- Port tasting in Porto is a must when visiting this beautiful city and a tour of a port wine cellar is the best way to sample this fortified wine.
- Discover the most informative, entertaining port wine tours in Porto.
- Learn how to get the best from a port tasting experience with top tips for visiting the city’s most famous cellars.
Portugal’s Douro valley is the birthplace of port, world famous for its quality fortified wine that’s been produced in the region since the 18th Century. If visiting the area on a Douro river cruise or indeed any holiday to Portugal, don’t miss the opportunity to experience port tasting in Porto. Sip a glass of tawny, ruby, white or vintage port while learning more about its fascinating history and the unique fermentation and ageing processes involved in its production. Did you know that grapes grown on the banks of the Douro river are still pressed in the traditional way – by feet?
Where to try port tasting in Porto
Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, is home to a wealth of port cellars and wine houses so there’s plenty of choice. But don’t just seek out a familiar brand. Of course you’ll want to visit the cellars of Taylor’s and Graham’s, but here’s a chance to taste the ports of other producers, perhaps ones less well-known in the UK.
When planning Porto wine tours, it’s wise to book in advance and note that reservations are often necessary. Also think carefully about how many cellars, and how many tastings, you arrange for each day – port is richer, sweeter and more alcoholic than wine. Cheers!
Porto wine tours: Ferreira Cellars
One of the oldest port wine cellars in Portugal, the Ferreira family started growing grapes on the terraces along the Douro river back in 1751. Nearly 270 years later, Ferreira claims to be the only Porto wine house to have remained in Portuguese hands since those early days. In the 19th century, family matriarch Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira was at the helm, an invincible and entrepreneurial female who contributed significantly to the consolidation of the brand.
Today, visitors get an insight into the life of an extraordinary woman working in a male-dominated industry, as well as a guide through the fascinating cellars where the casks and vats are kept. Five different tasting options, with relevant prices, are available. Ferreira Cellars are open all-year round.
Porto wine tours: Cálem Cellars
For a unique port tasting in Porto, look no further than Cálem, a large wine house that’s been producing quality port since 1859. Situated in Gaia next to the Dom Luís I Bridge, Cálem also has the bonus of having a wine bar and terrace with great views overlooking the Douro river. Visitors have three tour options. You can simply enjoy the interactive museum, historic cellars and taste either two standard or three premium ports.
However, there’s also a Tour and Food Pairing ticket allowing you to sample some wines with a little cheese and chocolate. If visiting late afternoon, why not combine a tour with a traditional fado performance – this starts at 6.30pm. A new 5D cinema experience is opening soon.
Porto wine tours: Sandeman Cellars
Known worldwide for its port and sherry, the Sandeman wine house is located in the heart of Gaia in Porto and is one of the city’s most popular attractions. You certainly won’t miss the imposing white building while walking along the Douro waterfront – just look out for the company’s brand logo, that of a black-cloaked man wearing a sombrero. Guides dressed as a Sandeman Don lead tours through the cellars, unravelling the secrets of their port-making process.
A Classic tour culminates in a tasting room where you can enjoy some ruby and tawny ports. Fortified wine connoisseurs may prefer the 100-Year-Old Tawnies tour which ends with a comprehensive tasting of a century of port. Other drinks, including cocktails, can be savoured on the outdoor Sandeman Terrace.
Porto wine tours: Taylor’s Cellars
Taylor’s famous port wine cellars, found at Vila Nova de Gaia, use grapes grown on some of the finest hillside vineyards bordering the Douro river. Red varieties such as Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão and Tinta Roriz give Taylor’s port its distinctive flavour, and the extensive fermentation process and ageing techniques are explained on a self-guided audio tour through the cool, dark warehouses – private tours and tastings must be arranged in advance , though it is included and already arranged for you on our Lisbon, Porto & the Douro Valley and Portugal’s Douro Valley to Lisbon for Solo Travellers tours.
Recently renovated, Taylor’s 300-year-old cellars can keep visitors entertained for up to two hours so plan your day accordingly and perhaps opt to linger longer so you can enjoy dinner at the Barão Fladgate Restaurant. This will also give you the opportunity to taste further vintage ports while looking over Porto’s historic city centre.
Porto wine tours: Espaço Porto Cruz
If port tasting in Porto, don’t leave Espaço Porto Cruz off your list. The Gaia riverfront building dates back to the 18th century and allows visitors to experience historic wine in a modern innovative way. The Porto Cruz Space is a project to celebrate the culture of port rather than a traditional cellar, and permanent exhibitions focusing on the Douro’s port-producing region sit alongside temporary displays on how wine has influenced food, fashion and art.
Don’t worry though, there’s still a tasting room where a professional Sommelier guides you through different aromas, flavours and colours. A selection of tastings, such as three white ports or a premium tasting of seven port wines, are available. Don’t miss the 360° Terrace Lounge on the rooftop – the views are stunning.
Porto wine tours: Graham’s Port House
One of the first port companies to invest in its own Douro valley vineyards, Graham’s has been an independent family business for almost two hundred years. Tradition, knowledge and experience has been passed down through the generations so the same ethos of producing excellent port is as visible today as it was back in the 19th century.
Reservations are now required if you want to visit Graham’s 1890 Lodge, situated up a commanding ridge in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto. And it’s also a wise idea to book ahead if you want to eat in their Vinum Restaurant or drink in the stylish Wine Bar. Stop off at the wine shop too – Graham’s provide a shipping service to ensure any purchases reach your cellar in perfect condition.
Experience port tasting in Porto
Although many would claim fine fortified wine should be savoured only at the end of a meal, if indulging in port tours, Porto allows you a great excuse to appreciate a small glass or two, sometimes three, any time of the day.
Explore our Lisbon, Porto & the Douro Valley escorted tours and the Douro, Porto & Salamanca river cruise to begin your port-tasting adventure. Saúde! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.