Tucked away in the distant reaches of northern Portugal lies the Douro Valley. Rivalling the beautiful sophistication of the rolling hills of Burgundy and with hints of the refinement found in Napa Valley, this historic and lesser-known wine region rests upon a dramatic landscape wrought with sloping valleys, slanting hills and pared by the Douro River that sinuously drifts between them.
With a history of wine production spanning 2000 years, this once remote area continues to preserve and sustain its authentic character. Discovering the traditions of the sleepy hilltop towns of the Douro Valley is an unparalleled experience that is not to be left off any European itinerary.
Nestled along the mouth of the river is the old town of Porto which is distinguished by a cultural legacy so rich that UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in the 1990’s. It’s a city of contrasts as Roman ruins loiter beneath medieval streets, bell towers kiss the heavens as the tributary rushes to meet the eternal depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and slender alleys twist round terraced buildings to merge with sprawling plazas.
But perhaps its most prevalent distinction comes from a Portuguese wine tradition heavily entrenched in English culture. The mid to late 1600’s were strewn with a multitude of French wars that ultimately steered towards an impending boycott on the importation of the country’s wines into Great Britain. Recognizing their plight, the English turned to the supple Portuguese lands of the Douro Valley. Thus, the port wine trade was born......
To read the rest of this article I had published in Coastal Lifestyle Magazine click here.
Want More Travel Stories?
Signup for my Monthly Newsletter!
Just pop in your email address and click SUBSCRIBE to receive my travel newsletter at the beginning of every month!