europe's hidden gem.
From a natural and scenic standpoint, there's really no comparison. The mountains meet the sea by way of inland waterways like the Douro, and the gorgeous beaches are incredible--a sort of Oregon meets Baja look.
From a wine perspective, there's a little of everything--from the refreshing seaside whites of the northern border with Spain, to the dark and handsome reds of the hills and valleys east of Lisbon. And the food! Well, any place that features a separate section on nearly every menu entitled "eggs" is okay by us.
But the people really stand out. Warm and lively, with a history that's been overlooked for far too long, it's no wonder that Portugal is a hit with those who prefer to skip the museum lines. Come explore the gorgeous terrain, culinary wonders, and welcoming vibe of Portugal with us!
Where we'll go:
The steep streets and magnificently tiled buildings of Porto will be our headquarters for two days, during which we’ll take a boat ride on the Douro, visit a port cellar, and taste wines from the hinterlands of the Trans-os-Montes. From there, we’ll spend three days in a private guest house in the Alentejo where you’ll sip Alicante Bouchet by the pool between visits to a cork oak farm and several wineries. We’ll stop for Pastel del Nata more than once while we rest in Lisbon for two nights, and take a train ride to a magnificent royal town perched high on a hillside to the west.
Who we'll meet:
There's Marco, born in Angola, raised in Porto, lived in Boston, and is now back home in the northeast of Portugal growing grapes. And there's Susana, one of the country's top young winemakers working out of an old machine shop. And then, Luis - a dentist's son that has cleared a hillside and built a winery on a marble quarry. In Porto, you'll taste with Luisa and Maria, sisters that inherited 1,000,000 bottles of Porto to start their business--all still in stock!
What we'll eat and drink:
A wide and deep variety of wines are grown here, from the high-acid whites of the Northwest to the rich and velvety reds of the Alentejo. And, of course, we can't forget Porto. The food ranges from rich and spicy to lighter coastal fare. And pastry? How about some of those unforgettable Pastel de Nata or Portuguese Easter Cake?