Best wine Tastings in Europe - Top 9 Experiences you just can't miss.

Posted by: Marisa Leitão

Post Date 05-Feb-2019 13:45:00

As we enter 2020, we have rounded up 9 things you will greatly enjoy. From rooftop cocktails to river cruises here are the unmissable experiences in one of the Best Wine Destinations in Europe. Now that wintery January has come to an end your cravings for vacations are getting stronger by the day. The weather here is getting warmer and sunnier and we know that in Portugal you'll enjoy the Best Tailor Made Tours and Food & Wine Vacations you could ask for.


Portugal is a small, trendy country nowadays, benefiting from the mild sunny weather incredible for the wines, awesome for visiting. So be inspired and rush. The secret of smart traveling is to book in advance.

By booking now your 2020 vacations you will be able to close the best deals. Price wise and the perfect spots for you might be available still. 

Ask us how and say hello to your 2020 vacations with the perfect experience and the perfect mood. Moreover, the weather. Did we mentioned the weather already? Let's travel...

Private Guided Tour of the Vineyard at Quinta das Carvalhas

Located in heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region, Quinta das Carvalhas is the biggest vineyard in the area, situated on a privileged position overlooking the river.

On this one-on-one tour you'll have a genuinely unique experience walking around the vineyards with an insightful guide, ending with a tasting of wines and regional cheese. What really makes it special is the fact that the tour is led by the in-house agriculturalist, which offers an unique visiting experience side by side with someone who knows it by heart. 

If you don't have too much time to spend, you can still have this experience on our 1-day tour in Douro with Picnic in the Vineyard, which includes private transportation during the entire tour, starting with a pick-up in Porto. In just 8 hours you can explore an entirely different region.

Quick tip: Travelers in the valley always pair Douro with a city break in Porto as you have to fly to Porto’s airport Francisco Sá Carneiro. Wine Lovers visiting Porto always pair it with a Douro vineyards tastings and visits because here you will find the finest Food & Wine holidays.


BOOK NOW A Day Trip to the Douro Valley with Lunch in the Vineyards

Quinta das Carvalhas - Piscina 3

Food and Wine Pairing at Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House

With great views of the river and the estate's vineyard, Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House was billed as the first wine hotel in Portugal. Visitors can take part in a number of wine-themed activities, which combined have earned it the Luxury Hotel & Winery of the Year Award for 2018 by the English-born Luxury Travel Guide.

The guided tours include a visit to the 1764 winery, vineyard, and underground cellar where the best lots selected by the family age. The visit ends at a panoramic room where tasting sessions take place. There are different visits available, varying in the number and type of wines offered. The estate offers some other unusual experiences, such as the winemaker for a day program, fire bottle opening, as well as 6 miles (8 km) of hiking and biking trails which you can enjoy free of charge.

Quinta Nova's in-house restaurant offers excellent food in a stunning outdoor setting overlooking the valley. At Conceitus Winery Restaurant – Quinta Nova in-house restaurant - there's no menu, but fear not. The menu is define daily accordingly to what is available on the local farm, grown biologic and sustainable in perfect tune with the nature and pairing perfectly with the property's wines.

Ready for a weekend getaway, our 3-day tour in Douro makes the most of a short trip. We'll take you inland to the Douro Valley where you'll stay at a wine accommodation, visit some of the most relevant wineries in the area and try the best wines produced in the region. You know sometimes, a weekend trip is all you need to have a memorable and rejuvenating experience.

7-Day Private Tour in Douro and Porto


Douro River Cruise in the Heart of the Valley

River cruising is one of the most enjoyable travel experiences available to those seeking to get to know the Douro region. The journey upriver is one of the most scenic in the world, with staggering views of the dramatic valley covered in rows of grape vines. 

There are several cruise experiences available for direct purchase through our website, all of those can be tailored to your specific needs.

From short 1-hour cruises to full-day programs or overnight stays, there is plenty to choose from depending on how much time you have to spend and what your budget and preferences are.

The weather is getting warmer and sunnier each day, and from February until late October, we will be enjoying mild pleasant temperatures. Plenty of sunshine up and down the country and temperatures rarely fall below 10ºC (50ºF).

These are luxury river cruises, entirely private, which draw inspiration from the character and old-fashioned charm of classic gentleman’s yachts.

Some 1-day cruises will include a visit to a nearby winery followed by a wine tasting session, or even lunch or dinner on board catered by Michelin-awarded chef. Tell us what you would like to enjoy and how long are you staying, we will give you the best options at the best price.

And even if you have something special in mind, ask for a quote and we'll help you make it happen.

7-Day Private Tour in Douro and Porto

Douro à Vela 2-1

Wine Tasting Workshop at L'AND Vineyards

If you are flying to Lisbon, and find yourself looking for something outside the city for a sudden change, we recommend a short trip to Alentejo.

Alentejo is one of the most consensual regions for the Portuguese people and it is located about one hour drive away from the city center.

Here is a sneak peek of a 1-Day-tour with a wine loving twist. This one-day private tour in Alentejo is a great option right at the doorstep of the capital city. Even if you don't have that much time, this tour will offer you a glimpse into what this wonderful region has to offer. Starting with a pick up in Central Lisbon - all the way to the end of the tour - a private driver will allow you to quickly move around, and you'll have the chance to visit two of the main wineries in the area. 

Just a one hour east of Lisbon, you'll find the exclusive wine resort L'AND Vineyards. This oenophile's dream location is the perfect haven for those keen to enjoy the calm of the countryside. Indulge in relaxing spa experiences at the in-house wine therapy spa by Caudalie and revel in a gastronomic experience at the Michelin-starred restaurant - the first in Alentejo. 

Led by Miguel Laffan, the Portuguese chef has been reinventing, reinterpreting and reinvigorating the roots of Portuguese cuisine and traditions. The menu has incredible dishes and food is creative and finely crafted. The dining room is absolutely beautiful. Comfortable and with the perfect ambiance and lightning, with dozens of Tom Dixon-designed pendant lamps. 

Wine resort L'AND Vineyards also offers a Complete Wine Experience Course which will not only guide you through the basics of wine production and tasting, but wine pairing as well. This experience also includes a tour of the vineyards and cellar led by an in-house expert.



 Lunch with a View at Quinta do Gradil

About 1 hour north of Lisbon is Quinta do Gradil. Dubbed one of the oldest wineries in the area, it once belonged to Marquis of Pombal, the man responsible for rebuilding Lisbon after the devastating 18th-century earthquake.

During the tour, you'll enjoy the green landscape fully covered in vineyards and witness history in loco with a visit to the ruins of the palace and the chapel, in the end enjoy the wines from Quinta do Gradil paired with cheese and regional charcuterie products.

We got asked a lot about walking to the wineries, so our client’s experiences tell us that while visiting wineries in Portugal at least for the most of it, you should really consider a car.

Wineries are usually located in perfect alignment with nature, and most of them are about 30 minutes walking from public transportation.

Considering all the walking and for your comfort, we highly recommend that you go by car.

For that reason, a guided tour is the best practical option when visiting Lisbon wineries. A private driver will leave you free to fully appreciate the wines and views, while helping you get more out of your experiences.

The full-day tour through Lisbon's wine producing estates will take you to a number of wineries, offering you the chance to sample some of the best wines produced in the region, paired with locally-grown traditional products. You will also have the opportunity to have lunch at one of the wineries - with a breath-taking view over the vineyards - as well as visit the largest Oriental Garden in Europe and the picturesque village of Óbidos.

We are focused on Luxury wine Tours, and our team will antecipate all your needs and expectations as the tour includes:

  • Pick-up and Drop-Off in Lisbon 
  • Chauffeur in a Vehicle of superior range Mercedes for the entire duration of the Tour
  • 2 Exclusive guided visits with Premium Wine Tasting at 2 renowned Wine Producers in the Lisbon Wine Region
  • Exclusive visit to a House-Palace with a botanic garden with a Premium Wine Tasting
  • 1 Lunch with pre-set menu and drinks
  • 1 Ride in a horse carriage along Óbidos village
  • Degustation of Regional Products
  • Toast of Ginjinha, a traditional Óbidos liquor
  • All the insurances required by Turismo de Portugal

Book a 1-Day Wine Estate Tour in Lisbon

Quinta do Gradil - Restaurant

Wine and Food Vacations in Lisbon

As downtown evolves, a new wave of up-and-coming neighborhoods filled with cozy cafes, and trendy restaurants and bars has emerged. Young chefs are reinventing traditional gastronomical staples, while Portuguese wines have been garnering increasing international praise.

Downtown's joint By the Wine doubles as a wine bar and restaurant featuring the entire wine portfolio of José Maria da Fonseca as well as cheese and charcuterie platters, tapas, and other international favorites like ceviche, quesadilla, and grilled entrecote.

The Sommelier Experience was recently added to the rich menu of experiences you can't miss. Food and wine available in 2 perfect pairing experiences for you to choose from, and a one to one with the house Sommelier, a premium experience right in one of the best locations in lively, trendy Lisbon. Bookings are by request, please contact us on our website chat or email to book it for an intimate occasion or a small group special event. 

A plus, new and upscale, it is really beautifully designed with bottles on the walls and arched ceiling, which is nothing short of Instagramable

If you don't have much time to spare, you can still get to know the city with our half-day Culture and Wine Tour in Lisbon which will take you on a guided walking itinerary through the historic centre, followed by a wine tasting - which will give you the opportunity to sample a wide range of wines from different Portuguese regions - and a light lunch at one of the most popular wine bars in the city.


By the Wine-1

Port Wine Masterclass at Taylor's

Established over three centuries ago in 1692, Taylor’s is one of the oldest of the founding port houses and it is dedicated entirely to the production of Port wine. Opened throughout the year, they have been recently renovated to incorporate a modern museum circuit. 

Here you are given the opportunity to choose from a range of port tastings including a choice of different Tawny or Vintage Ports, accompanied with classic pairings such as roasted almonds, cheese, and chocolate. 

And you will also have the option to take a masterclass led by in-house wine professionals to learn about vintage or tawny port. A private tour of the famous lodges is also included, with a visit to the staggering wine cellar, piled to the ceiling with huge barrels, followed by a wine tasting.

If you're having trouble deciding which wine cellars to visit and in what order, our Port Wine Cellars Tour may be your answer. The wine cellars are located within walking distance from each and the entire tour is done on foot, which is a great opportunity to explore this less-known part of the city. With this pre-planned tour, you'll get the best of both worlds: everything is taken care of for you and you’ll get to try some great wine, while enjoying the freedom of traveling unguided. 

A best seller amongst our clients is the Porto city tour that includes a port wine tasting.

Culture and Wine Tour in Porto with River Cruise Book Now


Port Wine feat Fado Performance at Calém

Caves Calém are one of the many cellars that have established their headquarters on the city’s south bank, with spectacular views of Porto’s historic city centre and the iconic two-tier bridge that connects both cities. However, Calém is entirely unique among their peers as they are the only ones offering a Fado concert aside from their regular tours and Port tastings.

Fado - which means literally “destiny” or “fate” - is Portugal's traditional folk music. The genre took root two centuries ago in working-class neighborhoods in Lisbon and was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Also, Caves Calém have been recently renovated to incorporate a modern museum circuit that includes an array of digital platforms which tell the story of the brand and Port, including a Douro Valley 3D Map, aroma sampling table, a logo evolution timeline, among many other things. There's also a 5D movie theater where you can enjoy a short film on Port wine with all the perks of virtual reality technology.

Book a Port Tasting and Fado Concert


Best Wine Destinations in Europe - Sunset Cocktail at Espaço Porto Cruz

On the opposite river bank from Porto - in the suburb of Gaia - is the contemporary looking DeCastro Gaia. Located on the third floor of Espaço Porto Cruz, this riverfront restaurant led by talented Chef Miguel Castro e Silva matches ports and wines with local staples rooted in traditional Portuguese flavors.Try the Brás Style Codfish or the Pork Cheek cooked in Red Wine and Cumin and have a Port Wine Cocktail on the rooftop with all-around views across the Douro to the old city.

This contemporary project was created with Port wine in mind, as a place where visitors can explore all things related to the production and culture of this famous wine, taking advantage of their multimedia resources. While there, you can also sample different kinds of wine paired with chocolate and cheese.

The most difficult thing when visiting a new place is often knowing what to do first. This Culture and Wine Tour with a River Cruise gives you that starting point. Once you submit your booking request, we'll put together an itinerary for you with all the visits scheduled for your selected date. You'll kick start the day at the city's beautiful downtown on a private walking tour, followed by lunch and visit to one of the city's famous wine cellars. You'll close your day with a 1-hour cruise along the city banks, which allows for an entirely different perspective of the city and the beautiful colorful houses along the river margins all the way to the city's beachfront. Be ready for the best wine tastings in europe, this is the year for Food and Wine Vacations. 

Culture and Wine Tour in Porto with River Cruise Book Now


Savvy travelers like you who know that booking a holiday well in advance means that you have a wide range of options as to where and when to go. 

Our expertise is in creating an itinerary that runs smoothly and is perfectly suited to your needs. 

By booking with us, you will save hours of research comparing hotels and experiences. We guarantee the best experiences at the best prices and no hiden fees. How? We are the major online hub in Portugal and our clients have proven our deeds already. As we are locals we can guarantee availability when others don't. 

Get the best out your time in Portugal.

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Topics:   Wine Cruises Wine Experiences Food Tours Customized Holidays Wine Regions

Marisa Leitão

Written by: Marisa Leitão

Marisa has been working on Digital Marketing and Advertising for the past years. Born in Lisbon and hopelessly in love with Porto, she knows the trendy places and the hidden-gems of both. Ask her about Portuguese heritage and curiosities, she knows some funny facts that you will enjoy to uncover.

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