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For centuries, the 24,600 hectares of Alto Douro Valley in Northern Portugal have been a vibrant wine-producing region. This tranquil, scenic, and terraced lush landscape along River Douro has rocky soil and a hot-dry climate that provide the right conditions to farm grapes. On Alto Douro Valley there are large and small vineyard estates and the wine produced here has the highest wine classification in Portugal. Port wine is the one mostly produced at Alto Douro Valley though fortified and non-fortified wines are as well. Alto Douro Valley has three subregions that wine lovers can visit to taste or imbibe different wines. These include:

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Cima Corgo

Cima Corgo is the largest of Alto Douro Valley wine-producing subregions. Half of the wine produced at Alto Douro Valley is from here. Vintage port wine is made from grapes grown in this steep valley with schist and granite-rich soils. Cima Corgo is unique since the vineyards there span two different climates and grape harvesting is done twice. Sunlight hours, vineyards' location, and winemaking at Cima Corgo make the wine produced here unique in Portugal and the rest of the world. That's why wine lovers are encouraged to try Cima Corgo-produced wine. Some wineries where wine lovers can visit to try out Cima Corgo wine flavors are:

  • Kopke 1638: This wine house has existed since 1638 and has 82 wine categories. Brands here include the ruby-colored Kopke LBV aged for 4 to 6 years, Colheita that's aged in wood, Kopke Fine Port made from differently harvested grapes and aged a minimum of three years, the fruity special Reserve, aged tawny and white, and others. Wine tastings at Kopke 1638 can be booked here.
  • Burmester Wine Cellar: Located in Vila Nova de Gaia and overlooking River Douro Burmester Wine Cellar has 35 wine categories with some aged between 10 and 40 years. These include white, extra-dry white, ruby, red, tawny, colheita, casa white and red, tavedo, and others. Guided tours and tastings at Burmester Wine Cellar are booked here and visitors learn the cellar's history dating back to its founding in 1750.
  • Porto Calem: Established in 1859 by Antonio Alves Calem this winery has 4 wine categories White, Rose Tawny, and Ruby. Each category has wine sub-categories that taste and are aged differently. Guided tours and wine tastings to Porto Calem are booked here. During the tours, visitors also see the museum, and winery cellars, watch a film, taste wine with accompanying Portuguese delicacies, and get to buy wine.
  • Quinta da Boavista: This winery has produced wine in Douro Valley since 1756 and has an eight wine portfolio. The wine produced at this winery has diverse tastes as it's produced from different grape varieties growing in varying climates and vineyards with an average age of 80 years.

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Baixo Corgo

Baixo Corgo temperatures are less extreme, so a larger array of wines is produced here. Much of Portugal's table and lighter fortified wines are produced here, and its main town is Peso da Regua. Among the wineries visitors can tour include:

Quinta dos Avidagos: This winery has existed since 1670 and has four vineyard estates totaling 80 hectares. An array of award-winning red, white, rose, and port wines are produced here. Vineyards and wine tasting tours are organized for visitors. To organize these tours, management can be contacted at info@quintadosavidagos.com or by calling +351-22-415-7400 or +351-91-402-4722.

  • Quinta de Covela: This 36.5 hectares of a wine estate in Baiao dates back to the 16th century. It's known for 13 covela white and rosé wines, and terraced vineyards that look like amphitheaters whose vineyards are cultivated organically. Estate tours and wine tasting can be booked here.
  • Quinta De Santiago: Since 1899 this wine estate has been owned by three family generations. The winery's flagship wine brands are anfora, sou, rascunho, and quinta de santiago which comprise an array of white and rosé wines. Tours to this estate can be organized by contacting the management at wine@quintadesantiago.pt or calling +351-917557883.

Douro Superior

Douro Superior region is on the border of Portugal-Spain border. Vineyards here are sparsely spread since only 23 percent of the land has vines. Since the region is arid the vineyards are closer to either side of the Douro River. Wine estate owners claim the warm and dry climate here makes the wines produced aromatic. Among the wine estates visitors can tour include:

  • Quinta Vale d'Aldeia: The award-winning white and red wines produced from 80 hectares of this vineyard estate has a light, refined and aromatic traits. The brand name of this array of wines is Quinta Vale d'Aldeia. Tours to this wine estate can be planned by contacting the management at +351 279 883 229 and geral@quintavaledaldeia.com.
  • Quinta do Cume: This winery on the right side of Douro River has eight wine brands of varying flavors. Flavors vary since the wine is made from old and younger vines and a variety of grapes cultivated on different soils, sun exposure, oak barrels they are stored in, and age. Leila Freitas can be contacted at winetourism@quintadocume.pt or +351 912 585 505 to plan wine tours here.
  • Quinta de Ventozelo: This 400 hectares of the wine estate and award-winning travel destination has scenic vineyards dotting Alto Douro Valley. It has four wine brands with sub-categories red, white, vintage, vintage, late bottled vintage, and aged wines. This estate also has a hotel to accommodate visitors who dine on meals while sampling the best wines from their source. Visitors can call the management at +351 254 732 167 or email them at geral@quintadeventozelo.pt to plan a visit.