An essential slice of Portugal is the Douro River Valley where the beloved port wine is produced. The winding, terraced, and scenic river valley, so famous for its wine, is a bit like Germany’s Rhine Valley — but much sleepier and without castles. The vineyards, called “quintas,” are known for their traditions and the welcome they offer travelers — with both accommodations and wine tastings.
As we traveled through Portugal for six days to film our “Heartland of Portugal” TV episode, our guide was Cristina Duarte (who normally guides Rick Steves’ Europe Tours through her home country of Portugal). For our Douro experience, she took us where she takes her tour groups: to the Quinta de Santa Eufémia. It was a delightful stop both for the chance to film a gorgeous old quinta (showing the port-making process) and to enjoy the hospitality of the family (which included an unforgettable lunch under a tree surrounded by vines). In these shots, you can see our TV crew of three (producer Simon Griffith, cameraman Karel Bauer, and me) hard at work — experiencing the edible culture as we film it. The final shot: sweet port wine with a sweet family enjoying a sweet Douro River Valley view. An unforgettable slice of Portugal.
This is Day 38 of my “100 Days in Europe” series. As I travel with Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, research my guidebooks, and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences in Italy, Portugal, France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and more. Thanks for joining me here on my blog and via Facebook.