Douro Harvest Wine Tour Highlights
- Experience the harvest in the Douro Valley, home of Port, and learn first hand about the unique terroir and approach to winemaking.
- Meet winemakers and vignerons from major Port Houses, and small, family producers.
- Six visits/tastings over four days.
- Based in the Douro Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Visit to Porto, home of the lodges where port has traditionally been matured.
- Comprehensive tastings at every visit, and five fabulous tasting lunches or dinners.
Tour dates (all Wednesday-Sunday)
16th-20th September 2020 – this tour is nearly fully booked
23rd-27th September 2020 – places available
Please note I hope to run these tours if travel and social distancing restrictions resulting from Covid-19 have been lifted in time. Please contact me if you would like to be kept updated about my plans.
From the Meeting Point at Porto Airport (see Flight Transfers below), I will arrange a coach transfer to our hotel in Vila Real in the centre of the Douro Valley.
At our first night dinner I will introduce both the still and fortified wines of the region.
We head into the vineyards to see harvest in action, and the treading of the grapes in the historic lagares. The more adventurous among us will be able to try for themselves (this is not compulsory!). The boutique Quinta do Tedo (owned by the Bouchard of Burgundy family) and Casa do Romezal will give us contrasting insights into table and fortified wines.
Evening at leisure.
Today we visit two small estates: Terrus and Quinta do Tourais, home to vineyards that produce port and still wines, including some superb red wines. Over these two visits we will explore this beautiful region, tasting their wines and enjoying them with local cuisine.
Evening at leisure.
Our final full day takes us along the Douro river allowing us to fully appreciate the beauty of our surroundings as well as tasting at different estates. In the evening we will have a final dinner together at the fabulous Quinta do Portal.
No tour to this wonderful region is complete without a visit to Porto, and a historic port lodge (where port wines mature under the cooling influence of the Atlantic). We will head west after breakfast, arriving in Porto in time for a visit to Taylors Port lodge and lunch. We will still have plenty of time to transfer to Porto airport to coincide with the evening flight to London, as detailed in the Flight Transfers (see below).
Note: the Itinerary may be changed at Tim Syrad Wine Tours discretion so as to facilitate the smooth running of the tour and to accommodate great opportunities for visits or tastings that may become available.
Key Tour Information
* The Key Tour Information specifies what you should expect from the tour, no matter how far ahead you book. As additional information is published on the website, it will be advised to clients who have reserved a place. The daily itinerary will be finalised in the weeks leading up to the Start Date.
Download the Key Tour Information as a pdf
- £1,099 per person based on 2 people sharing a double/twin room.
- £100 supplement for single occupancy of a double room.
- £100 discount for bookings made before 1st January 2020, and paid for 8 weeks before departure.
- Transport from the Meeting Point at Porto Airport to the hotel on Wednesday 16th/23rd September, and to the Departure Point at Porto Airport on Sunday 20th/27th September.
- 5 days (including arrival and departure days)/4 nights bed and breakfast
- in the 4* Miracorgo hotel in Vila Real.
- Coach for all activities in the itinerary.
- Four days of visits and tastings.
- Six visits/tastings, including in a variety of wineries that produce port and table wines and Taylors Port Lodge in Porto.
- Five lunches/dinners with local wines.
- All local taxes and service charges.
- The services of Tim Syrad as your Wine Tour manager and Wine Guide.
It is a condition of my accepting a booking that you will take out appropriate travel insurance – please see our Terms and Conditions Section 8.
Terms and Conditions are available here or on request.
Please note flights are not included in the price. Many of my clients prefer to extend their holiday before or after my tours, so I let people make their own flight arrangements.
The TAP (Air Portugal) flights offer the best combination to maximise the opportunities on the tours.
Outbound on 16th September/23rd September: Gatwick (LGW) to Porto (OPO)
TP1331 Departs LGW 1200 – Arrives OPO 1420
Inbound on 20th September/27th September: Porto (OPO) to Gatwick (LGW)
TP1332 Departs OPO 1750 – Arrives LGW 2005
Please contact me if you would like to discuss travel options, including flying with other airlines (TAP and Easyjet both fly from London to Porto, although current schedules do not connect with the transfers I plan to arrange) or even making the journey by other means! I cannot arrange travel for you, but I can advise on what might work best.
How to book this tour
Please contact me by phone or email, or use the enquiry form on the Contact page on the website to check availability. If I confirm a place is available, please complete the booking form and send it to me with your deposit. A deposit of £100 is taken at booking to reserve your place, the balance must be paid 8 weeks before the tour starts.
If you don’t have travel insurance arranged for the dates of the tour at the time you are booking you will need to provide me with details (name of insurer, policy number, 24 hour emergency telephone numbers) before the tour starts.
Once I have confirmed a tour is proceeding I advise clients to arrange flights and confirm travel arrangements to me. Please do not arrange flights before I have confirmed your place and that the tour is proceeding.
More about my Douro Harvest Wine Tour
The tours I ran to Portugal in 2007 and 2016 were great successes. The beauty of Portugese scenery and the warmth of the Portugese welcome are incomparable, and I am very excited about returning, this time with a focus on the Douro.
While the Douro’s fame is based on it being the home of Port production, the still red (and white!) wines that are being produced can be of extremely high quality. Winemakers rise to the challenges of one of Europe’s most extreme climates (baking hot summers, freezing cold winters, and not a lot of rain), and equally extreme landscape (we will learn how the mountainous, steep valley sides have been tamed into vineyards), learning from centuries of tradition, and introducing new techniques.
The region of course has a long standing and close relationship with the UK, and many of the quintas we visit will have family connections. But this is Portugal, and the people we meet are fiercely proud of their heritage, their success at keeping Port the most prestigious of the fortified wines, and their future prospects – even though this requires them to be at the forefront of tackling the impacts of climate change.
In addition to the stunning scenery, our wine adventures will be complemented by superb local gastronomy. The modern road network supports a fantastic hospitality sector, and every day we will enjoy fresh produce and the traditional and modern approaches to preparing it. In addition to our first and final night dinners, we will have three lunches, in quintas or lodges, that will allow us to experience the wines we have been learning about with local dishes.
Due to the timing of the return flight from Porto to London, I am able to include a visit on the final Sunday, and it makes sense for this to be our Porto day. Porto, and neighbouring Nova Vila de Gaia, are home to the traditional lodges where Port wines are aged before release. Their climate is milder thanks to Atlantic breezes, and while modern climate control technology gives producers the choice of maturing their wines in the Douro itself, the historic lodges are still a key part of Port’s culture and will make a wonderful culmination of out tour.
More about Tim Syrad Wine Tours
Since 2001 I have escorted over 100 groups of people on tours to wine regions in Europe and the New World. My clients keep coming back year after year because in addition to tastings and visits we really do meet the people who make the wine and tend the vines.
I pride myself in offering tours that are informative, imaginative and enjoyable. I keep group sizes manageable so that we spend our time appreciating our visits, not getting on and off the bus or queuing for the loos! I personally escort all of my tours, and I ensure as much as possible of the money my clients pay is spent on great food and wine, and good hotels.
I believe you can combine appreciating fabulous wine with relaxation and laughter, which is why so many of my clients come on tour with me every year. There is a friendly and welcoming atmosphere on every tour from the start, and I am proud that many friendships have been made between the people who come on tour with me.