A visit to the Port Lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia is a must for Port Lovers
The port wine lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from the atmospheric Portuguese city of Oporto, are a once in a lifetime “must do” for wine lovers visiting Northern Portugal. Vila Nova is the Mecca for port fans, and most of the famous Port Houses have lodges here including Taylor’s, Graham´s, Ramos Pinto, Ferreira, Rozès, Warres, Ferreira, Croft, Offley, and Sandeman. On this VIP port wine tasting day excursion, you’ll visit three of the best Port lodges on an exclusive tour and enjoy a special lunch at one of Porto’s finest restaurants. You’ll have your own private chauffeur who will collect you from your hotel in the morning and take care of you for the day, dropping you back in to your hotel in the early evening. Today you will learn all about the fascinating history of port wine production and its impact on everything from politics to wine trends to wine marketing.
Port wines are not actually made at the historic wine lodges, rather they are produced in the beautiful Douro Valley, about two hours drive or sail from Oporto up the Douro River. The grapes are harvested, vinified and fortified in the Douro wine estates (called “Quintas”) and then sent down to the lodges to aged and be stored before shipping on to their various markets around the world. Most of the port lodges date back to the 1700´s and 1800´s and they are supremely charming with old cellars, vintage casks and great views over the river. You will discover the many pleasures of port today, tasting the main port wine styles including White Port, Ruby, LBV, Tawny and Vintage Port. You’ll enjoy private tours, getting extra special treatment at each lodge, and tasting wines not offered on the regular tours such as top vintages. Contact us for more information on this luxury port wine tasting excursion.
Below is a suggested Port Wine Tour Itinerary
Port Wine Excursion
Wine Tasting at Port Lodges
9AM you will be picked up at your Oporto hotel or cruise by your elegant and charming driver with a luxurious Mercedes. Drive into Vila Nova de Gaia, crossing the impressive Ponte do Dom Luis I bridge, and drive to your first port wine lodge of the day- the wonderful Sandeman property. Sandeman was founded in 1790 by the Scot George Sandeman. On a private tour you’ll see the ageing cellars, the Port Wine Museum with its collection of antique bottles and follow with a tasting of six ports including the Sandeman Vintage Port. Carry on to the pretty Graham’s lodge next, part of the Symington family’s wine empire. The cellar here is one of the largest in Vila Nova and houses over 3,500 wine “pipes” along with countless oak vats. Tour the lodge with a private guide and conclude your morning of port wine tasting with a “Vintage Tasting”. Try special wines like the Dow vintage, Quinta do Vesuvio vintage and a 40 year old Tawny!
At this stage you will be well ready for lunch, and you can look forward to the superb contemporary Dom Tonho restaurant in the heart of the bustling Ribeira quarter, right on the river. You’ll have the best table in the house, next to the window with great views over the Ribeira. Lunch will be a tasting menu paired with a refreshing dry white wine from the Douro valley.
After lunch, you’ll visit the last lodge of the day at Ramos Pinto. Ramos Pinto has (along with Sandeman) made the most famous and enduring port publicity ads and you’ll visit the truly fascinating museum seeing their whole collection, spanning over 100 years. You’ll tour the lodge and finish the day with a tasting of both port wines as well as their dry wines with the Douro DOC wine appellation. Return to your hotel in Oporto in the early evening after this unforgettable gourmet wine tour. We look forward to seeing you again!
“The organisation of the tour was very good. I felt everything was taken care of in advance of arriving in Porto and was confident I did not need to chase for anything in advance. The three lodges visited were all different and had unique features. The best tour of the cellars was at Sandeman and it was good to start the day there, this formed a basis of our understanding of how Port is made and the different classifications. The best tasting was at Grahams who had an excellent range of styles and vintages to taste from. Then Ramos Pinto had the little museum, which was relevant to their house and provided more information on the marketing and advertising of port. There was a LOT of food at lunch and it was very good. The Mercedes was clean and comfortable, the driver was punctual, friendly and knew a lot about the City. The tour of Oporto was very good, it provided more history to why the town has grown the way it did. Our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. It came across that she is passionate about the town and Portugal. The personalized tasting notes were a lovely touch. I would recommend Cellar Tours after this experience. I felt everything was in control, all the tickets and tours were booked, we did not need to queue up to gain entry anywhere. I feel that you got us access to more interesting tastings than we would have done if were there on our own. ”Louise, London
Included in the Price:
This is a SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY. Please note that our private chauffeured luxury tours are totally customized to your needs and price varies according to the number of people in your group (please note tours require minimum 2 guests), specific suppliers included, number of services included,specific dates, transport type etc. Contact us today for more information and we would be delighted to get started on a tailor made detailed itinerary with pricing for you.
All of our tours are available year round upon request for your private group of minimum 2 people. We organize unforgettable packages in Portugal that include wine and adventure touring. If you would like us to customize a private high-end tour of Portugal for you
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