Wine Tours in Portugal: Port, the crown jewel of Portuguese Wines
Douro. Portugal’s most famous and celebrated wine region and also one of the country’s most sublime and unique landscapes. This is the starting point of a fascinating tale of land and nature, in an exceptional wine tour in Portugal. The most fantastic wine tours in Portugal start at the heart of a superior region, at the vines of Douro – a UNESCO world heritage site – the birthplace of the grapes that make some of the world’s best wines: reds, whites, and of course, the much celebrated Port wine. Carefully designed wine tours in Portugal will unveil the story behind each cherished bottle of Porto, from the wine estates where centuries-old traditions are kept alive, to the harvest and the winemaking process, to on-site gastronomic and wine-tasting experiences, to the final stage, the maturation, in the centennial cellars of Gaia. This is both a symbolic and a literal journey, as you will sail on a wooden Rabelo boat- where the wine is transported from the valley to the city – in one of the most exquisite wine tours in Portugal.
Marvelous Moscatel: the golden flavor of Wine Tours in Portugal
It’s sweet, and it’s fruity. Moscatel is an aromatic grape variety with citrus and flowery notes, and due to its high sugar levels when ripe, it’s ideal for making sweet, fortified wines. Wine tours in Portugal are much more than an aperitif. Focusing on this delicious type of wine, this wine tour will take you to Setúbal, the region to to the south of Lisbon where the sweet-tasting, golden or mahogany Moscatel (known as Muscat of Alexandria) is produced. This has been a demarcated region for over 100 years, and is the setting for a great wine tour in Portugal, as some of the best Moscatel grapes grow on the hills of the Serra da Arrábida, simply one of the most breathtaking landscapes in Portugal. Although the award-winning Muscats of Setúbal are among the best in Portugal, they are not the only ones. In the region of Douro, Moscatel is also produced, and this is another chance to discover the fascinating process of winemaking (the skins of the grapes are left in during fermentation, to add flavor) in a captivating wine tour in Portugal.
The Taste of Madeira in a unique Wine Tour in Portugal
The island of Madeira is known for its exotic landscapes, its lush gardens and flowers, and of course, its inimitable wine, whose flavors and making process can be revealed in an exceptional wine tour in this region of Portugal. Vinho da Madeira, a fortified wine produced in the islands since the 16th century, is at the center of this exciting wine tour in Portugal’s Atlantic islands and was once called the “vinho da roda” (wine that has made a round trip), since it was shipped after production and matured on the ships thus acquiring its unique taste. The Madeira Wine is of course produced with the island grapes, but is the winemaking process that really stands apart, making it a very interesting part of wine tours in Portugal. The winemaking process was designed to mimic the ageing process of the wine shipped on long sea journeys, and involves heating the wine up to temperatures as high as 140 °F for an extended period of time (“estufagem”) and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation.