Travel Guide to Portugal

Portuguese Wine Tastings in Porto

By Gabriella Opaz

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Portugal is on the top of everyone’s vacation list: beautiful sandy beaches and fabulous weather, the world’s best seafood and singular gastronomy, cities like Lisbon and Porto with that old-world charm, and some of the friendliest people on the planet! But did you know that Portugal is the destination for wine lovers and wine nerds?

While the world may know Portugal as being the producer of Mateus rosé wines and sweet Port wines, there’s considerably more to discover and appreciate from Portuguese wines. In fact, Portugal is the Alice-in-Wonderland-like experience for wine lovers with over 250 native grape varieties to discover.

Portugal is geographically a small country, but the landscape changes widely from North to South, which allows for wines to be made in a variety of styles and to express these different climates and characteristics (or terroir, if you prefer). In the past 20 years, there’s also been a quiet revolution happening in Portugal. Winemakers are pushing the envelope when it comes to winemaking: they are experimenting with different fermentations techniques, tanks and temperatures; they are growing grapes at different altitudes and rescuing old centenary vineyards; they are macerating and blending all sorts of varietals together, and they are collaborating with each other on exciting projects!

Many visitors come to Catavino’s Lab wanting to try something different, wines that they can’t find at home. Here, our range of wines shows the diversity of Portuguese wines. You’ll discover that there are amazing sparkling wines – known as “espumante” – from the Bairrada and Douro Valley or sweet, fortified wine from the smallest appellation in the country, Carcavelos, just outside of Lisbon; you can taste your way through the different expressions of Atlantic wines, starting at the top of the country in Vinho Verde all the way down to the Alentejo. In Portugal, you can try wines from pre-phylloxera vineyards or Madeira wines from vintages that go back a century! For those who think they’ve tried it all when it comes to Port wines, we’re confident that you’ve never experienced White Colheita Ports. And there’s also the possibility of trying some avant-guard projects from small, natural producers that are making Pet-Nats (where the wine finishes its primary fermentation in the bottle) in the Vinho Verde or Solera-aged wines in Lisbon.

Exploring the world of Portuguese wines takes you on a fascinating journey of aromas and flavors. At the Lab, we search for those smaller and passionate wine producers with different philosophies and a sense of adventure. And because of that, we’ve found some great wines that we want to share with you. We offer (daily) wine tastings covering a range of wines that you won’t find at the local wine shop or supermarket! We will guide you through each and every wine, telling you about the winemaker, the region, and  the story behind each wine. We also offer customized Portuguese wine tastings perfectly designed for you. Come join us at the Lab for an eye-opening and memorable wine experience!

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Since 2005, Catavino has been exploring the Iberian Peninsula
looking for the very best food and wine experiences.

Since 2005, Catavino has been exploring the Iberian Peninsula looking for the very best food and wine experiences.

Catavino is the best place to learn about travel, food
and wine in Portugal and Spain.

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