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Wine Regions


The Douro region stands out for its stunning hillsides, formed of terraced staircases, where vineyards are planted up to the riverside.

In 1756, it became the first wine region in the world to be demarcated and regulated, and it was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001. The Douro region is one of the oldest and most beautiful wine regions in Europe, where wine has been produced for two thousand years.
The Douro region is located in the northeast of Portugal, surrounded by the mountains of Marão and Montemuro, stretching along 13 municipalities, from the Spanish border up to a few kilometres from the city of Porto. The Douro wine growing area covers approximately 40 thousand hectares, although the region spreads over 250 thousand hectares. About two thirds of the vineyard area is planted on the steep hillsides bordering the Douro River and its tributaries, such as Pinhão, Távora, Tua and Corgo. The Douro region is the only wine making area in the world to practice hot climate hillside viticulture. The climate is usually temperate, with cold and harsh winters and very hot summers, with moderate rainfall. The soils are mainly composed of schist, although some areas are also granite-based. The vineyards go from the top of the deep valleys to the riverside, creating a magnificent landscape recognized all over the world.
The Douro is divided into three sub-regions: Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. The Baixo Corgo, under the direct influence of the Marão Mountain, is the coolest and most rainy sub-region, hence being the most fertile and having the greatest number of vineyards. The Cima Corgo is known as the heart of the Douro, and it is here that many of the finest Port Wines are produced due to the higher concentration of sugar in the grapes. The Douro Superior is the largest, warmest and driest sub-region, as well as the least rugged. It is known for its white wines, sparkling wines and the fortified Muscatel wine.
The Douro is one of the richest Portuguese regions in terms of grape varieties, having hundreds of unique selections and a large area of old vineyards. Within the range of red varieties cultivated in Douro, the Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional are selected for their excellence as being the best for Port Wine production. As for the white varieties, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Muscatel, Rabigato and Viosinho also stand out. Regarding the Muscatel wine production, the Moscatel Galego is the grape variety chosen.
It is in Douro that the most well known national wine is grown, the Port Wine, occupying a prominent place as one of the great iconic wines in the world. The Douro still wines, especially in the last decades, have also gained great importance and international recognition.
Wine Tourism
Wine Tourism
In the deep region of Douro, the beauty and singularity of the landscape represent the true image of the region. Its valleys and terraced vineyards, leading down to the riverbed; the paths on which the wine is transported to the cellars, are all a part of an ensemble where the symbiosis between culture, tradition, and nature of the region, together with the production of wines of excellence and the rich local gastronomy, form the perfect ingredients for an outstanding discovery.
In the Douro Demarcated Region, you will encounter both the small winegrower to the larger wine producer; you can visit the wine cellars, the vineyards, the wineries; you can taste and buy wines of excellence; you can taste the local gastronomy as well as participate in a range of wine tourism activities. The Port Wine Route can be done by car, train or boat, as there is a navigable river course from the city of Porto to Barca de Alva, which is on the Spanish border.
Regarded as one of the best wine destinations in the world, the city of Porto is the most common gateway to the Douro route. It is mandatory that you visit the Port Wine cellars, located in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the major producers of such acclaimed nectar, suggest the best wine tastings, numerous exhibitions as well as excellent meals. In the upstream of the Douro, in the city of Peso da Régua, you can visit the Douro Museum and the Solar do Vinho do Porto manor. In Régua you will also find the most important railway station of the route. There you can take the old steam train on a historical journey through a path full of beautiful landscapes.
  • Portugal By Wine - Wine Tourism in Portugal
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