Celebrated as the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, the Douro is essentially famed for producing a fortified wine unique to this region – Port wine. Over the decades since 1756, when the Douro region first started producing high-quality wine, the landscape has been transformed into a beautiful terraced valley sculpted by man that is now classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The once rugged terrain and steep hillsides looked almost impossible to cultivate but following years of hard work, the remote land was dramatically changed into stepped terrace and the impressive vineyards began to take shape. It is these historical terraces that make the Douro region so special and led to the recognised heritage status.
The Douro river and additional smaller rivers twist and turn through this area and the mountain ranges of Marão and Montemuro shelter some of the vineyards from winds, creating fantastic warm conditions ideal for growing succulent grapes.
There is an abundance of grape varieties in the Douro with several of the old gnarled vines so mature they produce a full and intricate wine incomparable with anything else. Top varieties in Douro wine-making include Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão and Tinta Roriz. And it is not just Port wine, delicious red and white wines are also produced from the Douro vineyards.
Visitors to the Douro region can enjoy the Port making quintas as well as the train and boat trips along the Douro river where you can breathe in the lush scenery.