The Douro Wine Region
The Douro Demarcated Region (the First Demarcated and Recognized Region in the World) was created during the reign of D. José I, by its Prime Minister and future Marquis of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, by Law of 1756, which, after undergoing changes over time, was confirmed in 1921.
This beautiful region, also known as «País Vinhateiro», extends along the valley of the Douro River and its numerous tributaries, from Barqueiros (Mesão Frio), to Barca d'Alva, in an area of approximately 250,000 ha, covering municipalities from the districts of Vila Real, Viseu, Bragança and Guarda.
The Douro Demarcated Region is divided into 3 "zones": Baixo-Corgo, Cima-Corgo and Douro Superior.
Wish to visit Douro Region?
We propose a trail to do by yourself, nevertheless, to fully enjoy Porto and the Douro Region like a local, you must do it with someone that really knows the territory and the local producers! Take a look at our programs!
Departing from Porto, where the river flows and where the Douro (table) and Porto (fortified wine) wines produced on its slopes also flow, we can get to know this Cultural Landscape, classified as World Heritage: by road, by train, on a cruise ship, or even by helicopter. None of them will leave us indifferent.
On a journey through the viewpoints that offer the best views, we will have to cross the river from north to south and vice versa. But on the way, we can admire stunning views over the river and visit vineyards, towns and villages until we reach Miranda do Douro, where the river enters Portugal.
Start by visiting the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia where Port wine ages. We get to know this wine a little better, taking advantage, as it could not be otherwise, to taste the precious nectar. And on the river, we can still see old Rabelo boats, the only ones that transported the wine from the producing farms to the mouth before the construction of the several dams that made the river navigable.
Two hours away, going up to the Douro Region, in Peso da Régua, the Douro Museum gives us another perspective on the culture of wine and the region. Not far away, but on the south bank is Lamego, one of the most beautiful cities in northern Portugal, located at the base of an immense staircase of blue and white tiles that leads to the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. In Pinhão, right by the river, the railway station is a must-see to see its ancient tiles dedicated to the culture of the vineyard.
Before arriving at Pocinho, we can make a detour on the south bank to visit the castle of Numão and enjoy the view over the horizon. A little further east is the Foz Coa Archaeological Park, an outdoor rock art gallery classified as World Heritage, as well as the respective Museum in Vila Nova de Foz Coa.
Arriving at Barca de Alva we enter the Natural Park of Douro Internacional since the river from here to Miranda do Douro is bordered by Portugal and Spain. On this route, the river runs tight between high cliffs until it reaches the small town of Raiana where it enters Portugal.
Until Barca de Alva, the Alto Douro Wine Region is also the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. The river did the first work digging the deep valleys in the earth, while the Man transformed the shale mountains into earth and walls and planted the vine, green in summer, the color of fire in autumn. With wisdom inherited from generations, he tilted the terraces so that the rays of the sun embrace the vines and give the grapes the warmth that the wine needs. For this reason, from the fruits of the land and the labor of man, this unique wine and landscape were made.
The Douro Valley could also be called an enchanted valley such as the beauty and enchantment that its landscapes offer.