Best Belvederes in the Douro Valley

Posted by Nelson Carvalheiro on 31-Jul-2015 12:00:00

The Best Belvederes on the Douro Valley post is the 5th installment of my Douro Valley Wine Travel Guide, where I have already shared with you the Best Wine Hotels, Wine Tours and Food experiences in the Douro.

Travelling through the Douro Valley is all about finding the best vantage point to take that amazing photograph home - The sculpted mountains, the valley carved by the river and plenty of green and blue hues. While there are plenty of places that can accommodate to this purpose, there are some which make the view even more inspiring. Here is my selection of the best belvederes in the Douro Valley.

Quinta do Crasto

Quinta do Crasto could easily be the top choice when it comes to the best winery in the Douro Valley. Its wines are acclaimed worldwide, especially in Brazil where they are seen as the highest ranked DOC wines in the market. However when one finds himself within the Quinta do Crasto, the impressiveness of its infinity pool overlooking the Douro Valley is unmissable. Of course there are other places where the view is superb, and there are also some other locations where there is an infinity pool with a view, but trust me on this, the one at Quinta do Crasto is special.

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Topics: Douro Wine Tours Inspiration

Best Food Experiences in the Douro Valley

Posted by Nelson Carvalheiro on 30-Jul-2015 16:30:00

In this post I will focus on the Portuguese flavours and regional products tastings I was able to experience during my stay in Douro.

One thing that you have to take into consideration when travelling the Douro Valley is that throughout all its history it has been a Port Wine Producing region. Purely! DOC Douro table wines only came out in the last 30/40 years and tourism has really only opened up in the last 10/15. This means that the tourism, hotels and restaurants offer in the Douro Valley is exclusive and very scarce. While a good wine hotel to stay in can be relatively easy to find, the same cannot be spoken about a good restaurant. So here are some of Douro's top food experiences.

Gourmet Experience at Quinta do Panascal

Even though Quinta do Panascal doesn’t not directly overlook the Douro, its location on the left bank of the Távora River (one the Douro's most important tributaries both in water and in history) falls nothing short of the exclusivity that it advocates. This estate belongs to the Guimaraens family and the Fladgate Partnership, a colossus of the Port Wine world owning the Croft, Taylor and Fonseca Port wine Brands. What makes the Gourmet Experience at Quinta do Panascal so impressive is that you can have a private lunch in the quarters where the Guimaraens family usually has their get togethers.

Best wine & Food Experiences in Douro

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Topics: Douro Wine & Food Inspiration

Best Wine Experiences in the Douro Valley

Posted by Nelson Carvalheiro on 29-Jul-2015 11:30:00

On this chapter I choose to recommend wine experiences in Douro, rather than tours of vineyards or visits to wineries. Let’s face it, no one takes absolute pleasure from looking at towers of stainless steel while having a tour guide describe the fermentation process for the 10th time that day. Here, I focus on the out of the box experiences that some of the Quintas offer, and which I find 100x more rewarding to you as a visitor and as a wine enthusiast.

Vintage Tour at Quinta da Carvalhas

The Vintage Tour at Quinta das Carvalhas is the best wine experience in the whole of the Douro Valley!

I know it comes as a bold statement, but believe me, there is nothing even resembling it out there. It is the prodigal idea of Alvaro Martinho, the agricultural engineer at Quinta das Carvalhas and its operations manager. Disappointed with the way other Quintas neglected its visitors, he found a way to transmit to wine travellers what the "Douro Valley sense of place is all about".

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Topics: Douro Wine Tours Travel Inspiration

Best Wine Hotels in the Douro Valley

Posted by Nelson Carvalheiro on 28-Jul-2015 11:52:00

For the second post of my Douro Valley Wine Travel guide, I share with you my top choices for accommodation in the Douro Valley. As the properties all have a very limited number of rooms you can find other options like the Àgua Hotels Douro Scala in the Wine Tourism in Portugal hotel search tool.

Quinta da Pacheca in Régua

Quinta da Pacheca is the poster child of an ancient winery being adapted to the modern demands of the modern wine traveller.

The main houses in the centre of the estate were recently renovated into a chic - boutique - luxury wine hotel. It very elegantly mixes some modern and contemporary elements in a way that one can understand that the owners never lost touch with the Quinta's heritage. The restaurant is proudly served by Chef Carlos Pires, a man from the interior Northwest of Portugal (Trás-os-Montes - my favourite part of the country) so traditional bold Portuguese flavours are in the main driver in an elegantly plated menu. 

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Topics: Douro Inspiration

Douro Valley - Wine Travel Guide

Posted by Nelson Carvalheiro on 27-Jul-2015 11:30:00

There is no doubt that Douro Valley is one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world and a place that I have always wanted to explore deeply as I am truly passionate with the food and wine heritage of a region.

During the first couple of weeks of July 2015, I was a guest of Wine Tourism in Portugal, the main wine tourism booking portal in Portugal, in the Douro Valley. My mission was to explore the most beautiful wine region in the world and offer you the ultimate guide to travelling the Douro Valley. In this guide that I will share throughout this week you will find recommendations for the best wine hotels, the best wine experiences, the best food experiences and the best belvederes in the Douro Valley

In a time where competition in wine tourism is at its fierce stage, it would be easy to fall into the century’s old "my wine region is better than your wine region" dispute. This is not what I am here to do. I am here to tell you that, the world of wine tourism is (perhaps has been for a long time) not only restricted to La Rioja, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, or even Napa.

What is travelling the Douro Valley all about?

The Quintas (estates)

I am here to speak about what makes the Douro Valley unique, showing you what it is like to travel through the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Yes, that is right, the Douro Valley was established as a wine region for the production of Port Wine in 1756, some 20 years before the independence of America. And almost 100 years before the Bordeaux Primiere Crus were establish by Napoleon.  This means that the majority of the wineries and wine company offices are astounding 18th century heritage buildings. Almost all have been extremely well-kept and refurbished to today's modern standards of wine making. Even more interesting is that the Douro riverside palaces where the owners of the Quintas (estates) used as residence are also in prime condition. It is like an open air museum, which can be best admired from the water level, as I explain further ahead in the article.

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Topics: Douro Travel Inspiration

Outdoor Wine Tastings and Picnics in Portugal

Posted by Wine Tourism in Portugal on 14-Jul-2015 16:30:00

Portugal is famous for its warm temperatures. The weather in Portugal is one of its main attractions and one of the reasons thousands of tourists choose Portugal as their holidays destination. 

With these warm sunny days there are few things that can rival with a picnic in the vineyards with a glass filled with the best of Portuguese wines. So grab a basket and discover these great picnics in Portugal.

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Topics: Wine Tours Wine & Food Family vacations Inspiration

Best Pool Views in the Alentejo

Posted by Wine Tourism in Portugal on 09-Jul-2015 16:05:00

The Summer is here and if there is a place in Portugal where we can feel it in its peak is in Alentejo. The hot summer temperatures in Alentejo make it almost mandatory to spend some time in the pool and relax in the shade. But the only thing better than a lounging poolside or diving in the light blue water on a hot day, is doing it with a great view and finishing the day tasting some of the best wines from Alentejo

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Topics: Alentejo Travel Inspiration

Top Things To Do In Douro - Take the Douro's Historical Train

Posted by Rita Saraiva on 06-Jul-2015 09:04:00

From June to October, the Douro Valley adds one more attraction to its already wide offer of activities: the Douro's historical train ride from Régua to Tua.

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Topics: Douro Family vacations Inspiration

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