Port Wine is born in the Douro Valley, but it is the city of Porto that gives the name to the wine. Why? Because that’s where the wine ages and is shipped to all over the world. Any trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Port wine cellars.
These Port wine cellars are all located across the river from the old city center of Porto (close to our main venue, Herança Magna). To get there you only need to cross the emblematic Dom Luís I bridge. It will take you about 10 minutes and you can easily walk from one side to the other.
Nearly all Port wine cellars provide guided tours and tastings. Not only will you receive a tasting of different Port wine varieties, but you will also learn about the history of the house you are visiting and a broader history of Port wine. There are dozens of Port wine cellars and we know one can feel a bit uncertain. So we’ve decided to make your life a bit easier and selected 5 Port wine cellars where you can’t go wrong. As travelers ourselves, we know it’s not easy to navigate a different culture, a foreign language, and over 20 Port wine lodges. So we are very happy to help!
5 PORT WINE CELLARS THAT WE LOVE
We have to start with Caves Ferreira. This is the only big house of Port Wine that has remained in Portuguese hands since its foundation. Founded in 1751, the brand’s history is intertwined with the history of the evolution of the Douro Region, demarcated only 5 years after, in 1756.
Twice widowed, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira contributed significantly to the consolidation of the brand, taking over the business at 33, strengthening and expanding it thanks to her entrepreneurial spirit and charisma. Today, by visiting Caves Ferreira, you can discover a brand that is over 250 years old, the history of Port wine, and the Douro region. Easily accessible from the river, this port wine cellar is a must-go!
ESPAÇO PORTO CRUZ – PORT WINE MULTIMEDIA CENTER
Espaço Porto Cruz offers more than Port wine tasting, it offers a full experience with the purpose of celebrating the culture of Port wine by associating modernity with tradition. It was created as a place for information, exhibition, and leisure providing new experiences around the famous Port wine and combining it with artistic creations in different areas such as fashion, art, and gastronomy.
Besides wine tasting, you’ll have access to the multimedia center, workshops, chocolate, and cheese tastings. Before you leave, go up to the 360º terrace for a truly memorable view!
Calém cellars are some of the most famous and most visited Port wine cellars. They are a renowned brand in the wine industry and they stand out as a world leader. Besides the traditional tour to the cellars, Calém offers a unique experience available at no other Port wine cellar: a fado concert, the traditional Portuguese music. This experience combines two of the most iconic aspects of Portuguese culture: Port wine and fado. An unmissable experience!
More off the beaten path, Churchill’s is a wine cellar of high levels of elegance and style where you can taste the best wine they have to offer. Their approach is based upon the philosophy that “enjoyment of a glass of Port requires a state of wellbeing”. Its visitors center provides the opportunity to taste rare Vintage ports and you can even tailor your own wine tasting in the Tasting Room, which, of course, wouldn’t be complete without the great view over the Douro river that it offers.
Caves Sandeman, also known as Sandeman Port Wine Cellars, is one of the most iconic and historic port wine cellars in Porto, Portugal. It is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the Douro River from Porto's city center.
Founded in 1790 by George Sandeman, a young Scottish entrepreneur, Sandeman quickly established itself as a prominent name in the port wine industry. The company gained recognition for its high-quality port wines and its distinct logo featuring the silhouette of a caped man known as "The Don."
Caves Sandeman offers guided tours that provide visitors with a fascinating insight into the history, tradition, and production of port wine. The tours take you through the cellars, where you can see the extensive collection of oak barrels and learn about the aging process that contributes to the unique flavors of port wine.
During the tour, knowledgeable guides share the story of the Sandeman brand and the techniques used in crafting their ports. They explain the different types of port wines, such as Ruby, Tawny, and Vintage, and highlight the characteristics and nuances of each style.
One of the highlights of the Sandeman tour is the opportunity to taste their port wines. You can sample a selection of their finest ports, experiencing the rich flavors, aromas, and complexities that make these wines so renowned. The tasting session provides a chance to appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into creating each bottle of Sandeman port.