De Castro Gaia Restaurant (Espaço Porto Cruz) & Getaway & Real Companhia Velha & Taylor's Port
Various Locations Available
The city of Oporto, built in the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro River, is a colourful 2,000 year old UNESCO World Heritage city, with a modern cosmopolitan personality. Venturing into riverside wine caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, you will discover a new love for the city’s most famous export, Port.
Since the 17th century, wines from Oporto have made the journey up the Douro River from the Marão Mountains, where Port is still made today. These robust, full-bodied wines have been a particular favourite of the English since Charles II restricted French wine imports at the end of the 17th century. By the early 1800’s, many port merchants had set up shop on the banks of the Douro. Today, the wine remains a symbol of British merchant and naval history. In Vila Nova de Gaia, discover the blend of old and new that defines the city of Oporto. The Espaço Porto Cruz’s walls may be centuries old but its modern interior offers a multi-sensory experience based around Port wine: interactive multi-touch tables, short educational films, wine shop, exhibitions and tasting room. Espaço Porto Cruz even won Best of Wine Tourism 2014 in the category of “Innovative Experiences in Wine Tourism”. In the third floor restaurant, De Castro Gaia, savour a gastronomic experience with Douro and Port wines, under the direction of Chef Miguel Castro e Silva. Enjoy a wine pairing with dinner, finishing on the terrace with Port Wine cocktails, whilst enjoying the magnificent panorama view of the old city of Oporto. Stepping backward in time, visiting the Real Companhia Velha (Royal Oporto), established in 1756 by royal charter and recognised as one of the first official port wine producers in the Douro Valley. Real Companhia Velha’s ports are famous in this region for their quality; port wine from the 1867 harvest is still bottled by special request and currently sells for around €1000 a bottle. On a private tour of the centennial cellar at Real Companhia Velha, walk through the ageing warehouse process and on into the Vintage Museum. Shrouded in thick cobwebs and coated in ‘angels' share’ (a thick black coating of evaporated spirit), the museum houses an extensive collection of port wine paraphernalia and a bottle of Real’s oldest port dating back to 1765. Finish with a tasting of young Port wines; a Dry or Lágrima Ruby or Tawny and an aged Tawny 10yo and aged Tawny 40yo. End your wine weekend at Taylor’s, renowned as one of the oldest and best Port wine producers since 1692. The popular English merchant holds the benchmark for Vintage Port by wine authorities. Taylor’s invites you on an informative tour of its famous cellars and lodges at Vila Nova de Gaia. During your visit, learn about the fascinating history of Taylor’s Port wine at the House of Taylor’s – now in its fourth century. Finish in the elegant Library Room for a tasting of three Port wines, including a Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) and a Tawny 10yo.
We thoroughly enjoyed our break in Porto the visit to Vila Velha port was especially good would definitely recommend it. The hotel was fab and so was our meal.
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