Porto is famous all over the world for the production of Porto wine. Weather it is red, rose, white, or aged, Porto wine is one of the most appreciated liqueur wines in Europe. It has a century old history and it is exported all over.
Porto wine is grown inland in the Douro valley, near the boarder with Spain; here temperatures on summer time can reach up to 40 degrees thanks to the natural protection of its surrounding mountains.
Thanks to this special climate conditions the currents of the Atlantic Ocean do not affect the temperatures, giving the opportunity to grow the very best grapes.
Until the Sixties, the grapes, after being collected and transformed into wine, were carried into big barrels carried on a special type of boat named barco rabelos. Today, thanks to the modernization of the production processes, the wine is carried from the countryside to the city inside tank trucks, and the barcos rebelos are just parked along the banks of the Douro river for aesthetic purposes.
Once in Porto, the wine is bottled and sold at the several cellars located on the southern bank of the river, just across the Ribeira district; this area though is part of the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia.
Along Avenida de Diogo Leite you will find all cellars of the mayor Porto producers. Although there are many of them, each of is somehow unique. From the historical Ramos Pinto to the iconic Sandeman, each cellar in Porto is open to the public. It is possible to join a guided tour or simply to purchase a few bottles, from the ones sold at supermarkets to more special ones, like very old bottles or bottles for collectors.
During the good season every cellar in Porto sets outdoors tables, where tourists and residents can take a seat, relax, and enjoy a good glass of Porto wine or even a cocktail made with this liqueur wine.
Do not miss a visit to at least one cellar. Whichever cellar you will choose to visit will offer you the opportunity to learn more about the aging process of the wine, with all the due explanations and tasting.
The tour normally starts with some information about the history of the cellar and its wine label, featuring the show of some precious bottles that can cost up to 5000 euro.
Afterwards it is time to visit the cellar, where the guide will provide more information about the history of Porto wine, about its production and transportation, enhancing its unique peculiarities that make it better than the competition.
Now it is time to visit the historic offices where the sale and distribution of the wine was managed. The offices still keep the original furnitures and old commercials on the walls, giving justice to a product that became historic.
Lastly, it is time to enjoy the most interesting part of the visit: a generous Porto wine tasting. Usually it is possible to taste two glasses in order to enjoy both some white and red Porto along with some sweet or salty finger food. Definitely the best way to end such a unique experience.
These are some of the most famous cellars of the city offering the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour and a wine tasting.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.