Live the Douro Valley at its Best in the Outstanding Quinta De Ventozelo

Posted by: Soraia Costa

Post Date 16-Mar-2021 09:01:34

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The beautiful Quinta de Ventozelo is a place filled with natural beauty and a fantastic invitation for those who want to enjoy the best of the upper Douro without leaving the site. 

This 500-year-old Douro estate that will remind you of a small village, is incredible to savor a true rest and to enjoy a feeling of pure contemplation, a feeling that you will have experienced the entire Douro Valley in one place. 

 

See all the available Porto and Douro tours 

 

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Built from a wide amphitheater that stretches from the river to an altitude of 600 meters, Quinta de Ventozelo is located in São João da Pesqueira, between Pinhão and Ervedosa do the Douro, and extends over 400 hectares, 200 of which are planted vineyards, 20 olive groves and the rest is scrubland. The vineyards, situated between valleys and terraces in a very particular terroir, assume skewed contours that not only favor the landscape but are also a golden attribute in shaping the character of the wines.

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Once a place of passage, it still preserves the hospitality of other times, adapting it to the needs of today's travelers, who seek to stay overnight, eat in a good restaurant, do wine tastings, perhaps learn about the history of this place in an interpretive center (there is one here!), do one of the seven hiking trails (with audioguide) and do nature tourism activities in general. If you're lucky, you'll set your sights on the birds, wild boars, foxes, and other animals that surround the farm. In covid-19 times, the ex-libris are the delicious picnics prepared by the hotel restaurant, ideal for families or more romantic stays.

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The Casa Grande is one of the seven buildings that are part of the Ventozelo hotel project, and it houses five of the 29 rooms that now exist in the Quinta. If once there was only the farmhouse, when it was acquired in 2014 (although it had already acquired vineyards in 2011), now the novelty of wine tourism and hotel management is added. In addition to the Casa Grande, a space suitable for large families or groups of friends, which has its own pool and a superb view over the river, there is also the Casa do Laranjal, once a barn, where there are now five double rooms that were once pigsties and have been delicately decorated with past and present motifs from the history of Ventozelo.

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The Casa do Feitor, which has five double rooms and a suite for people with reduced mobility, includes a common living room with a fireplace and balcony with views over the river. There is a storage house for farm implements that is now the most romantic of the suites, for those looking for a more romantic experience for two. In the Cardanhos building, where the workers used to stay (sleeping in dormitories) there are now seven double rooms and a living room with a fireplace.

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The Casa do Rio, next to the Douro, is the most premium experience in Ventozelo, with two double rooms, a living room, kitchen, and terrace. The prize for originality goes to the two balloons that used to be wine tanks and have now given way to a suite with a double bedroom, living room, and porch open onto the landscape.

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The Cantina de Ventozelo, which is managed by Chef Miguel Castro e Silva, is one of the most magnetic points of the estate. This beautiful restaurant has its own special charms, like an outdoor fireplace, which is almost always lit in winter and will invite you to sip a glass of wine, covered with a blanket.

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The restaurant works with daily dishes posted on a sign outside. The menu always consists of traditional dishes that have been made in the region for decades and fell into disuse - until Chef Miguel Castro e Silva reinvented them maintaining the Portuguese essence but with a contemporary touch. As part of his research, the Chef and the general manager of the estate and the hotel went in search of old Douro recipe inventories, talked to people, and handpicked small producers in order to support them in this new chapter of Ventozelo's history. In similarly to what happens in the hotel, here is also applied the maxim of providing the experience of "The Douro in a single farm". Thus, the sustainable cuisine of those times was rescued, when only dried fish from the river (such as codfish or octopus) were eaten, and the meats were veal (vitela barrosã), maronesa (maronesa), and pork (bísaro). 

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Further, normally when the Cantina celebrates the olive harvest there is a chance that you will find a traditional meal that used to take place in the olive presses at this time. Among the delicacies, there is the olive oil ball, the chipped codfish, and the honey pudding, integrated into a menu that as a title as an example from last year includes three starters, one soup, one main course, and two desserts.

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Last but not the least, the wines from this house are memorable editions, which over-privileged the terroir of this particular region. The olive oil that is made on the estate is also of superior quality, velvety and smooth. Another curiosity? Last year, Ventozelo saw the birth of its first gin, which has been a success since its launch, and which is produced with aromatic herbs from the organic vegetable, fruit, and herbs garden (did I mention that there are some in the estate?) right at the entrance. It has coriander, thyme bela luz, purple everlasting, lemon, juniper, lavender, and, of course, wine. It is simply marvelous and perfect to end the day enjoying the views of the Douro. 

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In conclusion, the wonderful Quinta de Ventozelo has it all in one place where you will enjoy the Douro Valley at its max. And with us you can enjoy this beautiful estate, we will arrange it all so you don't have to worry about anything, but just relax.

Why book now your 2021 tour? Because by booking all your tours with us you will have flexibility in the future, plus all the COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidlines. Through these unique times, we are available to plan, reschedule, and move your trip around your needs, as always. If your new dates may no longer work with your initial travel plan, a dedicated consultant will be available to tailor and reschedule your time in Portugal according to your needs and preferences, and to assure you that you will have the best and most memorable experiences.

 

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Topics:   Douro Douro Valley Douro Tours douro estates

Soraia Costa

Written by: Soraia Costa

Soraia has a Bachelor Degree in Communication and she is natural from Azores (the Portuguese islands) which she knows from end to end, as well, as mainland Portugal. She loves to travel and know all about the culture and food of each country. She also loves to cook new recipes, some of the most renowned chefs in the world. In her articles, she shares the knowledge of her travels about heritage, culture, wine, gastronomy, and must-see places.

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