A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in the Douro Valley

Douro Valley
wine tasting tours and winery visits

As seen in:
The Times
Daily Mail
Los Angeles Times

Why Visit Douro Valley?

The Douro Valley, home of world-famous port wine, is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world and one of the most beautiful. Could there be a better place to visit on a wine tasting holiday? Wine has been produced here for over 2000 years and in 2001 the Douro was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, an accolade which acknowledges the region’s long tradition of viticulture and outstanding landscapes. 

Port is produced exclusively in the Douro Valley and there is an abundance of quintas (wineries) where you will be warmly welcomed for a port tasting experience to learn about the production process and discover the difference between a Ruby, a Vintage and a Tawny. However, port is no longer the sole produce of the region, and the Douro Valley is fast establishing a reputation for high quality red and white table wines. In fact, nowadays around 40% of wine production in the regions is unfortified, and a new generation of winemakers are breathing new life into Douro’s ancient traditions.  
The easiest way to experience the Douro Valley is on a privately guided or small group wine tasting tour from Porto so you can let someone else do the driving! If you prefer to linger longer and immerse yourself in Douro life, ask the Winerist team about staying overnight in a peaceful riverside retreat or amongst the vines in a renovated quinta. 

The Douro Valley is an enchanting region of dramatically beautiful scenery. The serene Douro River winds its way through steep, terraced vineyards, and hillsides dotted with villages and centuries-old quintas. Journey through the picturesque landscape by train, take a leisurely boat cruise along the historic river or even take a hot-air balloon flight for a magical birds-eye view. 

For a truly unforgettable Douro Valley experience, plan your visit around the time of the grape harvest. Harvest time typically commences in September and provides a unique opportunity for visitors to witness the traditional foot-treading and perhaps even lend a hand (or foot in this case!) Handpicked grapes are poured into traditional granite lagares and a party ensues as people climb in to gently crush the grapes underfoot, usually to the tune of rousing traditional music!

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

One of the Douro Valley’s attributes is its wealth of traditional grape varieties. The reasons are partly historic and partly related to the region’s mountainous topography, a choice of different vine types being required to match a variety of different growing conditions.  Although around thirty grape varieties can be used to make port, most Douro vineyards use a selection of just five red grape varieties: Touriga Franca (the most widely planted variety), Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (known as Tempranillo in Spain) and Tinto Cão.  White grape varieties are also grown in the Douro Valley, notably Malvasia, Viosinho and Rabigato. These are used in the production of white port and unfortified white wine.
Read more »

Best time to visit

The best times of year to visit the Douro Valley are the spring months of April, May and June, and the autumn months of September and October, when the weather is favourable and the landscape is at its most picturesque. Temperatures in high summer can feel a little overpowering the further inland you travel, with the Douro Superior (the most inland of the Douro grape growing regions) often experiencing temperatures of 30°C - 40°C, which can be as much as 10°C or 15°C higher than in coastal Porto. The best time of year to go on a wine trip to the Douro Valley is grape harvest season (typically September and October). There is a palpable excitement in the air and the opportunity to get involved in the picking and crushing of grapes if you so wish. 
Read more »

How long to stay

To get a flavour of the Douro region we would recommend a stay of 2-3 nights, either basing yourself in Porto or staying overnight in the Douro Valley itself. If you have time, then a week tour is the best way to experience everything that this lovely corner of Portugal has to offer: from the lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia to the historic socalcos, the beautiful and ancient stone grape-growing terraces which line the Douro River. 
Read more »

How to get there

The Douro Valley is easily accessible from the city of Porto, which is home to an international airport (Francisco Sa Carneiro airport). It is a little more than one hour by car from Porto to the heart of the Douro region or two hours by train from Porto Campanha Station with stops in Peso da Régua and Pocinho - the end of the train line. If travelling from Lisbon to the Douro Valley expect a drive time of around 3.5 to four hours, or 5.5 hours by train. An efficient rail and road network also connect the region to France and Spain.  
Read more »
Winerist uses 3rd party cookies to give you personalised content, advertisements, and to provide a reliable experience. If you continue browsing, you agree to the use of cookies. More details can be found in our privacy policy.