Our third trip to the Douro Valley was highlighted by a stay at Quinta do Vallado wine hotel outside of Régua. The “wine hotels” in Portugal are great and this one is exceptional.
We had friends, Jeff and Mary, stay here last fall and met them right after in Porto for a night. He went on and on (and on) about “at the Quinta” or “my Quinta” so we figured we needed give it a try. So, when we had visitors arriving who wanted to visit Douro we booked a couple of nights to check it out. Jeff was right (as per usual), we were not disappointed.
The Quinta is located above the river Corgo which flows into the Douro just downstream. On site, they have three hiking trails. One to the riverside and two to the hill atop their acres of vineyards. One hilltop trail goes, basically, straight up the side of the hill and the other winds it’s way around to the same meeting point and picnic area through the vineyards and a small village. We hiked all three and the staff can arrange a backpack with lunch or will set it up for you either at the river’s edge or atop the hill for an additional fee. We chose the riverside.
The wine tasting is heavy on the tour and a little light on the sipping. We have done several wine tours/tastings in Portugal throughout our stays and always find them to be a bit too informative about the production process where mostly we just want to get to the punchline, but they are proud of their process and product so we happily endure the explanations. Dinners and breakfast were exceptional and wines from the vineyard are expertly paired with your dinner choices. Choices are limited at all small wine hotels (2-3 options of typical Portuguese meals) so if you’re not a fan of duck, wild boar, octopus or cod you may want to think about an alternative to dinner on property. Fortunately, this was and is not a challenge for us and everything was delicious.
A short drive from Pinhão, where many of the riverboats dock and there is lots to do for wine tourism, we took a short drive to return to our friend Paulo, and his faithful copilot Lua, and Anima Durius’ sunset cruise from Pinhão, down river and back.
The hinge between two city visits with visiting friends (Porto and Lisbon), Vallado provided a perfect place to sit back, sip, relax and take in the beauty of the Douro Valley. Strongly recommend!