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Discovering the Treasure of northern Portugal & Galicia

With a tour coming up in 2025, Simon McGookin explains what is in store for the traveller to these wonderful regions.

Discovering the Treasure of northern Portugal & Galicia

Step into the enchanting world of northern Portugal and Galicia, where each sip of wine and bite of food tells a story of rich tradition and unforgettable experiences.

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Discovering the Liquid Treasures: A Wine Tour of northern Portugal and Galicia

In the north west of the Iberian Peninsula lies a land where the grapes weave tales of centuries-old craftsmanship and a landscape adorned with steep valleys and azure coastlines. Northern Portugal and Galicia, two regions rich in history with a Celtic twist, culture, and culinary delights, offer an unparalleled experience for wine enthusiasts. Embarking on a wine tour through these enchanting territories promises an adventure filled with memorable encounters and exquisite flavors.

1. Savoring the Liquid Gold

Portugal and Galicia are renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wines, each sip a testament to the terroir and dedication of local winemakers. A place like Soalheiro, where the crisp Alvarinho grapes flourish in the fertile soils of the Minho region, is a great example of the quality of the area. Their wines, with their vibrant acidity and delicate floral notes, offer a refreshing introduction to the region’s vinicultural prowess. Owner Luis’s wines are a treat by themselves but when combined with the food (especially rare-breed pork) provided on the nearby family farm, it takes them to a new level.

2. Coastal Charms and Seaside Elixirs

Albamar, nestled along the rugged coast of Galicia, beckons with its maritime influence and artisanal approach to winemaking. From the salty sea breezes to the mineral-rich soils, Albamar’s AlbariƱo wines reflect the region’s coastal terroir, enchanting the palate with their briny complexity and zesty character. This is a unique visit with Xurxo Alba and his family in a location that exudes charm and happiness. Real food, great wines, wonderful company.

3. Heritage and Innovation at Quinta do Noval

In the Douro Valley, Quinta do Noval stands as a bastion of tradition and innovation. With a history dating back to the 18th century, this legendary estate has continuously pushed the boundaries of winemaking, crafting exceptional Ports and Douro wines revered worldwide. A visit to Quinta do Noval promises a glimpse into the timeless art of Port production and a tasting journey through their esteemed vintages. We always take a little walk to the world famous Nacional vineyard.

4. Unraveling the Mystique of Quinta do Vesuvio

Venture deeper into the Douro Valley, where the iconic Quinta do Vesuvio awaits, shrouded in a veil of mystique and grandeur. This historic estate, with its terraced vineyards cascading down the valley slopes, produces wines of unparalleled elegance and depth. Whether indulging in their rich Ports or exploring their red and white varietals, a visit to Quinta do Vesuvio is an ode to the timeless allure of the Douro. This is a privileged visit and a place we love returning to.

Portugal wine tour

5. Cultural Delights in Santiago de Compostela

Amidst the vine-clad landscapes of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela stands as a beacon of pilgrimage and cultural heritage. The majestic Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, draws travelers from around the globe, while the winding streets of the Old Town invite exploration and discovery. Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Galician culture, where age-old traditions blend seamlessly with modern pursuits. We love visiting the local market and dinner is always a great treat.

6. Porto: Gateway to Vinous Adventures

No journey through Portugal is complete without a visit to Porto, the enchanting city nestled along the banks of the Douro River. Renowned for its storied history, charming architecture, and of course, Port wine, Porto captivates visitors with its timeless allure. Wander through the historic Ribeira district, sample aged Ports in centuries-old cellars, and witness the sunset cast its golden hues over the city skyline. Staying at the Yeatman is always a great luxury for us – it is a truly fitting place to end the tour.

7. Gastronomic Delights of northern Portugal and Galicia

Complementing the exquisite wines of northern Portugal and Galicia are the gastronomic treasures that grace their tables. In Portugal, indulge in the flavors of bacalhau (salted cod), tender grilled sardines, and hearty caldo verde (green soup) while savoring the warmth of Portuguese hospitality. Galicia, famed for its seafood, offers a cornucopia of delights including pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus), empanadas filled with savory goodness, and the creamy indulgence of tetilla cheese. From rustic taverns to Michelin-starred restaurants, the culinary landscapes of Portugal and Galicia promise a feast for the senses, elevating your wine tour to a truly unforgettable experience.

Conclusion: A Tapestry of Taste and Tradition

A wine tour of northern Portugal and Galicia is a voyage of discovery, where every glass tells a story of heritage, innovation, and the enduring bond between land and vine. From the sun-kissed slopes of the Douro Valley to the misty shores of Galicia, the liquid treasures of this enchanting region await, ready to delight the senses and leave an indelible mark on the soul.

Anyone who asks me about my favourite tour will find this right at the top of the list. In terms of landscape, variety and quality of visits, wine and food I don’t know of anywhere better.