The port wine lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from the atmospheric Portuguese city of Porto, 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 will visit three of the best Port lodges on an exclusive tour and enjoy a special lunch at one of Porto’s finest restaurants. You will 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 a two hour drive or sail from Porto 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 be aged and 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 will 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.
Port Wine Tour Highlights:
- Wine Tasting at Port Wine Lodges in Porto
- Private Visits and VIP Tours
- Gourmet Lunch and Wine Pairings
- Mercedes Chauffeured Tour
Below is a suggested Itinerary for your private Port Wine Tour
Port Wine Excursion
- Lunch with wine
- Privately Chauffeured Mercedes
At 9AM you will be picked up from your Porto hotel or cruise by your elegant and charming driver in 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 will see the ageing cellars, the Port Wine Museum with its collection of antique bottles and complete 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!
By now you will be 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 will 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 will 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 will visit the truly fascinating museum seeing their whole collection, spanning over 100 years. You will 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 Porto in the early evening after this unforgettable gourmet wine tour. We look forward to seeing you again!