Portugal is perhaps the most underrated destination in Europe for wine lovers. While the vineyards of Italy and France get a lot of attention (and deservedly so), Portuguese wine is just as worthy of your attention! The mild climate combines with favorable terrain to make great tasting wine, and the winemakers here have had a reputation for excellence for hundreds of years. Discover for yourself on our upcoming Young Alumni tour, “Portugal Adventure”, coming in 2023! Here are some of the best and most popular wine regions of Portugal.
The Douro Valley is arguably the beating heart of Portuguese wine-making. Situated about 100 kilometers from Porto, Douro Valley lays claim to the title of “oldest wine region in the world”, with over 2000 years of history here. It was even designated for protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When visiting Douro Valley, you not only gain access to some of the best wine, but also some of the best food that Portugal has to offer. If you have any interest in wine at all, Douro Valley needs to be on your bucket list! While the region is the home of fortified Port wine, the winemakers here make all kinds of unique wines, from full-bodied reds to crisp whites.
It may be Portuguese for “green wine”, but don’t expect an actual green drink when you order one in this region! The Vinho Verde region is located just below the Spanish border in northern Portugal. The drink itself is a blend of red, rose, and white wines – it is called “green” because it is meant for consumption within a few years of production. In other words, don’t leave this one to age in your wine cellar! Visitors to the region often begin in the province of Minho and follow the Green Wine Trail – this trail is also known for the quaint small towns along the route.
The island of Madeira one of two autonomous regions in Portugal, around an hour and half by plane from the capital Lisbon. With amazing scenery and weather, Madeira makes for a great side trip on any Portuguese itinerary. However, wine lovers will likely want to spend more time than that here! The island is the home of Madeira wine, which has a much different production process than other wines – during one step, the wine is heated to over 100 degrees within steel barrels, and some winemakers actually leave their wines to heat in natural sunlight!
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Experience an exhilarating adventure in 2022 on the Cosmopolitan, Great Escape, Greek Island Hopper tour, and more! 2022 tour dates are now available! If you have any questions or want help booking your next adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.