Hit the port trail in north­ern Por­tu­gal

Lonely Planet (UK) - - In this Issue... -

One of the world’s old­est wine re­gions, the Douro Val­ley curves through Por­tu­gal’s far north like a beck­on­ing fin­ger and, as the grape har­vest gets go­ing, now is the best time to re­spond to that sum­mons. Deep in the Alto Douro – a cin­e­matic stretch of ter­raced vine­yards and his­toric wine es­tates on the Douro River – the vil­lage of Pin­hão is an ideal base. It’s here that the old­est port house of all (Croft, est 1588) makes wine, at Quinta de Roêda. Visi­tors can wit­ness the rit­ual of grape pick­ing and even join in, tread­ing grapes in la­gares (gran­ite basins) in the cen­turies’ old way. You can re­ward this work in the tast­ing room with a ruby vin­tage, cocktail or pink port – though for a truly fit­ting end, head down­river to Porto. The wine is aged in its slope-hug­ging cel­lars and their ter­races are the top spot for a toast over­look­ing the city.

The steep-sided Douro Val­ley. BE­LOW FROM LEFT The Vin­tage House Ho­tel; cod in ‘Gomes de Sá’ style, with roasted pep­pers and green sauce, from the ho­tel’s Ra­belo Restau­rant

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