Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016 Douro, Portugal
19.5% alcohol. There’s been a lot of talking up of the 2016 vintage in the Douro, so I was pleased to try this, the 2016 release from one of the top Port producers, Quinta do Noval. It comes across as a fresh, well-defined style of Vintage Port with […]

In Porto (5) dinner at Esplanada Marisqueira

Alfonso, Vitor and Dirk

The next night it was back to Matosinhos, the Port area of Porto, where the seafood restaurants are congregated. We went to Esplanada Marisqueira, a rather grand establishment, with Vitor Bento, Teresa Bento, Alfonso Bento, Dirk Niepoort and Nina Gruntkowski (Dirk’s wife, who also runs a tea company).

The food here is […]

In Porto (4) Dinner at O Gaveto

Gaveto has had a refit since I was here last. It was a memorable meal last time, so it was good to be back. Hosting us were Vitor and Teresa Bento and their son and daughter, Alfonso and Mafalda. I can’t speak highly enough of Gaveto: the seafood here is so pure and delicious, and […]

In Porto (3) Prova and Wine Quay, two nice wine bars

Prova, Porto

Porto has some good wine bars. We checked out two, on our brief visit. The first is Prova. This is a nicely situated, stylish wine bar with a great list and some nice small plates. The staff are also excellent. We got chatting, and were given a taste of a very cool wine […]

In Porto (2): dinner at Pedro Lemos with astonishing wines

Teresa and Vitor outside Pedro Lemos

It was great to eat at Pedro Lemos, considered by many to be Porto’s top restaurant. We dined with Vitor Bento and his wife Teresa. Vitor is an Airbus 330 pilot and a complete wine nut. When he’s not on duty, he’s usually eating and drinking well in Porto, […]

In Porto, such a photogenic city

I’m in Porto for a few days. It’s such a photogenic city. Here are some pictures.

The cork harvest in Portugal

We drive out of the centre of Lisbon over the 11 km long Vasco de Gama bridge, crossing the Tejo esturary, and head for the Alentejo. We are off to the cork forests, to witness the harvest of cork bark. We were with Cork Supply’s Frederico Lima Mayer, who is in charge of buying cork […]

Dona Berta: traditional, restrained, delicious Douro wines

There’s something very traditional about the labelling of these wines from Douro estate Dona Berta: pure and classic. This is reflected in the winemaking style, which shows admirable restraint and purity.

The estate, based in Quinta do Carrenho in the Douro Superior, was established some 40 years ago by an engineer, Hernâni Verdelho, using old family […]

Video: Pinhão station and its famous tiles

Ever since I first arrived at Pinhão station in Portugal’s Douro Valley, I’ve been amazed by its beautiful blue tiles (azulejos). Overall, there are 3024 of these hand-painted tiles, arranged in 24 panels depicting wine production in the Douro as it would have been a century ago.

The station dates back to 1880, but the tiles […]

Quinta do Montalto, a Lisboa producer experimenting with amphorae and medieval wine

Quinta do Montalto is an organic producer in the Lisboa region of Portugal. The family domain consists of 15.5 hectares of vines, and the current proprietor is fifth generation André Valério (pictured above). He’s taking quite an experimental approach, and is now working with amphorae (know locally as Talhas).

He tells me that some people […]