port wine porto

Drunk in Porto: The port wine and me.

Port wine is called Vinho do Porto in Portuguese. And if you’re already in Porto, what could be more natural than a port wine tasting? Port wine is THE product of the city. Porto is located on the Douro River and further east on the Douro is the Douro Valley. Here the grapes for this special wine are grown and pressed. In the past, ships called rabelos transported the wine to Porto to the port wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia. There the wines continue to mature, depending on the quality for years or even decades. Today, tourists instead of port wine sail along the Douro on the Rabelos – and I’ve been told it’s really worth seeing.

port wine porto barrels in graham's winery
The younger port wines are stored in large wooden barrels.

Planning a trip to Porto?
Then I highly recommend my Porto Travel Guide!

What is port wine?

Actually, I’m not a big fan of port wine. Port wine is one of the sweet wines, they say, but it makes me sick to my stomach because it is so strong and reminds me more of cognac. And wine-wise, I’m generally not an expert. Although I’ve had plenty of opportunities to taste good wines, my wine knowledge doesn’t get beyond a simple “I like it” or “I don’t.” I’m sure they could slip me wine from a tetrapak and sell it as the most expensive wine ever. But I like to get to know new things on my travels, and Porto doesn’t work without port wine!

port wine porto Graham's winery bottles
Kept like a treasure: some vintages are really valuable port wines.

Port wine tasting in Porto: Where to go for a good port wine tasting?

The nice staff member at the hotel recommended Graham’s Winery. If you are on the banks of the Douro and look across to Vila Nova de Gaia you’ll see that one port winery follows another. Whether it’s Sandeman, Graham’s, Ferreira, Taylor’s, or Calem. All wineries offer guided tours followed by a tasting, and there is even a port-wine-themed hotel or hostel* on the premises of Sandeman.

port wine porto barrels winery wine tasting

Guided tour of Graham’s Lodge

The tour of Graham’s winery is offered in different languages and is really informative: after a short film about the production in the Douro Valley, a tour guide leads you through the winery.

port wine porto portugal wooden barrels winery
Port wine tasting at Graham’s in Porto

Port wine tasting with Tawny and Ruby

By the way, I ended up in the Portuguese-speaking tour with a handful of Brazilians. Which made it all the more amusing, because we Brazilians are communicative by nature and even more so after three glasses of port wine. In summer it must be even more beautiful up here: from the in-house restaurant you have the best view over Porto! Incidentally, I could taste out differences despite my untrained palate: I liked Tawny more than Ruby.

port wine porto three glasses port wine sample free of charge
Tawny or Ruby? With port wine, there are such differences.

The tour includes 3 different varieties, but connoisseurs can also taste the crème de la crème of port wines – if your budget allows it, because only the wine tasting can then cost up to 200€!

Prior reservation is strongly recommended in high season!

Tickets for Graham’s Port Lodge* (with food pairing)

How do you get to Graham’s Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia?

Vila Nova de Gaia is located on the other side of the Douro River. If you’re staying in the center of Porto, it’s a bit of a journey from there to Graham’s Lodge by public transport. But with the Porto Card* you can use the public transport with metro and buses for free. There are many port wineries in Porto, but Graham’s Lodge is particularly beautiful with its impressive views of Porto.

If you don’t feel like searching for addresses and routes, you can join a walking tour and get to know several wineries in one day:
Walking tour of Vila Nova de Gaia with several port wineries*

Other port wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia

If you don’t feel like it or don’t have time to drive out to Graham’s (I took the bus there and strolled back along the Douro in the evening – but it’s quite a bit), you can also visit the wineries of Calem, and taste port wine there too! Calem is also located on the other side of the Douro, but directly by the promenade and near the Ponte Dom Luis I.

Fado evening with port wine tasting at Calem*

port wine porto Graham's
Port winery and wine bar with a view of Porto

All articles about Porto

Teile diesen Artikel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *