The Jesuíta - You Sassy Portuguese Pastry You!
written by Gabriella Opaz | 28th March 2017
Seven days basking in terrace-lined vineyards heavy with juicy, ripe grapes. Seven days tasting a wide array of world class Portuguese wines under the warm golden rays of autumn. Seven days savoring mouthwatering cuisine crafted from fresh ingredients taken directly from the stunning landscape of Northern Portugal.
For one entire week, you’ll feel the grapes in the palm of your hand, smell the rocky soils beneath your feet, and hear the rush of the Douro River as you experience your first Portuguese Harvest. Do not miss this opportunity!
You’ll take in the panoramic views of the Douro Valley. Touch the moss covered trees of Vinho Verde. Meandor the hand-laid cobblestone streets of Porto. Savor the perfectly juicy suckling pig of Bairrada and taste hundreds of exceptional Portuguese wines from across the entire North and Central regions.
Catavino will ensure every single detail is accounted for. So sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most luxurious and memorable 7 day tours of your life!
Catavino keeps you current not only with the remarkable wine developments in Spain and Portugal, two of the most dynamic wine producers on the planet, but you’ll learn about food trends, new dishes and restaurants and the ancient and modern cultures on the Iberian Peninsula. And you may not notice it, but Catavino also happens to be one of smoothest designed websites you’ll have the pleasure of visiting.
Welcome to Porto!
Today is a rare opportunity for you to explore one of the most popular and inviting cities in Europe! Walk the narrow cobbled streets by the stunning Se Cathedral, savoring the vibrant colors, the small flowerpots teeming with spring daisies, the fat cats sprawled on cement steps basking in the evening light.
Porto is by far one of the most magical places you’ll ever experience, but not for the reasons you might imagine. Unlike the perfectly coiffed and manicured streets of Chicago, or the imposing and dramatic boardwalks of Madrid, Porto is a city of layers. Imagine a huge canvas of multidimensional textures of various colors and strokes, a masterpiece that never stops changing, moving, developing, destroying and recreating itself. Porto is the antithesis of sterile, it’s a never-ending collage.
|2:00pm||Check in to your polished, cozy hotel located just a stone’s throw from Porto’s main historical attractions.|
|-||Afternoon at leisure to explore the hidden treasures of Porto|
|8:00pm||Your hosts, Gabriella and Ryan Opaz, will welcome you to an extraordinary dinner in one of our favorite wine bars in Porto!|
Just south of Galicia and north of Porto lies Vinho Verde, the famed white wine capital of Portugal. It’s the largest and most fertile Portuguese wine regions, where granite soils and flowing rivers cascade into the crashing waves of the Atlantic. If your childhood imagination can conjure images of elves, fairies and gnomes, then this lush vine covered landscape of Vinho Verde would rightly be their home.
The region of Vinho Verde is the largest, and most verdant, wine region in Portugal. So verdant that it’s difficult to find a stone unfettered by a thick mossy blanket. The name literally means “green wine,” but translates as “young wine” for its vibrant, fresh style. It may be red, white, rosé or sparkling and are usually consumed soon after bottling. That said, get prepared to unveil a completely different, more sophisticated style of Vinho Verde. One that can gracefully age to produce rich, aromatic wines that will change your entire impression of Vinho Verde.
|9:00am||Meet driver and leave towards Vinho Verde, the famed white wine capital of Portugal.|
|10:30am||Wine tasting at one of the premier wine estates in Vinho Verde.|
|1:00pm||At a 500 year old estate, a private lunch will be hosted on an outdoor terrace overlooking the vines|
|4:00pm||Leave towards Pinhão|
|6:00pm||Arrival and check into your boutique hotel, a newly renovated 5* star hotel perched alongside the Douro River.|
|8:00pm||Dinner tonight will feature a fusion flavors from the Douro Valley at a Quinta located near the hotel.|
These next few days will be dedicated exclusively to the Douro Region. This is one of the wildest, most mountainous and rugged wine regions of Portugal, cut through in deep twists and turns by the River Douro. The river extends for 900 kilometres throughout Iberia, as both the Douro and Duero, and carves its way from the Portuguese border to the Atlantic when it reaches Porto. On its journey, the Douro river has carved a meandering path that is simply mesmerising from every viewpoint. The contours of the hills and valleys seems to dance in elegant patterns around each other. It may not have the vertiginous drama of other famous fjords or canyons, but it is all the more attractive for the smooth, curved elegance of the picture it has created.
Due to its stunning beauty and heritage, the Douro Valley is a UNESCO Heritage Site, but it’s also one of Europe’s oldest demarcated wine regions, meaning there have been regulations in place for over 300 years to protect the styles of wine produced there. You can thank Portugal for helping define the wine regions that’ve fallen in love with today.
The Douro Valley and the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia are fascinating – dramatic and striking is the landscape, alive and enthusiastic is the passion of everyone involved with port production (and almost everyone is in one way or another!) and steeped in tradition yet contemporary and refined is the wine.
These next few days will be amazing!
|10:30am||Meet your driver and leave hotel|
|11:00am||Meet the Douro Valley's most important ambassadors at his estate. With incredible passion and a deep baritone voice, he spins tales about his treasure-trove of ancient vines, the plethora of individual grape varieties, and the great character of classic Douro Valley wines.|
|2:30pm||After lunch, you’ll head to one of the the most traditional and emblematic wineries in the Douro, followed by a wine tasting at the very top of of their property providing an jaw-dropping view!|
|4:15pm||Leisure time at hotel to do whatever you heart desires!|
|8:00pm||Come evening, you’ll have plenty of time to refresh prior to dinner in a quaint little restaurant tucked away in the mountainous town of Ervedosa - easy to pass if you blink! The menu focuses on family recipes taken directly from the region, where for centuries, they were prepared in households across the region.|
The Douro is more than award-winning wine and natural wonder, it’s family. The Portuguese are renown for their generosity, their hospitality and their undying loyalty to their land. For generations, Douro families have precariously traversed across their steep terraced vines to gently pick, sort and press their grapes. Today, the wines have taken a grand leap to reach the world, but for centuries, their production was solely for their own consumption. It was their own reward.
Your experience today will be one of the most memorable and natural experiences you’ll ever have! Because what could be more natural than the feel of grapes under foot, and the juice up to your knees in the lagar?
Come evening, the Douro River will be your muse. Relax under the setting sun as your private boat gently carries you to dinner.
|9:30am||Meet driver and leave your boutique hotel|
|10:30am||In the heart of the Cima Corgo, midway between Régua and Pinhão, we’ll visit a charming producer who’s taking the world by storm! Award winning reds are always supported by unprecedented Port wines, and this family run winery has one of the oldest field blend vineyards in the Douro Valley.|
|12:30pm||A delicious home-cooked lunch will be hosted inside the winery among the family.|
|2:30pm||It's time to join the "Purple Foot Club!" Let the foot treading begin!|
|5:00pm||Leisure time at hotel to take a dip in the pool or simply lounge terrace-side with a tall glass of Tonic Port.|
|6:00pm||A private boat will meet you afterwards for a slow, meandering cruise along the vine covered terraces to the legendary DOC restaurant.|
|7:15pm||A regional menu at DOC has been customized for you on this evening to highlight why the north of Portugal is the new gastronomy center of Europe.|
Although Vinho Verde, Douro and Tavora Varosa make stunning Portuguese espumante, the wine region of Bairrada is by far the oldest sparkling winemaking region – nestled between Portugal’s Atlantic coast to the west and Caramulo and Buçaco Mountains to the east. Although much of the Bairrada region is hilly, the majority of the vineyards are on flatter land and often divided into a multitude of small plots.
The local cuisine is particularly conducive to spectacular espumante pairings. To get a sense of what locals eat, drive north up the Estrada Nacional No. 1. As you cross the city of Mealhada, on both the east and west sides of the road you’ll see signs for leitão, or suckling pig. Leitão is the region’s edible specialty (espumante is the drinkable one). If you’re looking for the perfect wine and food pairing, this is it!
|8:30am||Check out hotel and leave towards Bairrada Region|
|12:00pm||Taste Portugal's undiscovered sparkling wines with a world-renowned producer, followed by long delicious lunch with one of the region's most emblematic dishes - roasted suckling pig!|
|3:30pm||Leave towards Porto with a full belly and a content smile!|
|6:00pm||Arrival and check in to your boutique hotel|
|Night off to explore Porto's bustling gastronomy and nightlife on your own.|
Like the best shows, we’ve left the sweetest morsel of the tour for last – a day crafted for both food and wine geeks! You’ll be taken on an extensive Walking Food Tour to enjoy ten traditional and iconic Portuguese foods, all while learning about the families and history behind each of the restaurants, cafes, and specialty food shops that you’ll visit. In between tastings, you’ll be given a crash course on Porto’s history, architecture and culture while meandering the azulejo (tile) covered streets. The afternoon is yours to discover the various boutique shops and museums dotting Porto or simply to take a cat nap in the comfort of your hotel room. Finally, the moment to say goodbye. Among trusted friends, we’ll say our farewells at one of Porto’s top seafood restaurants. If you love seafood, consider this your utopia!
|10:45am||Discover the side of Porto that tourists rarely see: real food, real people, real passion.|
|2:00pm||Time at leisure to take a long cat nap or simply bask in the city's wonder.|
|6:00pm||Private Port Lodge Tour where you’ll taste the history of the Port wine from the perspective of Vila Nova de Gaia. You will love it!|
|8:30pm||Farewell dinner among a mountain of seafood and table filled with wines from Catavino's private cellar!|
With a bag full of wines, and a heart filled with memories, you’re on your way home. If, however, you’d like to explore more of the peninsula, we’ll customize the remainder of your trip exactly to your liking.
|12:00pm||Check out hotel|
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