Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro Valley

We drove to Peso de Regua, to our accommodation, Casa de Romezal. We met Marguerite and Luis, who own Casa de Romezal, they are really amazing people. Apparently Casa de Romezal has been in their family for generations, but until 10 years ago, it was in ruins. Their father passed away suddenly about 10 years ago, and Luis and Marguerite quit their day jobs to renovate the ruins (this took 6 years!), open the Casa (which has 3 bedrooms), and market their wines more seriously. They have 20 hectares over 4 properties in the Douro region. I really applaud Luis and Marguerite, everything I have seen about the way they have renovated and decorated the house, the branding, the quality of the wines, speaks to a clear business and marketing plan and strategy.  We bought two of their wines. Marguerite is a fantastic baker, I get the impression she feels the need to feed. She makes the most fantastic breakfast spreads – everything is homemade – her own yoghurt, cakes, pies, bread, jams, lemonade, even Nutella! I was very impressed with this accommodation, and would highly recommend others to stay here too.

Luis treated us to a free wine tasting, their wines are spectacular. He also had an audio guide specifically for Casa de Romezal and its vineyards – very impressive. We had a really good chat with Luis during our wine tasting, we talked about wines, Portugal, politics, our trip, the Casa’s history -it was really fantastic to get to know him and his family.

We visited Quinta de Maroccos for wine tasting, and bought one of their ports. The we went to Quinta da Popa – they have amazing wines! In particular I would recommend their sweet red wine. We bought 3 wines here.

We drove to Pinhao for a 1 hour cruise on the Douro river – €10pp

 

Food recommendations:

Taberna & Companhia – this was a tapas restaurant, we had the loveliest waiter, he was such a keen bean! He completely micro-managed our whole meal (in a good way), it was really a fun experience. We had the mushroom, eggs and asparagus (gets mixed together at the table, tasted so good!), vegetable tempura (carrots, zucchini, green beans and red peppers), salted cod with pickled red onions, hummus and roasted chickpeas, soft veal (this was so pull-apart, it was really incredible), pork belly with orange and secret sauce, and a traditional dessert that we have no idea what it is but it was a really soft pastry ice cream and deliciousness inside. This was a 2.5 hour dining experience, it was insane.

Tasca de Quinta – another tapas dinner – fresh lemonade, quail cooked in wine, vinegar and spices, salted cod with eggs and straw potatoes, stuffed smoked pork tenderloin with beans, corn bread and cabbage. Dessert was apple pie and raspberry mousse.

On the way to Porto:

We drove on to Fisgas de Ermelo to see Portugal’s largest waterfall. It was amazing! We hiked a little bit to the top of the falls where there are some clear pools of water just before the drop. Ben and I tried to swim, but it was FREEZING. I managed to dangle most of my legs in the water while we were there. It was really picturesque, and the best thing was that nobody was there! On our way up to the falls, we passed by a shepherd and his herd of goats and 6 dogs, the dogs were really friendly, they came up to us for a sniff.

 

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