Do you love Portuguese wine? Have you ever wondered how Port wine is made? While in Porto, don’t miss an opportunity to visit an antique wine cellar and sample Port straight from the barrel. Those with the time and an interest in viticulture should also head away from the city to experience the entire wine-making process, which begins before the first grape is picked. These 10 locations are among the best wineries and vineyards in the Porto area.
Wine Seller, Bodega, Tapas, Portuguese, $$$
The Ferreira name is among the most popular for Port wine and can be found across Portugal as well as outside of the country. During a tour, visitors will sample aged varieties (between two to five types, depending on the package) while learning about the Douro region and the vineyard heiress who developed and gave Ferreira Port her name. Tours are guided through cellars that are just over 260 years old and also take visitors to what was once Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira’s personal spaces.
Ferreira, Av. Diogo Leite 70, 4440-452 Porto, Portugal, +351 22 374 5292
Ferreira Wine | © Ricard12/Wikimedia Commons | © Ricard12 / Wikimedia Commons
What can you expect from visiting the oldest, continuously-running Port wine producer? The most basic answer is a sampling of three exceptional wines in addition to peering down the antique cellars. Croft also offers a broader tasting experience with more wine and accompaniments, in addition to blind tastings meant to enhance the senses.
Croft, R. Barão Forrester 412, 4400-034 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 22 010 9825
Croft Cellar | © Ricardo Martins/Wikimedia Commons
Graham's Port Lodge
Wine Seller, Portuguese, $$$
Graham’s Port Lodge
Watch the wine-making process as it’s happening. The Graham Lodge has been in business for around 300 years, but visitors can experience the normal sights and sounds that come with the operation within their late 19th-century lodge. Select your own tasting from three packages by either booking a spacious and comfortable tasting room, a visit to the museum, or a guided tour of the caves.
Graham’s Port Lodge, Rua do Agro 150, 4400-281 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 22 377 6484
What makes Sandeman wine different from Ferreira or any other Port? Learn during a visit in their Vila Nova da Gaia cellar. The classics include Ruby, Tawny, and White Port wine, and Sandeman also produces Brandy and Madeira Wine. Visits are also themed, and guests may be shown around by a man in a cape and sombrero.
Sandeman, Largo Santa M.nha 1, 4400-012 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 254 732 800
Sandeman Casks | © Ken & Nyetta/Flickr
Absorb the tastes and smells of Port against a fashionable backdrop. A visit includes samples of both Douro and Port wines. Although Churchill’s is a young winery founded in 1981, the company focuses on tradition to create a flavor that is loved. From 10AM to 6PM, visits include a tasting from an elegant sampling room.
Churchill’s, R. da Fonte Nova 5, 4400-156 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 22 370 3641
While each of the wineries on this list are great places to visit, Calém may be one of the most popular. It was founded in 1859 as an export to Brazil and has been exported around the world since. It’s also a favorite within Portugal. Calém offers its visitors a wide range of ports from a variety of whites, ruby and tawny.
Calém, 344, Av. de Diogo Leite, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 22 374 6660
Vintage Port Bottles | © Dominic Lockyer/Flickr
Can there ever be too much of a good thing? At Burmester, wine and chocolate pairings are part of the visit. This is another location that also offers a museum for visitors to enjoy, in addition to a detailed tour and descriptive background of the creation process.
Burmester Caves, Largo da Ponte D. Luiz, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 22 374 6660
The Burmester Port wine lodge | © Gerry Labrijn / Wikimedia Commons
Also known as Offley Forrester, this winery was founded in 1737 by William Offley but became famous due to collaboration with an English Baron by the name of Joseph James Forrester. During a tasting, visitors can learn about the Baron, who was an important figure in the history of Port wine.
Offley, Rua do Choupelo 62, 4400-174 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, +351 22 374 3852
Porto wine barrels | © Yellow.Cat/Wikimedia Commons
Quinta da Aveleda
Close to Porto is a vineyard which has a name recognized worldwide. Aveleda is a top producer of Vinho Verde, the real traditional wine of Porto. This is a crisp wine that pairs well with seafood, but which locals drink alongside favored pork-centric dishes. Schedule a visit to the beautiful estate to learn more about the history and process of making this cultural favorite.
Aveleda, Rua da Aveleda 2, 4560-570 Penafiel, Portugal, +351 255 718 200
Quinta da Avelada | © Gilles Messian/Wikimedia Commons