Flavors and knowledge

Regional Products

One territory, three World Heritage Sites, three natural parks, two demarcated regions – one of them the first in the world to be delimited and regulated in the middle of the 18th century – unique grape varieties, products of Protected Designation, indigenous breeds and a biodiversity as vast as it is breathtaking are some of the epithets that the Douro Intermunicipal Community proudly displays on a map of abysmal treasures made up of nineteen municipalities in an area of 4,031 km2.

Much of what Portugal is today is due to this territory, as rugged as it is fertile, located in the north, whose influence on history led sailors from there to conquer the world, indelibly marking the country’s cultural heritage. The character of the Douro, the richness of the soil, the eccentricity of the climate, the abundance of natural resources and the exceptionality of its fruits are just part of its magnificence as a region.

A never-ending history lesson on a journey to the heart of the flavors, aromas, textures and smells of these nineteen municipalities is what you feel and breathe when you tour these sanctuaries of culture, abundance and wisdom: Alijó, Armamar; Carrazeda de Ansiães, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Lamego, Mesão Frio, Moimenta da Beira, Murça, Penedono, Peso da Régua, Sabrosa, São João da Pesqueira, Santa Marta de Penaguião, Sernancelhe, Tabuaço, Tarouca, Torre de Moncorvo, Vila Nova de Foz Côa and Vila Real.


These fantastic wines are born from the unique combination of soil, climate and the work of the Douro people. Of all the wines produced in the world’s first Demarcated and Regulated Region (1756). Port is undoubtedly the most remarkable and sublime. Known since Roman times, as early as the 16th century it was shipped to Vila Nova de Gaia in rabelo boats, to be exported after aging and to delight the English and others.

But this territory contains a multitude of surprising nectars. Both for the difference in personality and for the distinction in colors, textures and aromas, allowing for multiple tastes that reinforce, year after year, the notoriety it has achieved in recent decades. Whether it’s from the fertile plateaus of the Galician Muscat grape variety, where magnificent liqueurs come from, or from the Távora-Varosa Demarcated Region, the cradle of sparkling wine, DOC Douro wines and the estates of the great valley reaffirm their historical heritage, winning awards and distinctions from all over the world.

Olive oil

An essential ingredient in the regional cuisine, the region’s pure, extra virgin olive oil is the fruit of an ancient alchemy, naturally perpetuated from generation to generation. Coming from the olive groves of the typically Douro schist lands, blessed by its microclimate, its olives are harvested at the right time, selected and cleaned using traditional techniques, giving rise to tasty oils with fruity aromas.

Only on a visit to the Douro can you get to know the best! They are produced according to EU standards, but the mystique of the artisanal process still often takes place in the centuries-old mills of farms and estates. Their exceptionality is recognized by the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label. The experience they offer is worth a trip to their origins and… a long tasting. From a wide range of delicate, acidic and virgin and extra virgin aromactics, the olive oils produced in the Douro have for many decades been true stars shining in international competitions and transforming gastronomic dishes into “gold” with their “Midas touch”.


The contrasting terrain and climate in the Douro Valley, so punishing for the disparity in temperature ranges they inflict on the region, are both a blessing for its fertile soil and part of the secret of the apples produced there. Thousands of hectares of apple trees, interspersed with vineyards and bordered by olive trees, fill with beauty a landscape that owes much to the cultivation of this fruit.

Apples from these parts are usually planted as tall as the castles and viewpoints nearby, and are therefore rightly known as “Maçã de Altitude” (high altitude apples). Its size fills the hand and makes the eyes widen, but it is in the mouth that all its splendor is revealed. Resistant to adversity, these apples are, due to the altitude, more aromatic, crisper and tastier than others of the same variety grown elsewhere. Versatile and long-lasting, Douro apples can be found in nationally produced desserts and juices. Thousands of tons a year are consumed in Portugal but, to the delight of many people, they now reach countries as far away as Brazil, Angola and the UAE, because their fame, recognized in trophies and medals, knows no borders.


The almond tree, a delicate tree that only lands with a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and harsh winters have the privilege of seeing grow and bloom, spreads across the landscape of several Douro municipalities, blessing them twice each year: with its blossom and its fruit. Between February and March, thousands of almond trees grow in a majestic white bed between valleys and hillsides for dozens of kilometers. At the many local festivals dedicated to the almond tree in bloom, or at any time of the year, it’s imperative to learn about the ancient rituals associated with this fruit hidden in a hard shell, with unforgettable properties and an unavoidable presence in the Douro’s traditional recipes. Toasted, peeled, pounded, in flour (one of the healthy alternatives to gluten); covered in sugar paste in a thousand turns of a bowl or giving shape and consistency to cakes and cookies, they are undoubtedly one of the best excuses to get to know a region with unrepeatable landscapes, sublime heritage and a thousand experiences.


It’s with the end of the harvest and the arrival of autumn that the bustle in the groves begins. Thousands of tons of chestnuts are separated each year from the dry hedgehog that has protected them from the heat and cold to be quickly distributed throughout the country or exported to Brazil, Italy or France.
The people of Douro have an age-old relationship with this fruit. They recognize in their leafy trees a resilience that is beyond reproach; they are proud of their bucolic groves as far as the eye can see, where tender mushrooms hide in the soil and hares, rabbits and wild boars are sheltered, which attract so many hunters to these parts. The rituals surrounding the chestnut – mostly of the Martaínha variety, the most sought-after in the markets – involve multiple celebrations. In November, for São Martinho, magustos are a constant throughout the territory. The famous dishes, the wine, the “Chestnut Festivals” and the polychrome landscape are just some of the irrefutable arguments for visiting the Douro in the fall and in all seasons.

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