Douro Valley

It is an easy 2 hour drive east along a modern freeway to where the vineyards and wineries that make port are. This is a beautiful landscape of vine covered hills planted on steep terraces. The Douro River lazily winds through the valleys. Dotted around are picture postcard perfect little medieval villages and wineries perched high on the steep hills accessible only by driving up terrifyingly narrow winding drives. Getting around here is really white knuckle driving and mentally exhausting.

The compensation is the tastings of the various ports especially against the backdrop of 2 great vintages. Unsurprisingly it is the vintage ports that are the showstoppers and I am impressed at how versatile and approachable they are young. These are wines that I normally don’t touch until they are at least 10 years old. They can actually be very food friendly when young.

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