Portugal – Travel within a magnificent wine menu – Portugal

I first met Portugal face to face three years ago.
Like sitting down for coffee with an artist you always appreciated – the personal and physical encounter with the country made me better understand the wines it produces. At the end of that trip it was clear to me that not only she and I would meet again – for the next meeting I would come with a clan.
Another (last, promising) analogy to the world of personal encounters – Portugal is a country to bring home to parents.
The views are breathtaking, the people are modest and inviting and the wines are complex and varied.

What else do I like about her? That you do not have to work hard. Whether you have flown directly to Porto in the north or to Lisbon in the center – hundreds of wineries are within touching distance of you, at any given moment. As one who gets tired of long journeys, this to me is an important advantage.

When traveling in the different regions of Portugal you can feel that we are traveling on a restaurant’s wine menu: one area specializes in sparkling and aromatic wines, the other in great red wines and this is the neighbor – one of the most respected dessert wines in the world.
In all this goodness, it’s very easy to get lost – so I’ve gathered for you some of my favorite waypoints. I come to these places (and many others) as part of the wine tours that I guide in collaboration with Vinspiration, a company that specializes in wine and culinary tours.

On the way to the winery stop at Sinatra

About half an hour north of Lisbon, in a forest with a spectacular view, sits the town of Sinatra with a colorful and impressive palace – although it is very touristy, but well worth the visit. Outside the town, there is the Convent of the Capuchos: the monastery is not active today but you can wander among the small rooms, covered with oak bark, for a moment it seems that dwarves lived there. Further down the road, about an hour’s drive north, sits Nazaré, known as a surf town that hosts one of the largest and most impressive surfing festivals each winter, thanks to the highest waves in the world. The landscape here is amazing in its intensity.

Bairada

The wine region north of Lisbon is a region still considered “under the radar” of classic wine travelers. Bairada mainly produces impressive sparkling and red wines from the local grape variety, called Baga. My favorite winery in the area is Quinta das Bágeiras, a winemaker. The winery is a fifth generation of a family of winemakers, who focus on producing sparkling wines made using the classic method. It’s nice to walk around the wine cellar rooms and see antique bottles lying, full of dust and history, and wonder when they will open and what they taste like. The winery does not have a press for squeezing the grapes – instead, during the vintage, the family members gather and tread the grapes on foot in antique concrete containers. The rest of the family members who do not step, do not bury their hand in the barrel – but encourage or play the vigorous steps.

Vinho Verde

A wine region in the northwest of the country, characterized by fresh white wines, with a delicate and interesting aroma.
One of the recommended wineries in the area is the organic winery Quinta de Covela – housed in a spacious and ancient mansion, sloping with fruit trees, flower beds and a clear stream that cuts it in half. This is a real piece of paradise – not to be missed.

Douro and Porto

The Douro Valley, in the northern part of Portugal, is a wonderful destination for both nature lovers and wine lovers.
The valley offers a journey between green mountains and powerful hills, which are a fertile pad for growing the wine grapes used to make the famous port wine – fortified dessert wine (about 20% alcohol) and unusually dry red wines.
The Douro River, which is about 900 km long, is a spectacle in itself. Ravello boats can be used on the river
Which were formerly used for shipping barrels of wine, up to the “industrial area” of Porto, Villa Nova de Gaia –
In it, the wines went through the process of aging, bottling and distribution to the rest of the world. Over time, Villa Nova de Gaia has become a place of pilgrimage for fans of the genre, and it abounds in small and large wineries – where you can sip a variety of great fort types. In Porto I recommend spending at least two days (even two weeks is fine):
The city is full of gems, small wine bars and impressive architectural buildings paved with azoles (we’ll see you say this 3 times in a row) – traditional tiles decorated with spectacular patterns and colorful colors. At the Porto train station you can be impressed by the variety of stories of the city’s history painted on tiles.

Dao

South of Dauro sits the Dao, one of the oldest wine regions where the classic wines will be complex reds. It is a wonderful place to get to know in depth the most famous and famous local grape varieties Toriga Nacional and Tinta Ruriz. Dow is at a fascinating point in time, where young people are taking ancient traditions, preserving and exploring them with today’s tools.

Alentejo

The largest wine region in Portugal, which controls about a third of the southern part of the country. The climate in Alentejo is warmer and drier than in the north, where you will meet white and red wines, kicking and peppery, lighter in character from the northern regions of Portugal and suitable for local dining.
In the picturesque town of Evora there is a visitor center for the region’s wines – where you can see the types of soil, taste the wines and hear stories about the uniqueness of the region.

As a winemaker and wine and culinary tour guide, I believe that the trip that leaves the deepest impression is one that is experienced with all the senses: when you taste the culture and history, smell the climate and the land and feel the generosity of the locals. A place where it is customary to launch glasses of wine for life several times a day – is the right place to be. !Health

For wine and culinary tours

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Roni SaslovWinemaker, winemaker, reporter and wine critic, judge in competitions and lecturer in Israel and around the world. Roni advises and accompanies wineries entering the industry and those there in terms of marketing and business.


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