A Luxury Guide to Douro Valley Focused in Wine and Food
The Northern Portugal is only complete with a visit to the beautiful Douro Valley. This region offers spectacular views, hypnotizing beauty, and rustic charm, its natural beauty will blow you away.
Furthermore, and as you already know the Douro is a region known for producing wine, mainly sweet fortified wine but also still wines under the Douro DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada) appellation. It is definitely an obligated stop for any wine affectionate since it is a wine lover’s paradise. Here you will savor different types of Port wines or taste bold robust still wines. But not only this region is fertile in wine but it is also abundant in delicious produce like almonds, chestnuts, cherries, wild mushrooms, and regional products like olive oil, honey, sausages, smoked, and cured meats (enchidos) of all kinds.
So if you are searching for a place to relax, expand your love for food and wine, savor the river, breathtaking views, world-class wines, and delicious comfort food, then this is part of Portugal that has to be on your travel bucket list this year.
Douro Wines: What Wines You Should Taste
In this stunning region, you will find more than a Port wine to taste, and of course, in a visit to this region, it is mandatory that you try all the Port wines, after all, is the only place in all the world where real Port wine can be made and what better than to have a glass of a 20 year old tawny or one of those spectacular Vintage Ports than enjoying all the beautiful scenario that this region offers to its visitors? Moreover, there are some wines that you should add to your list that will elevate and sing in your palate:
Aged White Ports – White ports are hard to come by since they are not widely produced, and by the way, they are completely underrated. An aged white Port, anything over ten years old, is something that will stay in your memory. Made from a blend of white grapes, its beautiful golden color matches nutty, honey, and orange marmalade aromas that just pop out of the glass, and the best wines leave a smooth, long finish.
Moscatel de Favaios – Also a fortified wine, it is made using only the white Moscatel Galego grape. Like Port wines, these are wines that can age very well and can be found as blends from various vintages or single harvest. The charming village of Favaios is the capital of Moscatel of Douro. This village is composed of rolling hills, vineyards, forests, and small towns that definitely make the visit to see the Favaios Bread and Wine Museum for a taste even more spectacular.
Douro Sparkling – Douro might seem like the last place to make sparkling wines, but they exist and are quite unique since it is also added native grapes. Under the Espumantes Douro DOC appellation and at higher altitudes in Upper Douro, in which the cooler breezes allow grapes to maintain higher acidity, which is necessary for sparkling wines, you will taste sparkling at its best!
Douro Gastronomy: Where Should You Go
In this region is better that you forget your diet, since the Dourense gastronomy is hearty and simply delicious. Douro cuisine is all about taste. There the restaurants use local ingredients and fresh produce, it revolves all about sustainability. But don't worry the Portuguese dishes are cooked at their finest, in which it will be delivered to your table, dishes that are rustic, real, and full of flavor. Furthermore, choosing where to eat in the Douro is not an easy task, since most restaurants offer tasty meals, but finding the very best examples of regional dishes is much more difficult, but is possible and even better in the few fine-dining restaurants in the region that offer sophisticated twists on regional dishes and carry a diversity of wines, such as the Vintage House Restaurant, Vindouro, Castas e Pratos, Six Senses Restaurant. If Michelin stars are your thing, then be sure to check out DOC for their ‘gastronomic experiences’ by the talented chef, Rui Paula, on the banks of Douro River in Folgosa. Besides this, the incredible Quintas (wine estates), of this region has also restaurants in which the experience will be even more memorable since you will have wine pairings in each course (a great way to taste their awarded and premium wines). You probably wonder whiches you should go to? Then, Quinta Nova, Quinta da Pacheca, Quinta de La Rosa, Quinta do Crasto, Quinta de Ventozelo, and Quinta do Portal, all have restaurants, but if you prefer they also offer lunches and fantastic picnics. Another cool thing about dining in the Douro is that you will probably think that such a place doesn't exist since it is truly a paradise for your love of food and wine. Be prepared for this authentic and unique ride!
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