The Alto Douro Wine Region is a cultural landscape shaped by winemaking. The region has a hot dry micro climate and rocky soil. This results in ideal growing conditions for grapes. There is archaeological evidence for winemaking in the region dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.
The region has Portugal's highest wine classification as a Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). While the region is associated primarily with Port wine production, the Douro produces just as much table wine (non-fortified wines) as it does fortified wine.
The landscape consists of terraced vineyards on large and small estates, white-walled villages, olive and almond crops, the river Douro.
Visit December 2002
I had planned to visit the nearby Coa Valley and had already arranged a tour when they informed me that a visit had become impossible because of flooding. So I limited my tour to the North-East of Portugal to the Douro Valley.
There's a nauseating road that follows the Douro River. The towns there looked really rundown. And because it was winter there was not much to see of the wine too.
|John Booth (New Zealand):|
I found the most relaxing way of visiting the Alto Douro was to take the train from Porto to Pocinho and back. The train runs up the valley with excellent views of the rocky gorges, the vinyards and wineries.
| Date posted: April 2010|
|Jose Gomes (Portugal):|
Portugal is a small country but its landscape changes a lot going from north to the south, changing from green to yellow during the summer. This is due to the large number of rivers in the northern region when compared with the southern one and also due to the amount of water that flows in these rivers. Douro river comes from Spain and since it touches Portugal, in a region that it is the frontier between Spain and Portugal (International Douro park), it passes along the most impressive scenery that I know for a river. However, its rapids disappear due to several dams. Fortunately, most of them permit that boats pass through. The deep valleys are amazing. When the park finishes, two Unesco's World Heritage sites appear. These are the Rockart sites of the Coa valley (an affluent of Douro river) and the Douro Wine Region. These two sites may be visited from (O)Porto, 2nd largest city in Portugal, taking a train or a boat (cruise). Douro Wine Region is the oldest marked wine region and it is the mother region of Port and Douro wines.
| Date posted: June 2005|
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