Silver Travel Wine Club

December 2023: Spotlight on The Douro

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.

This month’s Wine Club, in partnership with AmaWaterways, heads to the Douro River in Portugal.

Read on to find out more.

Land near a river, naturally protected by mountain ranges, inspired winemakers to plant vineyards along the Douro, but wild landscapes and nutrient-poor soil made this an extremely difficult task. The birthplace of Port wine would simply not exist today if it hadn’t been for the centuries of determined winegrowers who laboriously carved rows of vines into the steep, dramatic terrain.

The process used to make Port wine depends on brandy being added to partially fermented grape must. This halts fermentation, leaving sugar in the mixture and results in a sweeter wine with a higher alcohol content. This vinification process was discovered in 1678 and is still used to this day. Ruby, Tawny and Vintage are three of the most prevalent styles produced.

Another of northern Portugal’s most famous wines is called Vinho Verde, which translates as “young wine”. Intended to be enjoyed within a year of bottling, these distinct wines are created from several local grape varieties. While the unique aromatic and effervescent whites are wildly popular, the fresh and fruity roses and rich reds are also a delight.

See for yourself

Join an unforgettable AmaWaterways Wine Cruise and delight in one of the world’s most perfect trifectas: travel, wine, and elegant cuisine.

Each of their Celebration of Wine River Cruises is hosted by an enthusiastic wine professional who leads you through tastings and interactive discussions, accompanies you on select shore excursions to vineyards and cellars, and helps curate a special food and wine pairing dinner on board.

Enticing Douro Wine Cruise

Rambling vineyards and charming native farms cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, creating an incomparable backdrop to one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions and to Port country— the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. During this incredible wine-themed journey, you’ll sample Espumante, a Portuguese sparkling wine, and visit a local quinta (wine estate) for an authentic Port-wine tasting. Discover the stages of wine production at the Quinta da Avessada, which houses an interactive museum commemorating the history and culture of wine. Sail roundtrip from Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges”; visit Régua, the ‘capital’ of the Douro Valley; and marvel at Salamanca, the UNESCO-designated “Golden City.” Taste wines from historic wineries and soak up the genuine beauty of one of Europe’s most unadulterated landscapes. Hosted by a dedicated wine expert who leads tastings and a specially curated food and wine pairing dinner on board, this journey is a must for anyone interested in the best of local wine and cuisine.

Itinerary: Porto to Porto

  • Day 1: Porto – Embarkation
  • Day 2: Entre-os-Rios
  • Day 3: Regua Pinhao
  • Day 4: Vega de Terron
  • Day 5: Barca d’Alva – Pinhao
  • Day 6: Regua
  • Day 7: Porto
  • Day 8: Porto – Disembarkation

Start date 20 July 2024

Category E (fixed window) £3750pp

Category B (outside balcony) £5178pp

Click to find out more.

If you would like a quote or to book, call Silver Travel Advisor on 0800 412 5678.

Win a case of wine from the Douro region of Portugal

Comment below and which celebrity you’d like to share a bottle of Port wine with, and why?

A winner will be chosen in early January 2024.
The competition closes on 31 December 2023.

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37 Responses

  1. Hugh Johnson – his book ‘A world Atlas of Wine’ was required reading for aspiring oenophiles when itwas published in 1971 (and many editions later is still available…)

  2. I’d love to share a bottle of Late Bottled Vintage with my favourite actor, Ralph Fiennes. He’s currently on tour playing Macbeth, but I’m too mean to pay for one of the cheapest London seats at £95, so it would be great to have a drink with him so that he can tell me all about it.

  3. I’d like to share a bottle of port wine with Gyles Brandreth because I could just sit back and relax – no need to talk (I probably couldn’t get a word in edgeways anyway); I’d just sit and listen while he tells me everything he knows about Portugal and port, or any and every subject under the sun. Actually, I’ve got a feeling I read somewhere that he doesn’t drink alcohol; that’s good – more for me to enjoy!

  4. I would love to share a bottle of wine with Simon Reeve. I love his travel programmes giving an honest, balanced view of the country. So enlightening and inspiring

  5. Sitting around the log burner with the family and raising a glass to my late husband who loved his port at Christmas…

  6. I’d like to share a bottle of Port wine with David Attenborough, while he regaled me with stories of his wildlife adventures.

  7. I would love to share a glass with Graham Norton and chat about all the people he has interviewed.

  8. Having just re-watched Love Actually it would have to be Hugh Grant. I think we could have a good political conversation!

  9. Love to be with Jerry(from Tom and Jerry) . He can enjoy the cheese while I have the lovely port.

  10. I would like to share a bottle of Port with England Rugby defence coach KEVIN SINFIELD to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to him for raising millions of pounds for research into finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND)
    Kevin’s incredible achievements running multiple marathons to fundraise for his ex-teammate and friend Rob Burrow is truly inspirational.
    When my Mum died of MND in 2000 hardly anyone had heard of this terrible disease (although wonderful actor David Niven died of it in 1983) but now through the brave fights of Doddie Weir, Rob Burrow and Ed Slater and their fundraising campaigns and Kevin’s herculean efforts research into finding a cure for MND is progressing.

  11. I’d like to share a bottle with Stephen Fry, as I think it would be a fun and witty conversation

  12. Jancis Robinson – Having an expert on wine present, would provide me with a good guide to how good the Port wine was and advise me on wines I would benefit from purchasing.

  13. Michael Portillo as he will try anything but at the end of day he is so interesting too.

  14. I`d love to share a bottle with Bruce Springsteen as he tells so many stories it would be a nice relaxing time for me just listening.

  15. A bottle of LBV with a selection of English Cheeses with fellow Yorkshire man Michael Vaughan would, I am sure, be very entertaining .

  16. My celebrity of choice with whom to imbibe said delicious wine of the Douro would be Stephen Fry, who is a bon viveur of some repute and and of course a noted raconteur. I am sure he would keep me amused and entertained with his tales of showbiz antics and his globe – trotting experiences while we happily sipped our way through a bottle (or two?).

  17. Kirsty Allsopp. We could share a bottle of wine and inspired by the colours of Portugal, the fantastic tiles and wrought iron she could help me redesign my house.

  18. Sanday Toksvig because she loves travel and enjoys the occasional glass of wine not to mention a great sense of humour.

  19. I would love to share a bottle with Stanley Tucci. He is charming, a wine buff, cook and brilliant actor. He has also suffered great loss and great joy. I feel he would be authentic and with a glass in hand we would have fun.

  20. I would love to meet the conductor Simon Rattle as I admire his work and enthusiasm so much. I imagine he would enjoy a glass of port!

  21. I would love to share a bottle of wine with Keanu Reeves as he is very charitable and kind to others.

  22. The very talented Eric Cantona. The combination of his football and acting career and his experience of Portuguese living accompanied by a lovely bottle of Port wine would be an ideal way to spend a very entertaining afternoon. It may take longer than one bottle though!

  23. Ideally, Professor Brian Cox, highly intelligent, good looking, talk about the stars and the cosmos.

  24. My husband…we visited Porto a few years ago and drove along the Douro, staying overnight at a small winery where the very charming and hospitable host invited us all to his ‘wine cave’. A very enjoyable evening ensued! A nice case of Portuguese wine would help us relive that memory…

  25. I would share a bottle with Rick Stein to hear the stories if his life & travels.Hopefully he might make something suitable to accompany it as well.

Comments are closed.

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