Today we were off on a coach tour to explore the Douro Valley and learn a little more about the port wine trade.
After yesterdays rain we awoke to bright sunshine but that was soon to change as we climbed up into the mountains and into the mist and low cloud. However that all changed as we emerged from a long tunnel onto the eastern side of the mountain and blue skies. The landscape also began to change and soon we were surrounded by vineyards.
We stopped for lunch at Pinhao where we walked down to the river. It is a popular stopping point for the cruise ships and everything seems related to the wine trade.
Even the Information Kiosk was in the shape of a wine vat.
A wonderful train journey can be taken from Pinhao back to Porto and the train station is worth a visit. It is decorated with Azulejos, the blue painted tiles. Here they all depict scenes from the local wine growing industry.
After lunch we crossed the river and climbed up the hillside to visit the vineyard at Quinta das Carvalhas where the black grapes were almost ready to harvest.
Now it was time to head down the steep and twisting road to the Quinta das Carvalhas wine shop for the all important wine tasting. I bought a bottle of the local white wine. At 3.20 euros it was a bargain.
We enjoyed the scenic drive back alongside the river. A quick photo stop gave me the chance to take a few more images. Three of them I stitched together to create this panorama.
Back at our hotel we had a couple of hours to rest before our evening meal. Time to sample that wine!