The Douro Valley Wine Region is one of mankind's true achievements of both ancient and modern times. The valley was originally created by one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto. But it is the geometric vineyards that cling to the steep slopes on both sides above the river, being carved out of schist rock.
These far reaches of the Douro have a unique microclimate allowing for cultivation of olives, almonds, and especially grapes that are important for making the famous Port wine.
The region around Pinhão and Sao Joao da Pesqueira are considered to be the centre of Port wine production, with its picturesque quintas (farms) located along the Douro River.

 

Traditionally, the wine was taken down the river in flat-bottom boats called 'Rabelos' to be stored in oak barrels in cellars located in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. In the 1950's and 1960's, dams were built along the river ending this busy river traffic on the Spanish and border sections. Today base Port wine is transported less romantically down the Douro Valley in modern tanker trucks.
The Douro Valley is definitively one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world and an inspiring destination for an unforgettable wine experience. The source of the Douro River is in Spain, and the most beautiful part is certainly the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. The main wine towns on the river are Pinhão and Peso da Regua. This is the land where Portugal's finest wines are grown and where you will find mythical names of quintas like Quinta de la Rosa, Barros, Sandeman & Taylor's to name just a few. The spectacular vineyard terraces climb up on either side of the river like giant steps (as well as inland some distance) - creating and extraordinary landscape.
In Oporto’s - Vila Nova de Gaia you will find historic Port Lodges which are infamous the world over. When in the region make sure you sample the delicious Portuguese dishes like Carpaccio de presunto parma - (ham with fresh figs) - stuffed scallops with spinach, and crispy Sea Bass with wild mushroom rice. The Douro Valley will simple take your breath away.