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Wine Routes

Douro region has two wine routes which cover the points of interest connected to wine production. In 1996, the European Union created the Port Wine Route under the Dyonisios Program. This route encompasses around 50 quintas, options for accommodation, wineries, wine cellars and restaurants. The Cister Wine Route, created on 14th March 2011 in the region of Távora-Varosa, covers eight municipalities in the Douro sub-region: Armamar, Lamego, Moimenta da Beira, Penedono, São João da Pesqueira, Sernancelhe, Tabuaço and Tarouca.

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Wine Routes
Port Wine Route

To celebrate the authenticity and quality of the wines produced in the demarcated Douro region, in 1996 the Port Wine route was created with the support of the Europeans Union’s Dyonisios Programme. The route links both vineyards and wine cellars and of the 50 places selected, 40 of them are open to the public and can be visited almost all year round.

The majority of the vineyards offer a wide variety of services, such as places to stay and places to eat. However, the main attraction is the grape harvest. Throughout the months of September and October the vineyards offer tourists the chance to participate in the production of some of the most famous wines in Portugal from the grape harvest to the bottling.

Visitors can take part in wine tasting sessions and they can purchase their favourites at the vineyard’s own shop. Port Wine, wines from the DOC controlled Douro region, Moscatel and sparkling wines will tickle the taste buds of all wine lovers.

Due to the size of the region, the Port Wine route has been divided into three parts: the Lower Corgo, the Upper Corgo and the Upper Douro.

L
ower Corgo

This part of the route covers Vila Real, Santa Marta de Penaguião, Mesão Frio, Peso da Régua, Armamar and Lamego. It offers a total of 30 different sites to visit, including vineyards, wine cellars and even unique storage facilities found in old manor houses or taverns.

Upper Corgo

This part of the route covers Tabuaço, Sabrosa, Alijó, Murça and São João da Pesqueira and offers unique places that host a wide variety of handicrafts and wine-producing equipment.

U
pper Douro

This part of the route covers Vila Flor, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Torre de Moncorvo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Mêda and Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Despite the vast area covered by this route, it only includes two vineyards, both of which are found in Torre de Moncorvo. However, the Upper Douro has plenty more to offer with its stunning landscapes and ancient historical sites.



C
ister Wine Route

In the Douro region there are a wide variety of sites of interest that were brought together in the Port Wine route in 1996. In the new millennium the need to highlight other vineyards, restaurants and hotels in areas such as the Távora-Varosa area became apparent. Therefore, the Cister Wine route was created on 14th March, 2011. This route covers 8 regions in the Douro valley: Armamar, Lamego, Moimnta da Beira, Penedono, São João da Pesqueira, Sernancelhe, Tabuaço and Tarouca.

This region, which is known as the “Lands of Cister”, is very religious. The numerous temples that were built there during the Middle Ages are testament to its inhabitants devotion. The Cistercian monks settled in the region in the 12th century. Their monasteries have left their mark on the region along with the surrounding lands they planted with vineyards. The centuries passed, yet the vineyards remained, surrounded by cloisters such as the São João de Tarouca Monastery or the São Pedro das Águias Monastery in Tabuaço.

The harsh climate in the region with cold wet winters and hot dry summers and high altitudes influence the quality of the grapes, allowing them to maintain both their acidity and their fruity flavour. The result of the conditions in this region is exceptional sparkling wines that come in various styles from red to white or rosé. The Murganheira sparkling wine is one of the best known, for its flavour and for the uniqueness of its cellars that are carved out of granite and 72 metres deep.

The wines from the Lands of Cister are made from traditional grape varieties such as the white grapes, Malvasia Fina, Fernão Pires, Gouveio, Bical, Cerceal and the red grapes Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are used in the sparkling wines, which are the two main grape varieties used in the Champagne region in France.

The Távora-Varosa region also produces excellent products to accompany their fruity wines, such as cherries, chestnuts, apples, cavacas (soft biscuits), the traditional Teixeira cake, smoked ham and smoked sausages and meats from Lamego.

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