What are the best Port wine lodges?

Food & Wine

May 8, 2017

Asked by Rui, Portugal

Asked by Rui, Portugal

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After I told you the Top vineyards in the Douro Valley as well as given you an Ultimate Guide to Understanding Port wine, there was only a guide missing: the best Port wine lodges. Cheers!

(Article updated in May 2017)

Before I write my personal pick of the best Port wine lodges, let me give you a small advice.

Visiting the lodges is one of the most popular things to do in Porto, and, naturally, a very touristic one. With this in mind, I recommend you to ignore the cheapest wine tastings, as you’ll be tasting entry level Port wines, which are not particularly interesting. It’s really worth it to pay a bit more and experience better Port wines, specially if you have already tasted this kind of wine before and know already what is you’re favourite type of Port wine.

Now, enough talking. Let’s check what are…

the best Port wine lodges!

Graham’s

Rua do Agro, 141. Vila Nova de Gaia | Contact: +351 223 776 484

best port wine lodges grahams
best port wine lodges grahams details
Graham’s, a Port wine brand founded by two Scottish brothers in 1820, is an elegant and selective choice, ideal for those eager to escape the crowds of the riverside.

At Graham’s, the Port wine tour begins with a short video of 10 minutes, followed by a professional and informative tour, so that we get to know not only the history of the Symington family, but also the different types of Port wine.

One of the things I enjoy the most is that I never feel that we are being “rushed” by the guide – which is one of the reasons why I consider Graham’s one of the best Port wine lodges!

Schedule: 9.30am – 5.30pm. Bookings through this link or grahams@grahamsportlodge.com
Tours & Prices: visit + tasting in the Main Room vary between [12 ; 17]€, depending on the type & number of Port wines.
Port wine tastings in the Private Room vary between [30 ; 100]€.
Tour languages: PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, NL and RUS

Croft

Rua Barão de Forrester, 412. Vila Nova de Gaia | Contact: +351 220 109 825


best port wine lodges croft
The visit to Croft is a divine experience. As Croft is less accessible than the Port wine cellars by the riverside, it has fewer people, which gives you the feeling of having an unique experience, which personally I value a lot.

Before the tour starts you’re treated with a Croft Pink (it’s a rosé Port wine, the first to be introduced in the market, in 2008) and a Ruby, just to introduce you to Port wine flavours, and then it moves on to the tour itself.

After the tour, a 10 years old Tawny is the perfect closing to a wonderful summer morning at Croft. (By the way, and take my words for it: ask for a chocolate tasting to go along with your Port wines at Croft. It is divine!)

Schedule: 10am – 6pm. Bookings at turismo.croft@croft.pt
Tours & Prices: visit + 3 Port wine tastings cost 10€. You can also ask for chocolate, cheese or almonds’ tastings, paid separately.
Tour languages: PT, EN, FR and ES

Churchill’s

Rua da Fonte Nova, 5. Vila Nova de Gaia | Contact: +351 223 703 641

best port wine lodges churchills
best port wine lodges churchills details
Churchill’s Port wine lodges, located just below Graham’s, was founded by a member of the same family, John Graham, in 1981. As a very young brand, it focus on differentiation through its noticeably drier wines.

This Port wine lodge itself is much smaller than the others, giving you a sense of familiarity and warmth, ideal for those seeking a more intimate visit, which makes me consider Churchill’s as one of the top Port wine cellars.

The tasting room is very nice and airy, and Churchill’s also has a beautiful “VIP” room, with a fabulous view of the Douro River, where you can organize lunches, dinners or private events.

Schedule: 10am – 5pm (last visit at 5:15pm). Bookings at visitors@churchills-port.com
Tours & Prices: visit + Port Wine tasting vary between [5 ; 20]€,depending on the type & number of Port wines.
Churchill’s also has its table wines for tasting, and the price varies between [10 ; 15]€.
Tour languages: PT, EN, FR, ES, RUS and UA

Ferreira

Avenida Ramos Pinto, 70. Vila Nova de Gaia | Contact: +351 223 746 106

best port wine lodges ferreira
best port wine lodges ferreira details
I was very welcomed at Ferreira, a Port wine cellar built by Antónia Ferreira, an extraordinary woman in a male-dominated industry during the nineteenth century.

The tour begins in a small “museum” with objects of Antónia, followed by a detailed explanation of the different types of Port wine, through a tour on this Port wine lodge.

Before the Port wine tasting, you still have the opportunity to visit another museum with old photos, ancient objects used both in the production of Port wine and spirits and on the former cooperage of the company. The combination of the tour and the two museums is definitely what makes Ferreira one of the best Port wine lodges to visit while you’re in Porto.

Ferreira’s Port wine cellar has two spacious rooms for Port wine tasting, and a tiny premium room, all covered with Portuguese tiles, where I had the privilege of tasting 5 different types of Port wine.

Schedule: 10:30am – 12:30 + 2pm – 6pm. Bookings at ferreira.visitors@aaferreira.pt
Tours & Prices: visit + Port wine tastings in the Main Room starts at 10€
Tour languages: PT, EN, FR, ES, IT and DE

If you’re enjoying this article, don’t forget to pint it for later:

Taylor’s

Rua do Choupelo, 250. Vila Nova de Gaia | ontact: +351 223 742 800

best port wine lodges taylors


best port wine lodges taylors details
Taylor’s is probably the answer you’ll get if you ask any tourist what are the best Port wine lodges in Porto.

The visitors, instead of being in a huge group (and pressed by time, which is always scarce in Port wine cellars), has at their disposal an audio guide service that I personally loved! Therefore, I’d say that Taylor’s experience is suitable for people who want to dig deep into Port wine concepts, but not so nice for groups of friends who prefer to have a more interactive visit at one of the best Port wine lodges.

This Port wine lodge has 11 stops with detailed information that visitors can discover at their own pace and according to their personal interest. You go through the cellar, but also through a “museum” dedicated to Taylor’s cooperage, two videos, and you even have a selfie station at your disposal.

At the end, expect a tasting of two flagship wines of Taylor’s: its Chip Dry Port, introduced in 1934 and an LBV 2011 (considered one the best years of the Douro Valley), which I prefer to take in the garden. Fa-bu-lous.

Schedule: 10am – 6pm.
Tours & Prices: the audio guide tour + tasting of 2 Port wines costs 12€
Audio Guide Languages: PT, EN, FR, ES and GER

Offley

Rua do Choupelo, 54. Vila Nova de Gaia | Contact: +351 223 743 852

best port wine lodges offleybest port wine lodges offley details
What captivates me at Offley’s Port wine lodge is its simplicity combined with a strong sense of tradition, which results in a relaxed – but no less structured and informative – tour.

At the end of the visit to this Port wine lodge, a Port wine tasting accompanied by the sound of crystal clear water in the tank that exists in the tasting room. It is so relaxing!

Schedule: 10am – 12h30 + 2pm – 6pm. Bookings through this link or offley.visitors@offley.pt
Tours & Prices: visit + tasting in the Main Room vary between [6 ; 16] €,depending on the type & number of Port wines.
Tour languages: PT, EN, FR, ES and DE (this last one, only under reservation!)

Cockburn’s

Rua Serpa Pinto, 346. Vila Nova de Gaia | Contact: +351 913 007 950

best port wine lodges cockburns
best port wine lodges cockburns details
The visit to Cockburn’s Port wine lodge is quite unique. The brand was founded in 1815 by two Scottish brothers and passed from family to family until it reached the hands of Symington, Graham’s owners.

Cockburn’s is distinguished by being a huge working lodge – in fact, it is the largest of all the Port wine lodges in Gaia – where we often see work being carried out during the tour.

I had the immense privilege of watching the cooperage team fixing Port wine barrels, something I had never seen and will not see as quickly as it is a dying art.

It was beautiful – and I even met Symington’s head cooper, Emílio, who most recently won the Medal of Honour due to his contribution to Port wine industry! In the end, the tasting takes place in a cozy room overlooking the cellar. Cockburn’s is definitely one of the best Port wine lodges!

Schedule: 10:30 – 7pm. Bookings through cockburnslodge@cockburns.com
Tours & Prices: visit + tasting in the Main Room vary between [10;15]€,depending on the type & number of Port wines. On the top of that, you can ask for chocolate, cheese or almonds’ tastings, paid separately.
Tour languages: PT, EN, FR, ES, IT

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2017-11-29T19:38:07+00:00 May 8th, 2017|Food & Wine|1 Comment
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