The Douro gains another flavor in September. The reentré as many call it is one of the best times and a favorite for wine lovers. In Portugal, many wineries open their doors for the usual wine tastings and for visitors to watch the harvest traditions in different programs.
The fascinating thing about the region is the life it gains, the soul it acquires, and the feeling of belonging. The inhabitants come together to celebrate, and the slopes become full from sunrise to sunset.
The moment of harvest is unique, the melody that fills the farms makes this an experience not to be missed. In the Douro, where the tradition is one of the oldest in the country, celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Pombaline dinner, with costumes, music, scenery, and dishes appropriate to the time continues to be one of the highlights of the celebration returns to the time of the Marquis of Pombal. Let's get to know some of the not-to-be-missed quintas in the Douro. If you want to book with us some of the experiences and itineraries. Read here some reviews from satisfied customers!
Quinta do Vallado
These days, the harvesting of grapes begins in the oldest demarcated region in the world, in what is the great festival of the Douro. It is one of the most famous and oldest farms in the region – it was built in 1716, belonged to the legendary owner Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, and remains in the family’s possession – but it has not stopped in time. Quite the opposite. The charm of its 70 hectares (located near Peso da Régua) is combined with a wide range of activities. There are visits to the winery (one of the most modern in the region) and wine tasting, of course, but also various wine-related workshops or jeep tours around the property – in an anachronistic Land Rover Defender over fifty years old. And harvest, of course.
Quinta da Pacheca
Quinta da Pacheca, with 75 hectares, is one of the most famous wine producers in the region, whose origins date back to the mid-18th century. In addition to the experiences that celebrate the harvest season, the estate also has The Wine House Hotel, an elegant four-star rural hotel that was built in a typical 18th-century house and has, in the main structure, 15 rooms equipped with period furniture. The main highlight of Quinta da Pacheca is the Wine Barrels, the incredible and luxurious accommodation in the shape of a wine barrel, which opened in 2018. The project was designed by the architect Henrique Pinto and is located in a high area of the property, with a breathtaking view over the vines.
Quinta de La Rosa
The name seems to refer to Spain, but there is no connection here with the neighboring country but with England. The owner, Sophie Bergqvist, a Cambridge graduate, started working on the farm with her father in 1988 and immediately fell in love with the region. And the most certain thing is that visitors will “fall in love” with its relaxed posture and speech. The best thing is to be there, during the harvest. Whether or not, it is worth visiting the beautiful property two minutes from Pinhão, on the opposite side of the EN222. There are two programs available, a half-day program (starts at 5:00 p.m.) and a full-day program from 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Any of them with the right to dine at Cozinha da Clara restaurant, which opened in 2017, and is the new favorite of the estate.
Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo
On the right bank of the river, between winding roads that follow the contours of the mountains, you can discover, embedded in the valley, the Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo. The name comes from the proximity to the old chapel where boatmen stopped to order a safe trip to Vila Nova de Gaia. The first records date back to 1725, which makes it one of the oldest vineyards in the Douro, and if there is one thing that, besides wine, this house is not lacking in history. It has belonged to the Amorim family since 1999 and, in honor of the matriarch, last year the newest part of the complex was built, the Wine Museum Center Fernanda Ramos Amorim. It displays more than six hundred pieces from Fernanda's private collection, divided into five rooms that cover the entire port wine production cycle, from the vineyard to the bottle. But the collection is just a small part of what this farm has to offer. In addition to the wines produced here – more than a dozen references, including DOC Douro, internationally recognized and of which the Mirabilis and the ports stand out –, there is a whole set of experiences to enjoy.
Churchill's / Quinta da Gricha
The winding path to the top of the valley is one of those obstacles that separate ordinary experiences from those that are really worth living. Isolated up there in the valley, the old house of Quinta da Gricha is a small temple of isolation. Four bedrooms, no more than eight guests—and a luxurious landscape to enjoy in silence. It was this silence and isolation that the British painter Richard de Lucchi experienced when in March of last year he settled there for a two-week artistic residency. With the house closed to guests, what should have been a short period to boost creativity ended up being transformed into privileged two-month confinement. In September, Churchill’s welcomes visitors to the annual harvest at its emblematic Quinta da Gricha. Upon arrival, guests change clothes for their “Douro Kit” and join the grape harvest with the viticulture team.
Article Originally published on September 2022