Best Wine Tours & Wine Tastings in Portugal

Posted by: Filipe Teixeira

Post Date 26-Jun-2018 14:06:00

Portugal is the hottest new wine destination. In this article we tell you why and what the best wine tours and wine tasting experiences are with valuable tips. This is our wine guide to Douro, Alentejo, Vinho Verde and Lisbon regions.

Wine Tourism in Portugal

Best Wine Tours in Portugal

Portugal has been for too long in the shadow of its more popular touristic neighbors such as Spain, France or Italy. Over the past few years, Portugal has been imposing itself as a top touristic travel destination and the countless tourism awards and media recognition comes to prove this fact.

With a magnificent coastline, medieval castles, the most welcoming people and, to top it all, burgeoning wine industry, now is the time to explore the spoils of Portugal.

So pack your bag and get your glass ready, as we guide you through the best wine tours in Portugal and its greatest wine regions.

Douro

Where is it?

The Douro region is located in the north of Portugal and it extends from Porto city to the eastern border of Portugal. The Douro River meanders across the whole region and carves its path through the rocky valley. Thanks to the many dams raised, navigation became possible and nowadays cruises can take you on an inimitable journey through this stunning natural landscape with delights and unique views such as the vineyards covered hillsides. This is where Port Wine was born.

Said to be the oldest wine region in the world dating back to 1756, the Douro region is recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage listed territory.

It begins some 120 kilometers east of Porto airport and extends along the axis of the Douro River, encompassing three sub-regions; Douro Superior, Alto Corgo and Baixo Corgo.

 Douro Region

What wines is it best known for?

The best Port Wine varietals to look out for are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Aragonez and Tinto Cão, as well as Tinta Amarela (Trincadeira) and Souzão.

Key white wine varietals include Malvasia Fina, Gouveio, Rabigato e Viosinho.

Must-visit wineries

There are many wineries in this region but we selected the best ones in the Douro Valley where you can taste the best Portuguese wines. Each winery is unique and provides a different visit, featuring tasting rooms, artesanal cheese or chocolate pairings, on-site sommeliers and much more. If you want to know more, read our 10 winery tours you can't miss article.

Graham’s Port
Graham’s recently renovated lodge promises spectacular views of Porto’s historic city centre and the iconic two-tier bridge that connects the cities of Oporto and Gaia, as well as three centuries of port-making craftsmanship and internationally awarded wine. There are several Port wine tasting experiences available.

Grahams Port Lodge

Real Companhia Velha
Also known as Royal Oporto Wine Company, Real Companhia Velha is the oldest port wine producing company of Portugal.
Go on a guided tour through the ageing warehouse and vintage museum, followed by Port wine tasting.

Real Companhia Velha Cellar

Croft Port 

With over 400 centuries of history, Croft is renowned for their port-making innovation.
Be sure to sample the Croft PINK launched in 2008 – the world’s first pink port wine.

Croft Port

Cálem Cellars
Sample two great icons of Portuguese culture with a guided tour followed by wine tasting and a Fado concert.

Calem Cellar Wine Tasting with Fado Concert

Quinta do Crasto
Located on the banks of the Douro River, Quinta do Crasto is a family estate that boasts wines to match the views.
With many international accolades (including 1995 the Wine of the Year at the UK’s International Wine Challenge), there’s also an impressive restaurant too.

Quinta do Crasto stunning view

How to see it for yourself

Port Wine Cellars Tour - Half-Day Tour from €39,50 per person

There's far more to the city of Porto than its most famous wine but it'd be a shame not to give it a try. Port has been produced in the Douro Valley for centuries, and then taken downriver to the city to be stored before shipping. A large number of port warehouses soon began to spring up in the suburb of Gaia, across the river from the city, and are now open for visits - and wine tastings. If you're having trouble deciding which ones to visit and in what order, our Port Wine Cellars Tour is just right for you. We'll choose three wine cellars and put together an itinerary for you. By the end, you'll know more about port wine than you had imagined possible. 

Caves Ferreira

Douro Region Wine Tour with Lunch in the Vineyard from €115 per person

When it comes to wine, the Douro Valley doesn't need much of an introduction. After all, it is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, particularly famous for Port wine, as well as a number of other world-famous reds. It is no surprise, then, that its wineries are an underlying part of the region's strong culture and identity. With this full-day tour in Douro you'll check some of the region's must-dos off your list, when visiting some of the most famous wine producing estates in the region, picnicking in the vineyards, and sampling its most famous port wine. 

Douro Region Wine Tour with Lunch in the Vineyard

5-Day Tour in Douro with a Sailing Cruise in Douro River from €1200 per person

This is one of the best wine tours in Portugal and also one of the best ways to explore and discover the Douro region:
- a five-day experience that gives you the opportunity to visit some of the most famous Douro and Port wine producing estates and taste the flavours of this fantastic region. It includes accommodation in Boutique Estates or in a luxury resort, guided tours and workshops, an exclusive cruise in a sailing boat, wine and regional products tastings and meals in unique and breathtaking landscapes.

Tour in the Douro with a Sailing Cruise in Douro River

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Alentejo

Where is it?

Located approximately 100 kilometers from Lisbon airport, the region occupies more than one-third of Portugal’s mainland area, divided into eight sub-regions; Reguengos, Borba, Redondo, Vidigueira, Évora, Granja-Amareleja, Portalegre and Moura.

Almost on par with the Douro, the acclaimed world fame of Portuguese wines is largely due to the wines originating from the Alentejo and its sub-regions. Unquestionably one of the most pictorial regions in Portugal, the vast terracotta land, tied with the almost ever-present sunshine, the plentiful oak trees and spotless blue skies, lends the wines from the Alentejo a rich, smooth and round feel on the palate, making them easier to drink when compared to other Portuguese counterparts.

Alentejo Wine Tour

What wines is it best known for?

The principal white grapes of the Alentejo region include the Roupeiro, Antão Vaz and Arinto, while important red varieties are Trincadeira, Aragonez, Castelão and Alicante Bouschet

Must-visit wineries

Alentejo is the largest region of Portugal and, naturally, it has many wonders to discover.
We have already published a complete Alentejo Wine Travel Guide by Nelson Carvalheiro where he take explores this region through its wine and recommends the best wine hotels and wineries, the best restaurants and the best wine and food experiences in Alentejo.
Here are some of the best wineries to visit selected from the Alentejo Wine Travel Guide:

Herdade dos Grous
Do yourself a favour a book the ‘Chef Night’s at the wine cellar’ dining experience for a truly traditional meal in the company of the Herdade dos Grous chef, perfectly matched with local wine.

Herdade dos Grous Winery

Herdade do Esporão
History and wine come together at this iconic estate, where you can sample outstanding quality wines as well as visit the famed Esporão Tower, dating back to the 1400’s.
There’s also the Perdigões archaeological museum, which houses the most important pieces from this archaeological complex.

Herdade do Esporão Cellar

Adega Mayor
Set within a contemporary whitewashed building, Adega Mayor treats visitors to a custom-made tasting room to sample their internationally-acclaimed wines.
Better still, the room opens onto a panoramic terrace with a lawn and a lake, overlooking the estate’s vineyard and the olive grove. Drink in that view!

Adega Mayor Estate

L’AND and Vineyards
Championing all things locally-made and beautiful, this store and vineyard stocks all manner of regional products including olive oil to furniture and homewares. And of course, wine.
Visit the Wine Club for a private tasting. There are also gorgeous vineyard villas available.

L'AND Vineyards Tasting Room

Monte da Ravasqueira
Inspired by California’s Napa Valley, the cellar of Monte da Ravasqueira is run entirely using software developed in-house for rigorous control of the winemaking process.
After experiencing the wine-tasting facilities, visit the estate’s Carriage Driving Museum – a large private collection of harnesses and carriages of various eras and styles.

Monte da Ravasqueira

How to see it for yourself

One-Day Tour in Alentejo from Lisbon from €130 per person

Departing from Lisbon, our one-day tour in Alentejo is a great option for those looking for a countryside escape, at the doorstep of the capital city. Starting with a pick up in Central Lisbon - all the way to the end of the tour - you'll visit two of the most traditional wineries in the region, which have opened their doors to curious wine enthusiasts. Enjoy a tour of the vineyards and wine producing facilities, as well as a delicious lunch at one of the estates.

One-Day Tour in Alentejo from Lisbon

8-Day Wine, Food and Cultural Tour in the Alentejo Region from €1240 per person

Being a large territory, Alentejo needs time to be properly visited and enjoyed. Taking this fact into account, the best tour to discover this region is an eight-day tour that presents you the culture, gastronomy and wine, where you will meet some of the best producers of Portugal, the unique landscapes and the tenacity of its people. On this wine tour you will enjoy wine experiences in wine production farms, horseback riding in an Estate, a ride through the beautiful landscapes in a 4x4 vehicle, Estates accommodation and Charming Hotels, and more.

8-Day Wine, Food and Cultural Tour in the Alentejo Region

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Vinho Verde

Where is the region?

Located in the far north of Portugal, to the west of the Douro region, and to the south of the Rías Baixas region of Spain, this region is bordered by the Minho River and the Atlantic coast. Most of the wine region of the “Vinho Verde” (Green Wines) is at or near sea level and is the largest in Portugal, spreading across 34000 hectares, roughly 8% of the country’s land surface.

This green wine region also takes in nine sub-regions: Amarante, Ave, Baião, Basto, Cávado, Lima, Monção e Melgaço, Paiva and Sousa.

Being an area that is blessed with mild temperatures, rich in water supply and fertile granitic soils with high acidity, it’s an ideal terrain for the production of white wines.

Vinho Verde Region

What wines is it best known for?

Over the past 20 years, the region has become renowned for producing top sparkling wines. They are fresh, of vibrant quality and youthful fruit.

Despite the literal translation to "Green Wine", the name Vinho Verde’ actually refers to it being a young wine since the wines are released 3-6 months after harvest.

The dominant white varieties are Alvarinho, Arinto (Pedernã), Azal, Loureiro, Avesso and Trajadura, while major red varieties include Borraçal, Espadeiro, Brancelho e Vinhão.

Must-visit wineries

Quinta da Aveleda
Currently, the largest Vinho Verde exporting company, Quinta da Aveleda offers much more than wines.
The estate is also revered for its parks and gardens where many rare species flourish, some of which have been around for over 200 years.

Quinta da Aveleda

Quinta do Ameal
The wines produced here are exclusively made from organic grapes that grow on the farm, as part of the estate’s energy-efficient approach to winemaking.
Exported to over 15 countries worldwide, you’ll find Ameal on the wine lists of some of the most prestigious wine lists.

Quinta do Ameal Cellar

Quinta do Soalheiro
As one of the first estates to produce Alvarinho wine, Quinta de Soalheiro has a wine tasting room with optimal conditions for sampling this white wine varietal as well as their sparkling options.

Quinta do Soalheiro Tasting Room

Quinta de Santa Cristina
As one of the newer wineries in the area, Quinta de Santa Cristina was built from scratch in 2014 and now produces over 500,000 litres of award-winning white, red, rosé and sparkling wines.
Tours showcase the traditional route of the grapes from the vineyard to the foot-treading mill in the cellar.

Quinta de Santa Cristina Wine Tasting

How to see it for yourself

Wine and Cultural Tour in the Vinho Verde Region from €390 per person

Despite being a large area, a three-day tour will be sufficient to explore this region. Of course, if you are a true adventurer and wine lover, you can always add more days to your visit and discover more of its secrets and hidden gems.

This three-day tour gives you the opportunity to visit the cultural heritage of the most important cities in the region - Guimarães and Braga. It takes you to Guimarães Historic Centre -World Heritage Site and where Portugal was born - followed by a visit to the unique Bom Jesus Sanctuary, in Braga, that overlooks and provides a breathtaking view of the entire city. This wine tour also includes wine experiences in Vinho Verde wine producing Estates, accommodation in Boutique Estates or Luxury Hotels, meals and regional products tasting. All this accompanied by a private driver and guide for the entire tour.

Wine and Cultural Tour in the Vinho Verde Region

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Lisbon

Where is the region?

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and its largest city. It's centrally located, 400 km from Spain's northern border and 300 km from the southern region of Algarve. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, it lies on the right-hand side of the River Tagus. Know as the city of the seven hills and labyrinthine winding streets, Lisbon is considered to be the second oldest capital of Europe, just right after Athens.

Lisbon has one of the mildest climates in Europe and it enjoys around 300 days of sunny weather through the year. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon escapes from extreme temperatures that occur in other Portuguese cities, mostly in the interior of Portugal.

Lisbon wine region is divided in nine sub-regions: Encostas de Aire, Lourinhã, Óbidos, Torres Vedras, Alenquer, Arruda, Colares, Carcavelos and Bucelas. Lisbon Region

What wines is it best known for?

The selection of grape varieties, the enhancement of technology, the knowledge of new designations of origin, together with the effort of the vine producer and the information of the oenologist, were cornerstones to achieve the current situation, putting the Lisbon region wines in a high deserved quality level.

The main white grape varieties are: Arinto, Fernão Pires, Malvasia, Seara-Nova and Vital, and the reds are Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Castelão, Tinta Miúda, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira.

Must-visit wineries

Adega Mãe
This winery was born of an old passion that has always existed within the Riberalves Group: the wine. Located in Quinta da Archeira, in the Parish of Ventosa, has an area of approximately 40 ha.(98 ac.) devoted to vines and a production capacity of 1.2 million litres per year, thus giving rise to a full range of wines.

Adega Mãe Cellar

Quinta do Gradil
It has a strong wine tradition that has persisted for centuries. The property comprises a noble Chapel ornamented by an artistically decorated tower, a cellar and an agricultural area of 200 hectares with fruit and wine production where international award-winning wines are produced.

Quinta do Gradil

Quinta do Sanguinhal
Here there are three estates but just one name. The Companhia Agrícola do Sanguinhal was established in the 1920s. Abel Pereira da Fonseca, who almost needs no introduction, established it to continue the winemaking tradition born in the nineteenth century.

Quinta do Sanguinhal

Quinta dos Loridos - Buddha Eden
Located in Bombarral, this winery is the stage for the largest oriental garden in Europe, the impressive Buddha Eden, a true place of worship where you can find all the calm and serenity while you taste the famous wines of this estate.

Quinta dos Lóridos - Buddha Eden

How to see it for yourself

Wine Tour to the Wine Producing Estates in Lisbon from €110 per person

Starting in Lisbon centre, this tour takes you on a wine tasting journey through the wineries mentioned above and more. For the wine and food lovers, this wine tour gives you the opportunity to taste the best wines of the region at the estates where they are produced, accompanied by a guide that will explain the wine production processes, from the most traditional to the most modern ones. You'll have lunch in an estate with a century-old wine tradition and taste the flavors of the Portuguese cuisine with a magnificent and privileged view over the vineyard. You'll visit the largest Oriental Garden in Europe and, before going back to Lisbon, we will take you on a tour to the charming village of Óbidos, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Keep in mind that every tour is customizable, so, there is always the option to add more days, more places to visit, or simple to add any special request you may have.

Wine Tour to the Wine Producing Estates in Lisbon - Óbidos

No one knows better than you what you want, but our staff has the experience and knowledge to show what is available and what is possible. 

By booking with us, you'll work with one dedicated consultant, who will not only take time to listen to your requests, but also discuss different options with you. All of this coupled with a knowledge of the country means you'll get the best out of the time you have to spend on your next tour in Portugal.

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Topics:   Wine Tours Wine Cruises Wine Tourism wine tasting Wineries

Filipe Teixeira

Written by: Filipe Teixeira

Filipe is a marketeer, with multiple business industries experience, a traveller, a photography lover and creative thinker. When he is not writing or creating a new campaign, you can find him looking for a new destination. His true passion is defined by Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. He might not be able to visit all the world has to offer, but he tries to!

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