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Planning a trip to Spain & Portugal in late Aug / early Sep. Will be landing in Barcelona, renting a car and driving east (a little detour into Priorat) through Madrid (maybe a day trip to Ribera del Duero) and then final leg to Porto. Any must visit wineries or other can't misses along this route? Any suggestions/concerns with driving in Spain and Portugal? Thx!
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don't underestimate the time to drive along the douro river in portugal, the roads are windy, narrow and there's only 1 bridge that crosses between the north and south sides in that region. Most wineries are closed to the public though.

Fonseca quinta do panascal is one of the open ones.
Quevedo port wine is another up north.

Niepoort is also open if you call ahead.



When you swing down into porto, cross one of 3 bridges and walk over into Vila nova di gaia.

Places to visit would be the major port lodges
Taylor (Fonseca is closed to the public but you can taste at the taylor lodge) - Lunch at the taylor lodge is also inexpensive and very good.

Grahams- great staff

Sandeman- one of the better museum walk throughs

Warres- tastings

Croft- tastings

Dalva- for their colheitas

Barros - for their tawnies

Ramos pintos - for their tawnies

There's also a little wine bar called vinologia wine bar that only specializes in small run houses they dont sell outside of portugal

it takes about 3 days to hit up all of the lodges, unless you speed taste.
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
Planning a trip to Spain & Portugal in late Aug / early Sep. Will be landing in Barcelona, renting a car and driving east (a little detour into Priorat) through Madrid (maybe a day trip to Ribera del Duero) and then final leg to Porto. Any must visit wineries or other can't misses along this route? Any suggestions/concerns with driving in Spain and Portugal? Thx!

Just don't underestimate the non-wine related activities and how tremendous they are. The Dali museum, Miro, the Gaudi Park... in Madrid you'll need at least 1 full day just for art museums (Reina Sofia and The Prado) or break that up into two days, Seville is just spectacular to walk around, the Jewish quarters of Toledo are impressive, though not 100% necessary, imo. If you want to relax, in Portugal I love the Algarve -- parts of it look like Bryce canyon, if it was jammed up onto beautiful ocean.
Thank you Board-O and g-man for your suggestions (yes, I'll be driving west, not east... LOL). Will I need a to make appointments before visiting the wineries or will they accept walk-ins?

winetarelli, our non-wine related activities will probably consume 80% of our trip. The only concern is that we are doing too much (driving too much?) over 2 weeks.
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
winetarelli, our non-wine related activities will probably consume 80% of our trip. The only concern is that we are doing too much (driving too much?) over 2 weeks.


I did Barcelona on a Central / Southern France and Western Germany trip. (Don't ask.) I did The rest of Spain and Portugal on a separate trip. It took 2 weeks to do Madrid, Seville, Toledo, a 5 day resort vacation in the Algarve, and two days in Lisbon that were the least memorable part of the trip. I don't think it was too much driving... On the other hand, I spent literally every healthy college weekend driving over 480 miles round trip -- virtually every other weekend well over 700 miles in a 2 1/2 day span. (Such is the life of a college debater who attends Cornell.) I think the comfort level of the driving part depends upon what you are used to, but the roads are fine and I don't think you are being unrealistic about 'doing' Spain and Portugal on one trip if you are willing to forgo lesser attractions, don't need a 5 day resort vacation like we took (though I still strongly recommend a few days in the Algarve), and especially if you can do 3 weekends (ie. 16 days, not 14).
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
Thank you Board-O and g-man for your suggestions (yes, I'll be driving west, not east... LOL). Will I need a to make appointments before visiting the wineries or will they accept walk-ins?



vila nova di gaia lodges can be walked into.

the duero river area like pinhao, usually require reservations. but with the far driving distances, you really need to plan it out anyway. Expect to visit at most 2 quintas a day if you go up north along the river.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Just heard from our daughter in Portugal, and I'm now worried she may follow in the footsteps of g-man.

Every text and tweet is about Port. Red Face


is she up in the douro?


gman, she was in Lisbon for a week, now in Porto.


ah ha,

in porto the IDVP has a port bar for some hard to find big houses.

also as mentioned previous try vinologia

The graham's lodge has some very friendly people. Ask them for recommedations on where they eat.

Also have lunch at the Taylor lodge, very worthwhile meal. (cheap comparatively too)
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Just heard from our daughter in Portugal, and I'm now worried she may follow in the footsteps of g-man.

Every text and tweet is about Port. Red Face


is she up in the douro?


gman, she was in Lisbon for a week, now in Porto.


ah ha,

in porto the IDVP has a port bar for some hard to find big houses.

also as mentioned previous try vinologia

The graham's lodge has some very friendly people. Ask them for recommedations on where they eat.

Also have lunch at the Taylor lodge, very worthwhile meal. (cheap comparatively too)


g, I will forward info to her.

Thanks!
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Stevey, I'm anxious to hear what you think of the wines in Portugal. Our daughter is in Portugal currently, and said she has enjoyed the wines a great deal. She also said that most of the wines she enjoys the most are not exported to the U.S. Frown


For those who are thinking of going, reporting back from Spain/Portugal after driving well over 1,200 miles (thank goodness for GPS!).

There was so much to do in so little time that we ended up only visiting a few wineries in Priorat and around Porto. Of note in Priorat was Clos Figueres, a boutique winery and was hosted by Miquel Compte who was very hospitable to our group of 6 even though we were late. We had lunch there with a tasting of their entire line up, the best was their 2006 Clos Figueres that was in drinking window. Their 2008 Font de la Figuera was also good but needs more time to age.

Most of our wine drinking was done through restaurants, too many to mention but our favorite was the 2001 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial that was a great QPR at about 30€ restaurant price or 20€ retail. We bought 2 bottles at 18€ to take home. We found restaurant wine mark-ups (even Barcelona and Madrid) in general to very reasonable compare to big city North America standards.

In Portugal, we visited the major port lodges within walking distance of each other, though the streets can be very hilly especially to Graham's and Taylors. Of note, we found port wine prices more expensive at the lodges than at retail stores and more expensive than if you were to buy in North America most cases. This goes for popular (e.g., Quinta do Crasto Reserva VV) dry wines as well.

However, there are many local Portuguese table wines that are quite good for very reasonable prices and available domestically only. According to wine expert at the InterContinental hotel, the best prices are at the local supermarket such as El Corte Inglés. He gave us a list of wines that he said I should get there that included, FYI: Poeira, Secret Spot, Abandonado, Crooked Vines, Incognito, Ponte das Canas and a few others.

Except for Madrid, driving across Spain and Portugal was largely uneventful. Some city streets and underground garages were a tight fit in our large 7-passenger van. Now I know why it's normal for cars in Europe to fold in their outside mirrors. Interesting that, unlike the tightly secured US/Canada border, the Spain/Portugal border was unguarded and we drove straight through; if you blinked, you could miss that you just drove into another country! Not sure if that's the case for other EU countries.
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
we ended up only visiting a few wineries in Priorat and around Porto. Of note in Priorat was Clos Figueres, a boutique winery and was hosted by Miquel Compte who was very hospitable to our group of 6 even though we were late. We had lunch there with a tasting of their entire line up, the best was their 2006 Clos Figueres that was in drinking window. Their 2008 Font de la Figuera was also good but needs more time to age.


Where did you have lunch with Miguel? We had a tasting lunch at Irreductible with Miguel and Rene Barbier, pairing a number of their wines with food. Did you taste any other Priorats?
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
we ended up only visiting a few wineries in Priorat and around Porto. Of note in Priorat was Clos Figueres, a boutique winery and was hosted by Miquel Compte who was very hospitable to our group of 6 even though we were late. We had lunch there with a tasting of their entire line up, the best was their 2006 Clos Figueres that was in drinking window. Their 2008 Font de la Figuera was also good but needs more time to age.


Where did you have lunch with Miguel? We had a tasting lunch at Irreductible with Miguel and Rene Barbier, pairing a number of their wines with food. Did you taste any other Priorats?


There's now a restaurant at Clos Figueres. Miguel said we were their first customers. We had to leave for Zaragoza and could only spend a few hours in Priorat. Frown

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