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    • Day 13


      April 20, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Peso is where we split from the n2 and I start to head east ( and Helen will head west to Porto and home). The Douro valley is a "must see" destination with terraced vineyards cascading down ( unfortunately ) steep hillsides. The Douro cuts deeply through mountains and drains a large part of the NE plains of Spain.the complex geography means a lot of steep ups and downs: not ideal bike touring country. So i've done todays 100k/2000m unlaiden and got the amazing "bucket list " train ride back to the start. Ride with gps came up with some outrageous route choices, including an extensive precipitous cobbled section- and a tarmac section that ( I think) will be the steepest road I've riden down. Good news though- from the last hill I could see Spain!!! Saturdays job.Read more

    • Day 12

      Peso da Regua

      April 19, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Viseu was marvellous but is surrounded by hills. Geographically we reached a the high point today- possibly for the whole trip? otherwise the high point was an interrupted 30km/ 800m descent to Peso. Here we join the Douro valley and will spend a couple of days exploring the area- lots of vineyards 🍷🤪. The descent took us through Lamego and a great Tapas bar halfway up the outrageous baroque staircase up to the Igreja.Read more

    • Day 2


      June 26, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Heute steht ein Tagesausflug auf dem Programm. In diesem Stopp besuchten wir die Portweinregion 🍷

      Interessant fand ich, dass die Trauben der roten Portweine hier noch manuell zerstampft werden. Das findet so im September/Oktober rum statt und dauert ca. von 21:00 - 1:00. Das sei lustig und immer ein schönes Fest. Interessierte Mithelfer sind vom Weinbauer herzlich eingeladen 😁Read more

    • Day 4

      Schiffsreise auf dem Douro

      May 5 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Heute morgen sind wir um acht Uhr mit dem Reisebus ca. 120 km nach Osten bis Peso da Regua gefahren worden. Hier starteten wir um zehn Uhr mit der "Milenio do Douro" eine sieben stündige Reise auf dem Douro zurück nach Porto. An Bord wurden wir mit einem Glas Portwein empfangen. Zum Mittagessen gab es ein drei Gänge Menü. Wir haben die Fahrt sehr genossen. Nach der Ankunft in Porto zur Rushhour sind wir mit der Standseilbahn wieder in die Oberstadt gefahren. Abends gab es Tapas.Read more

    • Day 6–8

      Douro Valley

      September 20, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Strolled up past the music theater and off to metro to get car from the sorority after a few Car hire issues to start but eventually got away and drove up the Douro Valley. Once you get to the river the steep winery terraces everywhere are impressive with the river backdrop.
      Quiet day - Portuguese tripe and bean lunch, seeing Pinhoa, a quick stop at a winery.
      Out for dinner tonight.

      Day 2
      Rose early and relaxed with a great Breakfast provided by the hotel.
      Then off to Vila Real where we went to Casa Mateus. Walk through the gardens and a bit of a history tour. Then looked around the old town and a couple of churches.
      Back to Lamego an old town on the other side. Famous castle and cathedral but only the cathedral was open. Great Vista and enjoyed the self appointed challenge of climbing the 600+ steps 2 at a time.
      Drove the back roads all day which was great for seeing the countryside.
      Dinner out pizza and salad.
      Read more

    • Day 33

      Quinta da Pacheca

      October 16, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      After a fabulous breakfast (best of the tour) we got on the bus to return to Regua where we had a tour of the Quinta da Pacheca winery with Eduardo, followed by a tasting. We started off with a tour of the grounds and a bit of history about the winery. It is a beautiful property that has been very well maintained. There is a 5 star hotel and restaurant at the winery, and there are large wine barrels that have been made into stand alone rooms that you can sleep in among the vines. There is also a resident artist who has produced a number of pieces of art out of wood.

      The wine estate was established in 1738 and was run by a very competent woman, D. Mariana Pacheco Pereira. She had lost her husband and decided not to remarry and to run the vineyard herself instead.

      In 1903 the property was acquired by D. José Freire de Serpa Leitão Pimentel. The new owner carried out the first major replanting. The vineyards were divided by grape varieties, separated by wide paths to facilitate the work. The grape varieties then used were: Bastardo, Tinto Cão, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca for reds, and Códega, Malvasia Fina, Malvasia Conrad’s, Cerceal, Donzelinho and Viosinho for white. So, quite a few varieties!

      In 1916, with new vines, the grape harvest increased which required the construction of new cellars and new stone tanks.

      In 1971 the second big boost was given by D. Eduardo Mendia Freire Serpa Pimentel, who replaced the older vineyards and started selling table wines. For several years, Riesling, Sauvignon and Gewurztraminer were tested and in 1971, 5,000 vines from each of these varieties were grafted.

      The vineyard manually stomps about 70% of the grapes. The tanks are made of granite and are about 100 years old:- 12,000kg of grapes produces 9,000 litres, which drains into fermentation tanks. Stomping happens for 3-4 hours, usually in the evening as the temperature drops. Eduardo said that if you decide you want to stomp grapes, be prepared to have purple feet for a couple of days post stomping.

      Wine remains in the tanks for seven days to ferment, whereas port only ferments for three days. There are four types of port - white, rosé, ruby and tawny. Port is aged in barrels and can be aged for 60+ years. Ruby can only remain in the barrel for 6 years.

      For our tasting we tried the Pacheca Reserva White, Pacheca Reserva Vinhas Velhas red, Pacheca White Port and the Pacheca Tawny Port 20 Anos. My favourite was the white port, which is served chilled. Eduardo also told us about a drink - Porto Tonica - which is white port, tonic water, ice and sliced orange, a very nice drink and would go down well on a hot day.
      Read more

    • Day 29


      October 5, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Heute ein Erholungstag. Ich war ziemlich kaputt gestern. Ausschlafen, dann Stadtbesichtigung von Lamego mit seiner berühmten Kirche. Erstmals wieder viele Touristen.
      Dann eine 15 km Kurzetappe.
      Dann eine weitere Landmarke: der Duoro/Duero. Er mündet bei Porto in den Atlantik. Habe ich das letzte Mal auf der via de la plata bei Zamora überquert. Hier der totale Touristenrummel! Was für ein Wechsel von Ruhe, Beschaulichkeit, menschleeren Dörfern und einsamer Natur zu Kreuzfahrtschiffen, Touribussen und Wohnmobilghettos. Die Preise sind auch angepasst.Read more

    • Day 23

      day on the boat

      November 11, 2016 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 55 °F

      We decided to spend this day on the ship, rather than another bus to a winery tour. The scenery was beautiful and it was a nice relaxing day.

      Our maid left us a friend to keep us company.

      We passed under a very tall bridge and then a very low bridge. I was on the top deck had to sit down, but we were moving so fast, I couldn't put my arm up to determine the exact clearance. I could have lost an arm, we were so close.Read more

    • Day 3

      Quinta da Pacheca

      August 16, 2020 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Depois de um pequeno almoço na nossa quinta, seguimos para a Quinta da Pacheca. Uma quinta muito conhecida, pelos seus quartos de luxo em barricas no meio das vinhas. Só não ficamos lá porque estava esgotado, mas não me arrependo nada, há demasiada gente e é demasiado comercial.

      Fizemos uma visita agradável pela Quinta, mas a explicação é um pouco agressiva em termos de marketing sobre todo o processo: desde a vindima até ao pisar a uva, onde todos podem participar. Obviamente que a participação implica pagamento. No final, a prova de vinhos também deixou a desejar, os vinhos do dia anterior eram muito melhores. Também nos deram a provar uns vinhos do Porto mas não é a minha cena.
      Read more

    • Day 14

      Peso da Regua

      April 21, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      Rest day today. Explored a few vineyards and produce thereof. It rained!! Last day with Hels. 😔

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