Douro e Porto

Perhaps one of the roughest and most outlying regions of the Country, Trás-os-Montes literally means “behind the hills”, or “outside civilization”. This is a country where inhabitants proudly claim that locals rule! This is where the grapes that are used to make Port and Douro wines are grown. For centuries the steep hills of the Douro Valley have been domesticated and turned into terraced vineyards which cascade down to the river. The scenery is breathtaking and the whole region is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Port is still the region’s better known ambassador, but Douro table wine production has been increasing both in quantity and in quality. The hot summers and the poor, rocky soils make for high quality wines, almost black in colour, opaque and ripe with aromas of raspberries and rockrose, very much like young Ports.

The more interesting varieties are the reds: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Amarela. There are also some important whites, namely the Arinto and Síria.

This is a favourite area for hiking, which allows you to really soak in the atmosphere, especially if you take some time to appreciate the local wines and cuisine.