Welcome to Catavino!
As you may be new to our site, allow us to give you a warm introduction as to who we are and why we’re excited by your visit. In 2005, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz packed up their bags and traversed the big pond in search of adventures among vine covered terraces – though don’t think this was an easy, romantic transition. It had a fair amount of bumps and curves along the way. But as a result, Catavino was born! A website that satiated our unending appetite for food and wine. It was a natural fit, one that fed our desire to explore the peninsula, and our readers desire to find an excuse to book a ticket and visit. Today, Catavino is not only tempting your palate through Spanish and Portuguese food, wine and culture, but we’re now creating custom food and wine experiences in Portugal and Spain!
When Jason told us that we needed to share this experience with all his friends at Twin City Wine, we felt honoured! Our recently launched 2015 Harvest Tour is a VERY rare opportunity to experience wine and food in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Douro Valley in Portgual.
Take a moment to check out this once in a lifetime trip! We packed it full of experiences you can’t afford to miss!
2015 Harvest Tour
Despite being madly in love with wine, it’s a rare opportunity to fully experience a wine harvest. To feel the weight of the grapes in the palm of your hand, to smell the rocky soils beneath your feet, and to hear the rush of the Douro River below you is a once in a lifetime experience, and one we passionately feel that you should experience.
This tour was specifically designed to not only showcase a world renowned wine region, the Douro Valley, but to do so with us as your guides. This luxurious, highly customized tour was created with every detail in mind to ensure that your experience will be a unforgettable one.
Sunday – September 27, 2015
Arrive Porto, Portugal
See the colorful tiles aligning the city streets, intricately laid cobblestone and majestic monuments. Meander down narrow alleys filled with mouthwatering aromas of grilled fish, wooden port casks and roasted chestnuts. Porto is a romantic city, a place where ancient buildings and century old cafes rise line the streets, beckoning you to explore!
Your hosts, Gabriella and Ryan Opaz, will not only welcome you to a traditional Portuguese meal come evening, but provide special wines from their personal cellar to kick off the tour. But don’t compelled to don the tux. The idea is to keep it casual and friendly, so you can ease your way into a new time zone, among new friends and flavors.
Monday – September 28, 2015
Vinhos Verdes Region
Just south of Galicia and north Porto lies Vinhos Verde, the famed white wine capital of Portugal. It’s the largest and most fertile Portuguese wine region, where granite soils and flowing rivers cascade into the crashing waves of the Atlantic. Here, you’ll visit two exceptional wineries famed for their high quality white wines that far surpass the ubiquitous fizzy regional wines you’ve traditionally found back home. And because both visits are highly customized for your specific group, you’ll have the unique opportunity to taste a wide range of styles and vintages.
Vinhos Verde is a green paradise filled with orchards, vegetable gardens and astounding cuisine, which you’ll learn about first hand! There’s a reason why visitors gush over this region, saying, “It’s one of the most amazing vineyards I’ve ever seen”. But all good things must come to an end, and by dusk, you’ll embark on a journey to the internationally renown Douro Valley.
Tuesday – September 29, 2015
With 2,000 years of winemaking history among steep, terraced vineyards, the Douro Valley is a sight to behold. Among vines heavy with ripe grapes, you too will have an opportunity to pick, blend and stomp with your own two feet Port wine grapes – an experience few have enjoyed outside of the Douro.
Between sips, you’ll also enjoy famed regional dishes such as “Arroz de Pato” (duck rice) and “Bacalhau” (salted cod), among others at Castas e Pratos. And with an undulated river just a stone’s throw away, get prepared for a private cruise along the sundrenched valley.
Wednesday – September 30, 2015
Surprises continue on Day 4 with a vineyard walk among autumn colored vines, followed by a cask tasting. Despite busy harvest schedules, we’ve arranged for three top Douro producers to offer a blind, barrel and sunset tasting – three unique perspectives at three unique wineries to exemplify the diversity and breadth of wines from this region. Come evening, you’ll be dining at DOC, one of the top restaurants in the Douro, enjoying a relaxing meal along the Douro River.
Thursday – October 1, 2015
Douro Region, Porto
The Douro Museum in Peso da Régua is a regional museum showcasing the memories, culture and identity of the Douro wine region, classified as World Heritage site. Here, you’ll learn everything from the age old tradition of winemaking in the region to the evolution of the landscape and how it impacted the culture. After leisurely lunch at the museum, you’ll head back to Porto where you’ll close the day with an intimate, family-style dinner among hand selected wines specifically chosen by Catavino.
Friday – October 2, 2015
A successful Harvest Tour must end with a visit to the famed Port lodges nestled on the opposite side of the river Douro facing Porto. Tightly interwoven among the steep embankments of Vila Nova de Gaia, these ancient cellars – some as old as 300 years – are home to thousands of barrels brimming with history. Among breathtaking views, you’ll not only visit these lodges, but taste a special assortment of old Ports, such as Colheitas from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
To finish the tour, we’ll say farewell Portuguese style, with a large feast in old-school Portuguese restaurant that is paired with handpicked wines from Catavino’s personal cellar. It’s our way of giving a proper send-off to new friends.
Saturday – October 3, 2015
A transfer will take you from the hotel to the airport.
If you’d like to extend your stay either before or after the trip, Catavino offers many cultural and gastronomic activities throughout Spain and Portugal and we are happy to create a custom package for you with hotels and transport as well.
What is included?
What is not included?
Why you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity
Get a chance to experience the following:
Listen to what our guests are saying!
||“It’s not easy to plan a wine trip, especially for a group that expects a high level of wine communication, education, and experience. Ryan Opaz and the team at Catavino exceeded all expectations in my first visit to the Douro. The knowledge base they represented, the contacts they have, and the professionalism they exhibited is of the highest caliber. Beyond that, and possibly most importantly, Ryan was simply a blast to travel with.”- Jason Kallsen, Twin Cities Wine Education LLC|
Ready to start packing?
We’re at your disposal to create a lifetime experience you’ll never forget.