At the second time if trying we managed to get the correct tour and by 9am we’re on our way for a full day sightseeing in the Duaro valley. There was just one other passenger on our tour with us.
The initial drive to the first Quinta took about 90 minutes. The drive took us high into the hills and there were some impressive pieces of construction including a 5km long tunnel. As we got closer to the valley we left the motorway and joined smaller roads studying they’re way through the hills. All around there were vines on the steep sided valley slopes. There was a slight change to the itinerary for to illness and so our first stop was the Sandman vineyard.
We had a tour of the production areas and learned how Port is made. The amount of production each year is strictly controlled by an overseeing organisation.
All of the vineyards appear to produce the initial product in the mountains but then it is transported to Port for maturing because the summer and winter temperatures are less extreme.
At the end of the tour there was the obligatory tasting of a ruby and a white port.
Our next stop was the small village of Pinhao where we enjoyed a lovely lunch of local recipes including chorizo and pork in red wine. The meal was in a small family run restaurant and came with plenty of local wine.
After lunch we boarded a boat for an hour long trip along the river where we again saw hills covered in vines of different companies.
Our final stop of the day was to an olive oil museum where they had preserved machinery that used to be used for the production of olive oil. Not used since 2001 it has been refurbished to explain how the oil used to be produced. We learnt that the best police oils have an acidity of less that 0.8%.
The setting was stunning, high above the valley and we sampled some of the oil along with a red, rise and white wine produced by the same family. All delicious!
Our visits complete we were driven back to Porto which took longer than expected due to traffic jams when nearing the city. By now it was almost 8pm and so after a quick shower we headed out to get some food. We first stopped at the town hall and a tower, along with a church decorated with blue and white tiles before having tapas during outside a restaurant.
Sated we returned to the hotel for a good night’s sleep!