douro river and steep vineyards view from pinhao quinta do seixo sandeman douro portugal
Douro River Valley, Portugal, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.
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The Douro River is one of the five main rivers on the Iberian peninsula. In Spain it is called Duero. In Portugal it becomes the Douro. It flows out into the Atlantic by the twin cities Porto (Oporto) and Vila Nova de Gaia. Its source is at more than 2000 meter altitude in Spain and its length is more than 800 km.
Its main claim to fame (at least for us) is as the home to port wines. But in recent decades it has also become an important wine region for “table” wines, DOC Douro wines. In Spain there are severa other more or less well known appellations along the river: Ribera del Duero, Arribes (del Duero) etc.
It is without a doubt one of the most visually spectacular wine regions that we have ever seen. Starting in Porto you can travel up the valley, past Regua (Peso da Regua, even past Pinhao if you wish, and all along you will see spectacular scenery. the higher up the river you go the more amazing it is. In many places you cannot help thinking “how can anyone even get the idea to grow vines here?” The hills are covered with vineyards. And everywhere there are terraces. Hundreds, thousands, millions? Many of the terraces are only one or two rows of vines broad. In the old days all of this was no doubt constructed by hand. Today they have at least bulldozers to make new terraces.
On virtually every hilltop there is a winery. When you get up to the winery, following a winding road, you have spectacular views all around. And surprisingly, many of the wineries have brand new installations. There has been a lot of investment recently in new buildings, new wineries, new vinification equipment.
All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.
Douro River Valley and Vineyards – stock photo samples – Images by Per Karlsson