• Audrey

Getaway to a breathtaking wine landscape: welcome to the Douro Valley in Portugal!

Dernière mise à jour : 13 avr. 2019

Portugal; wine tasting; oenology; seminars; quinta do seixo; douro, porto; portugal; sandeman
Quinta do Seixo, Douro valley

From Charleroi-Brussels airport, it will take you about 2 hours and 15 minutes to land on the beautiful port city of Porto and experience a real change of scenery! Upon your arrival, the blue sky, the warm sun of a country with a Mediterranean atmosphere welcome you, not to mention the wonderful smile of each Portuguese you will meet. The scenery is all set: you will not be disappointed with the stay which will reserve you unsuspected surprises!

Porto: the excitement of a colourful city!

Bridge "Eiffel" Dom Luis, Porto, banks Douro river, Portugal, vin, wine, Port
"Eiffel" Dom Luis Bridge, Porto, Douro river banks

Before venturing into the varied landscapes of the hinterland, start with the discovery of this human scale city with its 214 000 inhabitants, second largest city behind the capital of Lisbon. Set around the estuary of the Douro River, you will discover on one side the old town with many churches and tiny charming streets till the lighthouse and beaches overlooking the edgy waves showing varied shades of deep blue colours from the Atlantic Ocean. With comfortable shoes, you will climb the numerous steps and the hilly streets to reach the cathedral and enjoy a breathtaking view over the city. The colourful facades have their own style, often accompanied by a tailored set of azulejos, the famous local ceramic tiles hand painted as per the tradition! The lighthouse is accessible along the Douro by taking the traditional old tramway of the city. On the way, a botanical and bucolic stop is worth a visit in the numerous gardens of the Crystal Palace, which after a beautiful rise walk, will offer its most beautiful sight on the city, from its medieval tower. You can reach the other bank of the river in the district of Vila Nova de Gaia, where there are plenty of Port wine cellars to visit. To reach the Port wine houses, just walk on the bridge with the "Eiffel" metallic structure known as bridge "Dom-Luís”. Some 1-hour cruises are available for sales along the harbour to discover the 5 bridges along the Douro.

Maria, Bacchus & Vini, Porto, wine tasting dégustation de vins portugal
Maria, Bacchus Vini, Porto

Wine lovers, enjoy a break on the terrace at Maria and Jerome, who opened a wine bar on one of the banks of the Douro, near the “Eiffel” bridge : welcome to Bacchus Vini! You can opt for one of the Portuguese wine tasting formulas with 5 glasses starting from 13 € and enjoy a plate of local products as Portuguese tapas: smoked ham sliced ​​under your eyes, local cheeses and olives! The tasting begins with a Vinho Verde from Quinta Do Barco, a white grape from the North of the peninsula named loureiro. It starts freshly in the mouth, slightly sparkling on the tongue and a pale yellow coloured wine under your eyes followed with a fresh green apple nose and some tropical fruit notes. Then, we continue with Espumante, a sparkling wine made according to the Champagne method with a 2nd fermentation in bottle. Rosé-colored and based on the flagship national grape, Touriga Nacional, it displays notes of raspberry with simplicity and freshness on the palate. We continue the tasting with a white wine displaying golden yellow highlights, coming from the small region of Dão, first region distinguished by the production of wine with an appellation. With continental influences, the grape Encruzado, spent 4 months in barrels and presents a nose with some petrol notes and quince aromas and marks a beautiful oily presence on the palate with small yellow fruits and apricots, leaving a nice length of pleasure in the mouth. We move on with red wines from the Douro Valley, a region starting at the gates of Porto.

Bacchus Vini, Porto, Old city, close to Dom Luis Bridge
Bacchus Vini, Porto, Old city, close to Dom Luis Bridge

This valley presents microclimate characteristics. The particularity of the region is the diversity of grape varieties, since there are more than one hundred grape varieties, some of which dating back to medieval times, or even Roman Empire period. The diversity of vineyards and grape varieties planted on the banks along the Douro River are all harvested together. Therefore, Douro wines are always blends, and it is sometimes difficult to know how accurate the % of each variety is in the wine. The red wines tasted at Bacchus Vini offers a range of rich and varied aromas : with the flagship varieties of Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz (the Portuguese name of the Spanis