calem port lodge vila nova de gaia porto portugal
Vila Nova de Gaia city, Portugal, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.
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If Porto is the administrative capital of the Doruo river and port wine district, it is Vila Nova de Gaia that is the vinous centre. It is here that you find all the famous “port lodges”, big warehouses, or wineries with a more romantic name. You see one well-known name after the other on the lodges: Sandeman, Calem, Croft, Cockburn’s, Ramos Pinto, Burmester, Ferreira, Fonseca, Calem etc etc.
Vila Nova de Gaia is located just across the river, a short walk across the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge. You can walk up the hill and get an excellent view of both Gaia and Oporto (as it is sometimes called). Its location at the mouth of the Douro River out into the Atlantic made it a good location for a shipping (and sipping?) and warehouse centre for port wine.
There was a time (until quite recently) that all the port wine had to be stored and shipped, by law, from the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. When that changed Gaia lost some of its importance as the centre for Port wine, since it became possible for producers to work directly from wineries near the vineyards further up the river.
There is a pleasant river-side walk along the keys. You will pas in front of many of the famous port lodges on the town side, and on the river side you can see many old Barco Rabelo, the typical sail boats used for transporting port on the river. The barcos rabelos are no longer in use of course. Today transporting wine is more likely to be done by lorry. You will also find plenty of restaurants and bars.
All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.
Douro Porto Vila Nova de Gaia Port Lodges – stock photo samples – Images by Per Karlsson