We left Porto for the Duoro Valley
The Duoro River is the third longest rivers of the Ibeerian Peninsula. It has carved our an stunning valley. The Valley is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. We thought the scenery was more dramatic than Italy's Tuscany because of the steep valley and the beautiful curving vineyards that are carved into the hills.
While the valley is has an impact that is hard to forget, the towns do not have the historical elegance as those that are sprinkled across Tuscany. The wine, well we drank extremely good wine while there, and best yet, at great prices.
We stayed at the Casa de Canihas, located just outside of the town of Mesao Frio. The view from our patio, and the pool and yard, overlooking the valley, was an incredible experience.
One of our trips was to the town of Pinhão. The town is on a bend in the river, not that uncommon to others, and it is surrounded by vineyards. The train station in the centre of town has hand-painted tiles that depict the grape harvest. Brought back thoughts of the San Bento station in Porto, where although the tile installation is much larger, the use of the tiles at station signaled the importance of the building. We had a drink and then drove to the Sandeman, Quinta Do Seixo estate a short drive from the town. We drove up a long series of winding roads to get to the estate on the top of the valley. Unfortunately, the last tour for the morning had just completed, but we walked around the grounds, enjoyed the view and then continued home. They do have three different tour pages, Basic which shows the winery, The Vau Vintage Tour that has an extended tasting session, or the Vineyard Tour which includes open-air wine tasting in the vineyards.