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Mar 18, 2010 04:01 PM

Wine tasting in Porto

A friend and I were thinking about doing some wine tasting tours in Porto. Does anyone have any recommendations for free ones?


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  1. Were you looking to taste Porto or wines from the Douro region? In the case of the former, most of the Port Wines Houses (Caves) are across the river in Gaia (easily walkable by foot over the bridge). Some places have a free tour and a small fee for tasting. My suggestion would be to visit a large scale venture (Ferreira, Sandeman, etc.) as well as some smaller producers that you won't see much outside of Portugal or on the international market (Krohn for example).

    If you are interested in non-fortified wines from the Douro and other DOC regions, I might suggest you visit ViniPortugal which is a free wine education and institute set up to promote Portuguese wines globally. They have one center and tasting room in Lisbon and another one in Porto:

    Oporto Sala Ogival
    Palácio da Bolsa
    Rua Ferreira Borges
    4050-253 Porto
    Tel.: +351 223 323 072
    Fax: +351 223 323 074

    Another suggestion would be the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto tasting room and shop in Porto:

    Also, a new wine shop and center that is worth seeking out in Porto for tastings and fantastic selection is:

    Essência do Vinho - Pages in Portuguese and English below

    I'm not so sure about vineyard or tours of some of the quintas, although I know you can visit Aveleda as a day trip from Porto by public transport.

    Boa Sorte!

    16 Replies
    1. re: vinhotinto75

      Thanks. I think we wanted to check out the Port wine and the caves, so we'll take a look in Gaia. It's a shame I'm not staying longer in Porto, otherwise I'd definitely check on your other recommendations.

      1. re: vinhotinto75

        Mr. Tinto! I want more!! I am going to Porto the end of April.. will you contact me? -- I have some questions about logistics.

        1. re: vinhotinto75

          That is absolutely great reply, an answer that I was looking for! Huge Thank you ! My mom and I, we are going to stay one night in Porto, June 24-25, and I promised that I will take her for wine tasting. Are you living there? We wouldn`t mind some nice company, who knows all local "secret" good restaurants and places to see in 2 days. If you are interested to meet us, please, contact me

          1. re: elenarose1987

            We took the train and went to Pinhao for an afternoon, there are some photos on Facebook

            You can buy goofy tourist bus tickets and it drives to the other side of the river where the Port houses are, it's great way to look around when you want a little break and you can hop on and off. Even if you didn't get any information, you will get along just fine.

          2. re: vinhotinto75

            Hi vinhotinto75, it's been about a year and a half since your great advice. I'll be in Porto this September and looking to do a few tastings (both dry and sweet wines) and wondering if you have any new suggestions or does your Mar /10 recommendations still apply?

            Also, I intend on doing a few tastings at a fiew of the Port Wine Houses (Caves). Will I need to book an appointment or just walk in anytime?

            1. re: syoung

              Many - maybe most - of the port lodges in Porto are open for tastings most days of the week. Sundays some are closed, but otherwise just wander through Vila de Gaia (sp?) across the river from Porto and visit whichever port houses you like. I'm sure you can get a map of where each one is located if you have specific houses in mind, but they are so close to each other you can just walk from one to the next for the entire day. We only visited 3 or 4 because we started after noon and it was Sunday, but it was still a hoot. If I did it again, I'd start earlier, go on a weekday and have a plan. But whatever. It was great fun.

              1. re: vinhotinto75

                Am new to Chowhound but very glad I've found it now! I'll be in Porto, the Minho and Douro for 12 days in early September. Your suggestions for wine and port institutes and callars will come in handy. Obrigado

                1. re: vinhotinto75

                  Hi Vinhotinto...I have printed out your replies to other queries. I think they will be helpful for my upcoming trip to Porto. But I am also going to Caminha and to Pinhao, both for three nights each. Can you recommemd places to eat in those areas, quintas to visit and what to drink and where to drink it? And if there are any festivals during the period of Sept 3-8 that we should not miss?

                  1. re: Pepito0201

                    Thanks Monchique and Nyleve for your replies. Helpful thouh they were and I will print them, I really was looking for dining suggestions near Caminha and Pinhao. Any ideas?

                    1. re: Pepito0201

                      So sorry - can't help with Pinhao. We did go there, but we bought stuff for a picnic and ate in the park beside the river. Which was lovely, actually. There's also a fairly shop selling local products in the train station building in Pinhao. We picked up some nice olive oils and - conveniently - those bubble-wrap wine bottle protector thingies to bring everything home.

                      1. re: Pepito0201

                        There are 2 "highly civilised" restaurants in / near Pinhão: The restaurant of the Vintage House was excellent when I last went there 4 years ago (already):

                        and the "DOC" of chef Rui Paula:, but I have only eaten at it's twin "DOP" in Porto.

                        Pinhão is not a capital city... Don'd miss a visit to the railway station to look at the superb panels of azulejos depicting the vintag

                        1. re: monchique

                          Thanks a lot for the recommendations. I will look into them..and thanks too for telling me about the azulejos.

                          1. re: Pepito0201

                            I posted this recently on another thread: There is a steam train running up river from Regua to Tua via Pinhão, so close to the Douro you feel you can touch the water. I took it a few years ago (some of the Port Quintas have their own mini-station, they just flag the train). Found a nice report on

                      2. re: Pepito0201

                        Pepito - I have stayed at the Vintage House in Pinhao for 4 nights. The hotel and restaurant are excellent--by far the best in Pinhao when I was there. If you dine there, find out if the hotel will be opening an old vintage port in the bar/lounge area in the evening, and plan to stick around. It is a great experience as they open the bottle with flame and ice water. The best winery is Quinta do Crasto
                        so email them to get an appointment at least a week ahead of time. If you have a day and don't mind the drive, it is well worth it to drive East along the river to visit Ramos Pinto at their Ervamoira location. The views are incredible! The wines, which you can find under the name Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas, are very good as well.
                        While you are in the eastern Douro area, also try to visit Quinta do Vale Meao to taste one of the most famous table wines from Portugal. They do not always accept visitors, but try.

                        Enjoy your trip!

                        1. re: humphrsc

                          Obrigado Humphrsc,
                          I will cerainly bring along your suggestions. We already have reservations for three nights at a quinta in Pinhao, but certainly we can consider the Vintage for dinner.