered in vineyards surround the Douro River
Douro Valley, Portugal (2022)

The Douro Valley. Portugal's wine country.

An incredibly picturesque landscape that felt both familiar and foreign. Familiar, because it reminded me of our own Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Foreign, well, because it was.

We joined a tour group for our day trip from Porto to explore the Douro Valley. We hopped on a comfortable 1.5 hour bus ride into the country to learn more about this region's specialty, port wine.

After making a short stop in the town of Peso da Régua for some photos, we visited two port wineries to learn about its history and how it's made.

Through the day we sampled lots of wine, food, olive oil... and more wine! And we finished off the day with a relaxing boat cruise on a traditional rabelo boat to take in the valley from a different point of view.

It was a full day, but definitely worth the trip.

The Wineries

Quinta de Marrocos

Quinta de Marrocos property and vineyard
Quinta de Marrocos, Douro Valley, Portugal (2022)

My favourite winery was Quinta de Marrocos, and not just because I befriended a dog there.

It's a family run establishment and one of the oldest Quintas (wine-growing estates) of the Douro Valley. A surreal place, where they still stomp the grapes by foot (for up to 4 hours at a time with no breaks!) and follow grueling traditional methods that have remained unchanged for generations.

These time-tested methods are what they claim sets their product apart from other port wineries in the region. After our experience there, I would have to agree that they are definitely doing something right.

The rustic stone buildings and sprawling property set high on a valley cliff felt like a drawing right out of a history book. A scene preserved in time.

Quinta São Luiz

Douro Valley hills covered in vineyards surround the Douro River
View from Terrace S. Luiz, Douro Valley, Portugal (2022)

Our second stop, though a more modern looking space, was actually founded in 1638 and is the oldest Quinta in the Douro Valley. Over the years, Quinta São Luiz has upgraded both their establishment and their reputation, now being one of the most highly regarded wineries of the region.

We walked through the vineyards and had a really nice time sampling wines on the Terrace S. Luiz, an outdoor patio space with an unreal view of the valley.

The landscape and the wine of the Douro Valley were truly remarkable.

But naturally, photos never quite do it justice.

Guess you'll just have to go and see for yourself.

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