Saturday in the Douro

Luis at Casa do Romezal is a tour de force! 

Our first visit on Saturday unleashed all the passion of a small family business and delivered a wonderfully concise treatise on the Douro and family history, an insight into the complexities of the terracing and vineyard development and showed us yet another aspect of this wonderful wine region.

Formerly a pharmacist, Luis and his sister Margarida have finished a project that their father sadly was unable to see. A small boutique winery using their historic Gueda family name and some cottages for rental – perched high up on the hills overlooking the valley.

We took a walk into the vineyards where Luis talked about his long family history and pointed out key buildings and other landmarks.

We tasted through the range of top class whites, reds and a white and Tawny Port.

Luis was totally engaging and hugely entertaining.

From Casa do Romezal, it was just 15 minutes to Quinta Seara d’Ordens – even higher up the hill and giving yet another aspect to the Douro Valley. This estate has a very long history of top quality production and benefits from the additional elevation to give an additional freshness to their wines.

Lisinho showed us round the winery and we got the chance to see some freshly picked grapes in the lagares before tasting through a great selection of wines including a 10 and 20 Year old Tawnies.  It isn’t us doing the foot treading in the photo however.

The day was not yet over. Our final destination was Quinta da Pacheca – another historic estate that I first visited in 2007. New owners in 2012 have invested heavily in the estate and it has been transformed with a hotel, fabulous dining opportunities and a beautiful winery.

Fabio took us round and it turned out he was a nephew of Maria Foy at Terrus. We were well looked after, tasted a couple of wines before settling in to a delicious four course dinner.