Enchanted Douro Valley
Why is this territory so special?
The Douro Valley is known in the four corners of the world. Full of peculiarities, curiosities and secrets, it is one of the proudest treasures of the Portuguese. With articles, photographs and news coming out daily about the Region, it is impossible not to have minimal knowledge of the unique beauty of the incredible Douro landscapes. But still, there're plenty of secrets for you to discover specially if you start to explore the North of Portugal!
About the territory
The Douro Wine Region
The Douro Demarcated Region (the First Demarcated and Recognized Wine Region in the World) was created during the reign of D. José I, by its Prime Minister and future Marquis of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, by Law of 1756, which, after changing over time was confirmed in 1921.
This beautiful region, also known as «País Vinhateiro», extends along the valley of the Douro River and its numerous tributaries, from Barqueiros (Mesão Frio) to Barca d'Alva, in an area of approximately 250,000 ha, covering municipalities from the districts of Vila Real, Viseu, Bragança and Guarda.
The Douro Demarcated
Region is divided into 3 "zones":
Baixo-Corgo, Cima-Corgo and Douro Superior.
"I´m quite independent.
Do I really need a guide to visit Porto and Douro region?"
- you're thinking...
Well, it depends! Do you wish for a local lifetime, tailor-made, unique and memorable experience?
Does that mean that you'll get stuck with us all the time?
NO! NOT AT ALL!
So, we are certain that you'll be the one asking for our entire dedication!
Take a look at our short break suggestions!
Wish to visit?
To fully enjoy Porto and the Douro Region, we suggest you discover this region with the help of someone that really knows the territory and the local producers! We are those people! Who else?
Not only do we offer a deep knowledge of the history, culture, patrimony, gastronomy and of course, of the wines, but we also provide for the best experiences since we know the small producers and can arrange visits to non-touristic places, allowing you to really be in touch with the local way of life and that's a completely different type visit.
Besides that, we have a long guiding experience not only in the Douro Region but also in Porto, Aveiro and Braga cities and other wine regions like Minho, Dão, Bairrada, all fantastic places for wine lovers! Take a look at our programs!
Curious facts about Douro
There are certain mysteries that surround the Douro Valley, which even the most knowledgeable about the Region may not know. So, are you really a connoisseur of the Douro Valley Region?
We discovered curiosities that most Portuguese are unaware of.
1 HECTARE EACH
Altogether, there are approximately 33,000 growers in the Douro. However, most of these people only have 1 hectare of vineyard and the owner sells the grapes to cooperatives and other wine-producing companies.
FINGER PRINTS OF GOD?
"Surriba", do you know what it means? It is an agricultural technique through which the earth is dug to soften it. The greatest manifestation of this technique is found in the Douro and its famous terraces. Man has always felt the need to clear the Douro land for the correct planting of vines. The terraces are not, therefore, a work of Nature, but a perfect result of the harmony between the sweat of work and the natural landscapes. In this way, cleaning and regularizing the land allows for the creation of favourable conditions for the growth of vines, allowing the fixation of roots and water, maintaining a constant temperature and preventing erosion.
The predominant stone in the Douro region is schist, a heavily laminated metamorphic rock. This feature is commonly known. However, few people know that it is one of the main factors in the production of globally appreciated wines. Being rich in nutrients, this soil also has a useful water-holding property. This stone manages to retain a certain amount of moisture sufficient to allow the vine to survive in the arid conditions that prevail during most of the summer.
WORLD HERITAGE SITE
In the region, there are traces of human settlement inscribed in schist. These vestiges can be found in about 500 rocks of the Côa Valley, being considered the first great artistic manifestations known and constituting the world's largest set of open-air Paleolithic art. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1998. This region also contains abundant remains from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, such as megalithic monuments, zoomorphic sculptures and cave paintings.
Most Port and Douro wines are blends, that is, they mix different varieties, between sweet and sour, to find a (perfect) balance. There are approximately 100 varieties certified by the Institute of Douro and Porto Wines - IVDP for the production of Douro and Porto wines.
1ST WINE REGION
The Douro Region is the oldest Demarcated Wine Region in the world. This record has its origins in the territorial delimitation of 1756, ordered by the famous Marquês de Pombal, the date of the first demarcation of the "Vinhas do Alto Douro", which defined the first institutional model for the organization of a wine region worldwide. After this, many others followed suit. This delimitation made it possible, therefore, to guarantee the quality and authenticity of the Douro Valley wines.