Panorama of the Week: Terraced Vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal

Up until our recent travels into the heart of port wine country, and despite countless glasses of the stuff under my belt, I was still tempted to consider port as a heavy drink that was quaffed by older British men with a cigar after a pot roast dinner.

Then we traveled deep into the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, the epicenter of port wine. And there, things opened up to me.

At Quinta do Seixo we tasted white, tawny and reserve Sandeman ports. I found nothing syrupy or incongruously sweet. Instead, I found warmth and comfort, complex aromas and flavors that evinced themselves slowly. Stepping back from the haze of fortified wine tasting: maybe all this poetry in a glass was due to our noontime tasting.

With each sip at our tasting table, this was the view, our context. Open the panorama to full screen to see for yourself.

Aside: A week later, I shared a reserve port I bought on this trip with my father in North Carolina. I’m afraid he’s now better informed (read: spoiled) about port wine as well.

Panorama: Terraced Vineyards of the Duoro Valley, Portugal

panorama directions

Disclosure: Thank you to Visit Portugal for hosting us on this trip into the Duoro Valley after the TBU Porto conference.

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Comments

  1. says

    Loved the panorama shot here of the Duoro valley. The “modernist-brick” style of the winery give me a pleasant “euro-chic” sensation too. I’m going to check out more of your panorama shots. Ciao!

  2. says

    Impressive panorama. It’s amazing how our perceptions of food and drink change when we are out traveling. I’ve lost count of the things I now regularly eat and drink that I once considered untouchable. I guess developing our palate is yet another great aspect that accompanies travel.

  3. DJ says

    Hey there! Small world….I just found this website, and my wife and I just returned from Portugal last Tuesday. What was your favorite port? I’m partial to the Taylor Fladgate tawnies, but also liked Ramos Pinto.

    Great website! I’ve bookmarked moving forward. Keep up the great work.

  4. says

    @Erick: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed this and hope you liked viewing the other panoramas. It was a great visit to this winery.

    @John: We were port tasting before noon, so that 20 degrees of alcohol certainly hit us! Porto would be a great place to live – would love to return ourselves.

    @Addison: Traveling pushes one to go outside one’s comfort zone all the time, including trying new food and drink.

    @DJ: Ooh, that’s a difficult decision there. The Sandeman port tawnies were great, as was the Reserve port from Quina de Pacheca.

    @Victoria: Yes, this was a gorgeous area! Our group made it even more fun – hope our paths cross again soon.

  5. says

    dear audrey and daniel,
    at last you paid a visit to my country and iam glad you had a good time in PORTO and enjoyed its wine.
    if you ever come to LISBOA let me know
    david estrela
    p.s. how can i learn the ”panorama” thecnik , please???

  6. says

    @David: We keep hearing wonderful things about Lisbon – we will definitely visit on our next trip and will let you know! As for the panorama trick, it’s a few steps: 1) take 4 photos at 90 degree angle + 1 photo above with an 8mm lens
    2) Stitch them together with AutoPano Giga software
    3) Create the “tour” you see above with PanoTour Pro

    There are other ways to make them, but this is what we do. Good luck!

  7. says

    Looks fantastic. I need to go to Portugal to drink wine, I’m from Spain, sooo close. I have an Oporto at my house, I think I’ll have a little after dinner today :)

  8. says

    Thank you very much for this great article and the very impressive panorama, Audrey!
    Portugal is a very fascinating country – not only the north, very green part, but also the center and the very beautiful south with it’s fantastic coastline!
    I do hope that you’ll write a little more about this lovely country, it’s extraordinary history and culture and the always friendly Portuguese people.

    • says

      Hi Alexander,
      We do hope to have an opportunity to return to Portugal as we’ve heard great things about the south and its beautiful coastline. Thanks for the advice!

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