Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Douro Valley and it brings along one of the most anticipated events: the harvest.
Autumn is certainly one of the most stunning seasons, there is something quite bucolic about the Fall colors and light, the fresh and crisp mornings and the smell of the ripe fruit waiting to be harvest.
Being able to participate in a harvest is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had, it gives you a feeling of being connected a sense of gratitude, to be able to collect what nature so generously offers us.
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Experience the Vineyards
Wine estates, vineyards, and Port are part of Douro’s main attractions. A winery visit and Port tasting are easily two of the best things to do in the Douro – and often the main reason for visiting.
Explore the region’s picturesque landscape at this time of the year and enjoy a very unique viewpoint with a guided tour through the vineyards at Quinta das Carvalhas. Located in Pinhão, in the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region, this is the biggest vineyard in the area, situated in a privileged position overlooking the river.
On this one-on-one tour, you’ll have a genuinely unique experience walking around the vineyards with an insightful guide and ending with a tasting of four wines and a cheese platter. There’s also a tour option guided by the in-house agriculturalist, which offers the unique experience of visiting a traditional estate side by side with someone who knows it by heart.
Quinta Nova also offers incredible experiences. With a history spanning over 200 years, the estate occupies over 120 hectares of land and has been listed since the first demarcation of the Douro wine region, in 1756, during the Pombaline era. One of the experiences that should be on your bucket list is the harvest.. You will be provided a bucket and scissors and will start grape picking in one of the estate plots. Enjoy also a guided visit to the cellar with wine tasting and the Wine Museum Centre Fernanda Ramos Amorim followed by wine tasting and classic wine tasting at Patamar Kitchen. In the end lunch at Conceitus Winery Restaurant: 3-course menu harmonized with the winemaker’s suggestion.
Delicious Meals with a view of the Autumn Foliage
The incredible Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House offers great views of the river and the estate’s vineyards. Born from the rehabilitation of a 19th century-old manor, visitors can take part in a number of wine-themed activities. At the in-house restaurant – Conceitus Winery Restaurant – there’s no menu and you will get served whatever the kitchen has cooked, in perfect tune with the property’s wines. It serves excellent food in a stunning outdoor setting and we would definitely recommend doing the wine pairing so that you can try their various wines.
Having delicate fruit flavour, Portuguese olives are not the same as in Spain and Greece
The most prolific olive trees in Portugal are in Golega. They are mostly grown for olive oil production but delicious table olives are also produced. The fruits are small and black and with delicate fruit flavor. Plantations are open for visitors. You can participate in an olive oil tasting, discover the olive tree culture, production process and the origins of the mill, dating back to roman times. Olives are harvest from October/November.
Maria Ines Amaral
Founder and CEO of Portuguese association of Tourism for the Middle East