Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Maggie McKneely
Heading to Portugal’s most famous wine region? Here are the best wineries in the Douro Valley that you should visit!
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Best Wineries in the Douro Valley
Though it’s the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, Portugal’s Douro Valley may be one of the most underrated wine destinations. It doesn’t have the fame of Bordeaux, it doesn’t star in any movies like Tuscany, it’s not synonymous with parties like Champagne. Instead, it has thousands of acres of Portugal’s best scenery, with its terraced, vine-covered hillsides and a wide, placid river made for cruising, and some of the best food in the world – all without the crowds and high price tags.
“But I don’t like port!” The Douro Valley is the birthplace of port, that’s true, but that’s not the only wine you’ll find here. The same red grapes that go into port (Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, to name a few) are also made into stunning table wines. The Douro Valley also produces a number of elegant white wines. So even if you’re not a fan of port (but don’t knock it until you try it!), the Douro Valley has something for every taste bud.
But with hundreds of wineries in the region, it’s impossible to visit them all in one short trip! I only got to visit a handful when my mom and I visited the area during our Portugal trip, so I asked some fellow travelers for their recommendations on the best wineries in the Douro Valley.
Tips for Visiting the Douro Valley
How to Get There
The Douro Valley is closer to Porto, but it Is easy to get there from either Porto or Lisbon.
- By car: The drive is about 1.5 hours from Porto to the Douro Valley. Simply take the A4 highway towards Peso de Regua, and then the N-222 to Pinhao.
- By train: There is an InteRegional train that leaves from Porto to Peso de Regua every 2 hours. The trip takes about 1 hour 45 minutes
- By car: The drive is about 3.5 hours on the A1 highway.
- By train: There is no direct train route from Lisbon to the Douro Valley. You can take a train from Lisbon to Porto, and then board a train to Peso de Regua. The trip is about 5.5 hours.
Where to Stay
For travelers with larger budgets, many of the wineries also operate as high-end inns. But there are also great options if you’re trying to be more economical. My mom and I stayed at an amazing family-owned bed and breakfast, Casa Cimeira. I can’t recommend it enough! For more: Douro Valley lodging.
Best Wineries in the Douro Valley
Quinta do Seixo (Sandeman)
When you think of the Douro Valley, you can’t help but think of the Portuguese fortified wine known as port. There are many brands of port; however, Sandeman is now one of the most famous and widely marketed brands in the country. Their logo of a black-caped man adorns many a wall and billboard in nearby Porto.
While you can drink this port anywhere in this region, one of the best wineries in the Douro Valley to experience it is at the Quinta do Seixo winery. Located on the southern side of the winding Douro River, the winery occupies a huge parcel of land between Régua and Pinhão. The best way to get to Quinta do Seixo is by car and it makes for a great day trip from Porto.
We loved this winery for its incredible views across the vineyards and along a portion of the Douro River. Perched up high on the top of one of the area’s many hills, this modern winery has a tasting room, bar, and lounge which allows the view to be seen from every angle. There’s also an outdoor deck which is perfect for relaxing with a drink in summer.
The best way to get to know all there is about Sandeman port, its history, and to indulge in a few drinks is to do one of the on-site tours. Depending on the time you have available to spend here you can participate in a simple wine tasting or complete a full tour of the vineyards and production area followed by the obligatory tasting.
- Price: Tours and tastings range from 15€ to 42€. Go here for the full list of options.
- Hours: Open every from 10:30 AM – 6 PM
Submitted by Kerri from Beer and Croissants
Quinta da Roeda (Croft)
Croft is one of the most acclaimed of all Port houses. It has been around since 1588, making it one of the oldest houses still in production today. That is quite a feat, considering the Douro River Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world!
And, of course, with every great wine producer comes a great vineyard. The foundation of Croft’s trademark production style is the renowned Quinta da Roêda in the village of Pinhão, one of the best wineries in the Douro Valley. The wines of this stately Quinta are the essence of Croft’s Vintage Port. Quinta da Roêda boasts some of the oldest vineyards in the Douro River Valley.
Croft is best-known for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, long-established styles honed by artistry and know-how passed down from generation to generation. But despite its long-standing heritage and history, Croft still maintains a sense of innovation. Be sure to try Croft Pink, the first-ever rosé Port. Delicious!
The visitors’ center, where the tastings are held, is located in Quinta da Roêda’s old stables. These were beautifully restored in the traditional Douro Valley style. Along with the Port wine tastings, you can also sample some of the estate’s own extra virgin olive oil, creating a truly remarkable culinary experience.
There are numerous tasting options available, between three and five samples of varying vintages and production styles. The Quinta is open year-round, providing a beautiful outdoor terrace for the warmer months and a cozy fireplace setting during the winter. Come in September to help stomp the grapes!
Enjoy a guided walking tour through the property, stopping at points of interest along the way as your guide tells you some local history and anecdotes. The tour is informative, but nothing compares to taking in the breathtaking panoramas and the stunning landscapes across the Douro River.
Quinta da Roêda provides a classic Port wine tasting experience and makes for an excellent option for your Douro River Valley day trip.
- Price: Tours range from 12€ – 42€. Go here for the full list of options.
- Hours: Open every day from 10 AM – 6 PM
Submitted by Jade from The Migrant Yogi
Quinta da Pacheca
Set in the heart of the gorgeous Douro Valley region, a stones-throw away from both Peso da Régua as well as Lamego lies the wine estate of Quinta da Pacheca, undoubtedly one of the most well-known and best wineries in the Douro Valley.
In recent years Quinta da Pacheca has garnered international fame for its unique and romantic Wine Barrel accommodation option, allowing you to stay overnight in an oversized and beautifully decorated wine barrel with incredible views out over the vineyard.
- Prices: Tours and tastings range from 15€ to 52€. Go here for the full list of options.
- Hours: Reservations are required for all tours, so check the tour calendar for availability.
Submitted by Marco from Travel Boo
Vintage Theory Winery
If you are looking for a memorable, off-the-beaten-path place to taste wine in the Douro Valley, I recommend visiting Vintage Theory Boutique Winery located inside a property called Casa dos Barros in the town of Sabrosa, Portugal. It is about a 20 minutes drive from Pinhao, one of the main towns in the Valley. There are plenty of gorgeous viewpoints along the way.
Once at the property, start by having a three-course lunch including dishes such as risotto, grilled fish, and braised beef. The neat thing is that some of the restaurant’s tables are located inside the old wine baths (lagares), a unique feature that makes this one of the best wineries in the Douro Valley. This is the space where the grapes were placed to be stomped by foot. White and red wine is served with the appetizers and mains. Port is served with dessert.
You can rest a bit by walking around the property gardens, sitting under a massive tree, or observing the vineyards from the pool area.
In the cellar, after an extensive explanation of how port is made, you will have the opportunity to taste the 10, 20, and 30 years old wine. The 20-year-old port was my favorite from the three. They have older wines on the property. If you are interested in trying a 40 or 50 years old port, ask how much it is to taste. Believe me, this is an opportunity to try something you may not find anywhere else.
After that, order a glass of wine (or a sweet treat with port) and enjoy it in one of the common areas. Do not forget to bring cash in case you want to take home one or two bottles.
- Hours: Open every day from 11 AM – 5 PM
Submitted by Ruth from Tanama Tales
Quinta de Tourais
If you want to experience a small, family-owned and operated winery, head to Quinta de Tourais. It’s completely off the beaten path, but is certainly one of the best wineries in the Douro Valley to visit if you’re looking for a completely different experience. We got to visit Tourais during our one-day Douro Valley tour; I’m so glad we did, because I otherwise would never have known about it!
Located next door to the famous Quinta da Pacheca, much smaller Tourais has been in the hands of the same family for three generations. Unlike some of the larger vineyards, visiting Tourais feels like walking into someone’s home. There are no staff guiding tours, no guests checking in and out of hotel rooms, no rotation of tastings on the hour. Instead, visitors are greeted by the owner, Fernando, and given a personal tour.
During the tour, Fernando explains each part of the winemaking process, and you get to see where each step takes place. You also get to see the “lagares” where the grapes are stomped by foot during harvest season, before tasting five of the wines made onsite.
Because Quinta de Tourais is so small, it’s not open for drop-in tours. Contact them here ahead of time if you’d like to make a reservation.
By Maggie from Pink Caddy Travelogue (Yeah, that’s me!)
Hopefully, you’ll visit some of these great places on your next trip to the Douro Valley! If you have any questions or other recommendations, let me know in the comments.
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