I’m taking the family there over New Year’s holiday, and it looks like I can squeeze in a tasting room visit or two in the city.
Anyone have a recommendation? If it’s possible to visit one which pours some good non-fortified wines as well as Port, I’d actually be much more interested in that, but I’m not sure if that’s an option or not.
Most of the ones we looked at pour non-port. We enjoyed Quinto do Noval, but it really is just a tasting room. A friend of ours that isn’t a huge wine person had fun on the Sandeman Tawnys tasting and tour. Graham’s is apparently the creme de la creme if you only have time for 1. We went to Taylor’s in Lisbon (they also have a spot in Porto) but nobody loved it.
There’s also a small wine bar that we didn’t have a chance to get to called Bacchus Vini right next to the Ponte Luiz bridge that a lot of folks have mentioned is great.
It doesn’t say on their website, but they poured their dry wines there too?
It looks like Graham’s is only Port.
We had fun at Taylors in Porto. We were there in summer, so I don’t know if the peacocks wander the place in the winter. There’s an attached cafe. I remember they had some dry wines as well–can’t remember if they were pouring the drys in the tasting room or just the cafe.
The tasting dinner at Grahams is excellent, both the food and the wines poured!
The Grahams lodge has excellent Ports as well as table wines. There’s a great restaurant on site also, Vinum. Taylors doesn’t do table wines. The Quevedo tasting room on the Gaia side has great Ports and table wines. Close to WOW. The Kopke tasting room in Gaia for great tawnies and Colheita Ports, good table wines as well. Sogevinus is the parent company of Kopke and their tasting room also has wines by Burmester, Calem, and Barros. I highly, highly recommend Bacchus Vini on the Porto side next to the Ponte Luiz. Put yourself in Maria’s hands and ask for interesting Ports and table wines. She specializes in smaller, family run estates.
I have used Eric’s suggestions myself when planning our own upcoming Portugal trip. Not sure what ‘family’ consist of for your trip, Chris, but Graham offers a couple of combined experiences of Port Tasting at the lodge and Dining at Vinum that they call Enogastronomic. A modest one at lunch and a more extravagant one at dinner.
PS Eric talking on Portugal is what EF Hutton talking on investments was like in the 70’s and 80’s.
I second the suggestions for Taylor and Quevedo. If you can get some of the Quevedo 30 year white tawny, enjoy!
I haven’t seen 30 year old white Tawny since that Whitesnake video in the 80s.
Or Bachelor Party in the 80’s!
We spent one day in Porto in 2017, on a cruise. Ridge Vineyards was the sponsor and had set up tastings at Graham’s, Taylor Fladgate and Cockburn. My favorite of the 3 was Graham’s, then Taylor Fladgate. Great tour and tasting at Graham’s. Here is a picture of the view and the cellar at Graham’s. Not sure how many non-port wines they have to serve because all were serving fortified wines only.
They also do a 50 year old white. Maybe more appropriate for our age!
Agreed, grahams is a great visit
Chris, as Eric and others note, Bacchus Vini is a fantastic wine bar focusing on Portuguese producers. Knowledgeable, friendly. They have small plates, cheese and charcuterie etc as well. My wife and I went each night we were in Porto back in April, and loved it.
The recommendation of Grahams is spot on. Been going to Portugal 2-4 times a year for over 20 years and been to nearly every port house. Grahams is part of the Symington Family of brands and a visit there gives you the ability to see all the history of the port trade as well as taste many different quinta’s and styles.
Grahams, dows, warres, Cockburns, Smith Woodhouse, Vesuvio and also many still wines (including Chryseia) can be tasted/purchased there. The douro valley is not that far and if you are a wine lover, do you darndest to take the drive up there as you wont regret it
Grahams has a great visit available indeed. They have different packages where the tour will be combined but the wines tasted (and the room in which you taste) will differ. Worth upgrading to the premium one. We also paid a supplement to try a ‘63 vintage, which was awesome.
The wine boutique also has some more difficult to find bottling a, including their Stone Terraces ones.
I agree with the recommendations for Grahams and Taylors. My wife and I had great experiences at both. Definitely worth it to upgrade to the premium flights. If you want to try a much smaller place with an easy walk-in tasting, check out Corvos, which is just a couple blocks from Sandemans, just off the river.
I will say that, based on our experience, still wines made at the major port houses weren’t especially great…we had much better wines at places that focused almost exclusively on still wines.
The Symington’s estate Quinta da Fonte Souto in the Portalagre region of the Alentejo is making some excellent table wines, especially the whites.
Thanks. Can you taste those in Porto somewhere?