Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

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Ripe raspberry. Buttery caramel. Rich chocolate. The decadent flavors of port wine coat your tongue as a fresh breeze from the Douro River winds through your hair. Ahh. That’s the taste of the good life!

When heading to Porto, a charming European city in Northern Portugal, visiting the famous port lodges and historic cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia is an absolute must! Just a short walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge, a number of famous port wine houses are calling your name.

I recently went on a Porto solo travel adventure and absolutely loved exploring places like Calem, Sandeman, Taylor’s, Graham’s, and more! It was so cool to see how these incredible Portuguese wines are produced. Plus, getting to enjoy a glass of red wine or white port next to the river was indescribable.

That’s why I’m dying to tell you all about my favorite tours and tastings at the best wineries in Portugal! For the full experience, make sure you plan a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Douro Valley wine region, just outside Porto. Visiting the Douro Valley wineries was the perfect way to cap off an incredible couple weeks of solo travel in Portugal!

From chocolate pairings to wine tastings to cellar tours, the port wineries in Porto, Portugal are a unique and unforgettable experience.

So, raise a glass to the best Porto wineries! Let’s take a look at the city’s top tastings and tours.


In a hurry? Check out the best Porto winery tours now or see the quick guide below:

  • BEST OVERALL EXPERIENCE: Combine your port wine tasting with an authentic Portuguese fado show at Calem’s. (Check Availability)
  • BEST MULTI-WINERY TOUR: Can’t decide which port houses to visit? Don’t! Let the official tourism office of Gaia take you on a Vila Nova de Gaia Walking Tour where you’ll enjoy 10 port tastings from 3 of the world’s oldest wine brands. (Check Availability)

Port Wine in Porto facing Vila Nova de Gaia

What is Port Wine?

Before we dive into the port wineries, let’s understand what makes Port wine so special. Port wine, also known simply as “Port,” is a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley, located in northern Portugal. Porto and Douro are separated by 60 miles (97 km) and can be navigated by an easy, scenic car or train journey.

Since the Douro Valley region is just outside of the city, Porto is famous for port wine. In fact, Porto is known as the wine capital of Portugal and is home to the country’s largest annual wine festival. You can sample the product of all the major port winemakers in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Port’s journey from the vineyards of the Douro Valley to the port wine cellars of Porto involves a meticulous process that yields a sweet and robust wine with higher alcohol content. The unique flavors and aromas of Port wine make it a favorite among connoisseurs worldwide.

Typically, a sweet, red dessert wine, there are a few different types of port wine:

  • Ruby Port: This is the most common type of port wine, known for its rich, fruity flavors and deep red color. It is typically aged for three years before being bottled.
  • Tawny Port: Tawny port is aged for a longer period in wooden barrels, gaining a nutty, caramel flavor and a characteristic tawny color.
  • White Port: Made from white grapes, this port wine has a lighter, crisp flavor and can range from sweet to dry.
  • Rosé Port: A newer style of port, rosé port is made like a rosé wine and has a fruity, fresh flavor.
  • Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port: LBV port is made from grapes from a single year and ages in a barrel for four to six years before it is bottled.
  • Vintage Port: The highest quality port, vintage port is made from the best grapes of a single year and can age for many decades, developing complex flavors over time.

What is fortified wine?

Fortified wine is a type of wine that has had a distilled spirit, typically brandy, added to it to increase its alcohol content and enhance its flavor and longevity.

The history behind fortifying wine traces back to the Age of Exploration, when wine was fortified to preserve it during long sea voyages, preventing it from spoiling or turning to vinegar.

Port Wineries in Porto, Portugal

Now that you know a little about port wine, let’s dig in to the best Porto wineries to visit!

1. Sandeman Cellars

Sandeman cellar and mascot
sandeman port wine tasting

One of the most popular port wineries in Porto is the iconic Sandeman Cellars, founded in 1790. Known for both their masked mascot and massive collection of huge barrels, you can enjoy a tour of their historic cellar in a centuries-old granite building before sampling their Ruby, Tawny, and White Port Wines. If you’re into tours where the tour guides like to have a little fun, trust me when I say that Sandeman is definitely the spot for you. (Hint: costumes are involved!)

Address: Largo Miguel Bombarda 3, 4430-175 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

2. Caves Cálem

calem wine
caves calem

Get the most bang for your buck Cálem with a guided tour and fado performance combo! at A family business since 1859, Cálem is also the most popular port winery in Porto.

The business prides itself on tradition and innovation and I could certainly see why when visiting. Their tasting includes a sampling of their Special Reserve Port. Be sure to book in advance, because this tour sells out fast!

Address: Av. de Diogo Leite 344, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Book your fado and wine experience now!

3. Graham’s Port Lodge

graham's port lodge
tawny

With a history dating back to 1820, Graham’s Port Lodge is easily the most upscale port winery in Porto. (So naturally, one of my favorites to visit!) With private tasting rooms and both a museum and on-site restaurant, they offer a variety of food packages that range from chocolate pairings to multi-course gastronomic experiences.

For tastings, you have plenty of different options to choose from including their Classic, Premium, Vintage, and Tawny Ports. If you only have time to visit one spot, beeline it here for a great meal with good wine and one of the best views in Porto!

IMPORTANT: Graham’s Port Lodge is reservation only!

Address: Rua do Agro 141, 4400-281 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Book a tour including premium wine tasting with chocolate, cheese, and pastel de nata parings!

4. Taylor’s Port

Port tasting at Taylor winery garden

Taylor’s, established in 1692, has one of the oldest vineyards in the Douro Valley. They specialize in Ruby Port with a fruit-forward flavor profile. Their Porto winery location offers a self-guided audio tour, making it a great place for anyone in a hurry or those who prefer to stick to the highlights of the production of port wine.

Plus, enjoying my sampling of port wine in their incredible garden was the highlight of my day. This place is easily one of the most Instagrammable places in Porto!

Address: Rua do Choupelo 250, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

5. Burmester Wine Cellars

Burmester patio

One of the newer port wine brands to set up shop in Porto, Caves Burmester has both a museum and wine cellar where you can learn about the history of port wine and process of wine-making in Portugal, before enjoying a chocolate and port pairing.

Address: Largo Dom Luís I, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Book a tour of Burmester Cellars now!

6. Ferreira Cellars

ferreira port bottles

Trace the roots of Portuguese heritage back to Ferreira Cellars, founded in 1751. Unearth the origins of the port wine trade by learning about the remarkable businesswoman who brought it to life, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira.

Ferreira Cellars offers you the chance to sample some of the finest wines from the Douro region, as well as a chance to experience the Old Bar, a renowned tasting room with 19th-century origins. I had so much checking out this cool bar. It’s one experience you definitely don’t want to miss.

Address: Av. de Ramos Pinto 70, 4400-082 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

7. Espaço Porto Cruz

passion fruit port cocktail

Espaço Porto Cruz was my favorite winery in Porto! This contemporary hub fuses knowledge and style, blending the rich tradition of Port wine with contemporary art, fashion, and culinary events. Tours feature multimedia exhibitions, chocolatiering workshops, and unique tastings of wine, cheese, and chocolate.

But the best part? The rooftop terrace with absolutely stunning views of Porto’s historic center and the serene Douro River. (The views here were eclipsed only by the rooftop terraces and restaurants in Laguna Beach with a view!) This spot is perfect for anyone who’s not particularly excited about port, because they have a range of innovative and delicious cocktails that take the fortified wine to entirely new heights!

Address: Largo Miguel Bombarda 23, 4400-222 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

8. Churchill’s Wine Cellar

Churchill wine cellar in Porto

Churchill’s is a relatively young Port house, established in 1981, but it quickly earned a reputation for producing exceptional Ports. One of the most popular boutique wineries in Porto, Portugal, they have excellent vintage tawny port and offer an intimate and personalized experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Their unique production process results in a limited number of bottles, which are only available at the facility, adding an element of rarity to each visit. One of the highlights of this Porto wine cellar is its remarkable value for money. Travelers on a budget can relish in the taste of two distinct port wines for an affordable price of around €10, making it an irresistible destination for wine enthusiasts.

Address: R. da Fonte Nova 5, 4400-156 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

9. Croft

Croft barrels

With origins dating back to 1588, Croft is among the most distinguished Port wine producers. A visit here promises to reveal the secrets of their time-honored winemaking methods and the beauty of their terraced vineyards. While I didn’t have time to visit myself, I’ve heard their blind tastings make for one of the most fun and unique port wine tours of any Porto winery!

Address: R. do Barão de Forrester 412, 4400-034 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

10. Offley

tasting at porto winery Offley

Offley’s story began in 1737 and has since left an indelible mark on the world of Port wine. Take a guided tour through their atmospheric cellars and taste the range of Ports that have enchanted enthusiasts for centuries. The wine house, named after the Barron of Forester, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the nuances of Porto wine in a welcoming and cozy setting.

Address: Rua do Choupelo 62, 4400-187 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

11. Porto Augusto’s

porto augusto's

A hidden gem among Porto’s wineries and port houses, Porto Augusto’s offers a personalized experience that feels like visiting a friend’s private cellar. Enjoy their welcoming atmosphere and discover a handpicked selection of top-notch port. I was able to stop by in between tours and am so glad I did.

Address: R. de França 10, 4400-174 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

WINERIES OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Hey, fellow wine lover! If you like exploring off-the-beaten-path wine destinations, I’ve got a few great picks for you. Explore the very beginning of American winemaking at the best wineries in Kentucky and Ohio wine country. Skeptical? Check out my guides and you’ll see why these destinations have the perfect combination of history and flavor!

12. Cockburn’s Port Lodge

wine flight at cockburn's in porto

Pronounced “Coburns,” this venerable establishment traces its roots back to 1815. Cockburn’s Port Wine Lodge, renowned for its vast quantity of Port in oak barrels and wooden vats, offers a relaxed and informative 90-minute tour. The tour includes an introduction to their famous Special Reserve and an indulgent cheese pairing designed to enhance the tasting experience.

Address: R. de Serpa Pinto 346, 4400-307 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Book a tour of the only open port cooperage in Vila Nova de Gaia now!

13. Real Companhia Velha

old cellar

Established in 1756, Real Companhia Velha boasts a rich heritage and a prestigious reputation. As the name “Old Royal Company” suggests, Real Companhia Velha is the oldest port wine house still operating in Porto, boasting centuries of rich wine-making history.

Their comprehensive tour not only takes visitors through their main aging warehouse but also provides an intriguing peek into the past with a visit to their vintage museum. This is another spot I didn’t make it to, but it’s on my list for when I return!

Address: R. Azevedo Magalhães 314, 4431-952 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

14. Quinta Da Aveleda

quina da avaleda

An absolutely enchanting vineyard near Porto, Quinta da Aveleda was my favorite place to visit on my trip to Porto. Aveleda Wines is the top producer of Vinho Verde, one of Portugal’s most famous wines.

Truly a white wine, it’s called a green wine because it’s meant to be drunk while young, Vinho Verde is known for its refreshing crispness and slight effervescence. With fruity notes and vibrant acidity and fruity notes, the Portuguese love to pair it with seafood and pork. A glass of this fresh wine is perfect for a warm summer day overlooking the Douro River.

Address: Aveleda, Rua da Aveleda 2, 4560-570 Penafiel, Portugal

15. Quinta Do Bom Dia

Another gem outside Porto, Quinta Do Bom Dia, welcomes visitors with open arms. Their delightful wine estate is a picturesque setting for tasting Port wines that embody the spirit of the Douro Valley.

Address: R. Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 54, 4400-266 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

16. Pocas Vinhos

pocas vinhos barrels

Pocas Vinhos, a hidden gem among the wineries of Porto, Portugal, is acclaimed for its Old Tawny Ports which have established its reputation over the years. However, in the past three decades, Pocas’ DOC Douro region wines have started to shine, demonstrating their own exceptional quality and adding another dimension to the brand’s esteemed portfolio.

Address: R. Visc. das Devesas 168, 4401-337 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Book a tour and tasting of their white port, a late bottled vintage port, and a 10-year-old tawny!

Port wine on a balcony

Porto Winery Tours

If you’re having a hard time choosing which winery to visit or you want to combine it with a walking tour, take a look at the options below!

  • Walking Tour: Looking to get to know the city of Porto and its best wineries and port houses? This 3.5-hour tour lets you taste port, Douro wine, and vinho verde along with Portuguese cheeses and smoked meats.
  • Vila Nova de Gaia Tour: Can’t decide which port houses to visit? Don’t! Let the official tourism office of Gaia take you on a walking tour where you’ll enjoy 10 tastings from 3 of the world’s oldest wine brands.

Fun Fact: Did you know Portugal is the world’s sixth-largest producer of olive oil? The North of Portugal is quickly becoming recognized for their high-quality EVOOs!

Ribeira

How to Get to Porto Wineries

Now that you’ve whet your appetite for the best wineries in Porto, let’s consider how best to reach your unforgettable wine-tasting experience.

The good news is that unless you plan on visiting wineries outside of Porto or in the Douro Valley, you won’t need to drive between them. All the port lodges are located in the same riverfront stretch in Vila Nova de Gaia, a quick jaunt across the bridge from Porto.

  • Walk: For those seeking convenience and flexibility, renting a car can be a great option. This allows you to easily navigate between different wineries, explore the picturesque countryside, and even venture beyond Porto to discover hidden gems.
  • By Car: Porto has an efficient public transportation system, and many wineries and port houses are accessible by bus. Check the local bus routes and schedules to plan your journey seamlessly, ensuring you can indulge in the wine tastings without any worries about driving.
  • By Bus: Porto has an efficient public transportation system, and many port wineries are accessible by bus. Check the local bus routes and schedules to plan your journey seamlessly, ensuring you can indulge in the wine tastings without any worries about driving.
  • By Train: Travelling by train is not only a convenient option but also offers the opportunity to savor breathtaking views of the Douro Valley along the way. The scenic train journey to Vila Nova de Gaia is an experience in itself.
yeatman front
yeatman

Where to Stay

After a day of wine tasting and exploration, finding the perfect place to rest your head is crucial. Porto offers a range of accommodations to suit various preferences and budgets.

Yeatman

Price: $$$$
Neighborhood: Vila Nova de Gaia

Looking for a 5-star resort? Look no further. Yeatman offers a true luxury stay near Porto. Tucked into the Gaia hillside, it features expansive Douro and Porto views. Plus, there are two-Michelin–starred restaurants, a decanter-shaped pool, and sunken Roman baths. Just one question. When can we move in?

Book your stay at Yeatman now!

Hotel Tipografia do Conto

Price: $$
Neighborhood: Vila Nova de Gaia

A stunningly modern and sleek design gives Hotel Tipografia do Conto its urban appeal. The exposed concrete and poems carved on the ceilings have helped the hotel gain notoriety among international design magazines. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to be near all the best wineries and port houses!

Book your stay at Hotel Tipografia do Conto now!

House of Sandeman

Price: $$
Neighborhood: Vila Nova de Gaia

Make yourself at home in the realm of Sandeman Port Wines, with the brand-new House of Sandeman Hostel & Suites! This remarkable lodging is situated in one of Porto’s most iconic buildings, directly above the cellars housing Sandeman wine, and directly in front of the Douro river. Even though it’s a hostel, everything is new and updated. There are plenty of private rooms with balconies and incredible views!

Book your stay at House of Sandeman now!

PS: Looking for the best hostels in Porto for solo travellers? I’ve got the perfect options in my city guide!

FAQs

Can port be made outside of Portugal?

While other countries like produce a similar style of fortified wine, the European Union Protected Designation of Origin guidelines state that only wine from Portugal is allowed to be labeled “port.”

Is Port wine stronger than regular wine?

Since Port is a fortified wine, it does contain a more potent alcohol concentration compared to traditional wines, approximately 20% ABV (alcohol by volume). The hefty alcohol level is a primary reason why Port servings are so small.

Where to Visit Next?

Have more time in Portugal? Start by visiting some of the best day trip spots near Porto by finding out is Aveiro worth visiting. If you’re planning a 4 day Lisbon itinerary, you should know that there are some incredible things to do in Obidos and equally iconic things to do in Ericeira.

Love surfing? Make sure to check out the best surf towns in Portugal or plan your trip to the Algarve with all the best day trips from Faro. For more wine, make sure you check out the unique fortified wines of Madeira. You’ve got plenty of nearby places to explore so make sure you check out all my helpful guides so you can say goodbye to travel FOMO!

Source: https://sydneytoanywhere.com/

By Lala