Fall in love with the rugged beauty of Portugal’s Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Land near a river, and 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.

Their efforts proved worthwhile. Angled, rocky terrain just so happens to be ideal for the growth of grapes. Over the years, the magnitude of the Douro Valley wine region has grown remarkably and it is now divided into three parts. AmaWaterways’ Enticing Douro itinerary cruises through all three sub-regions, giving you a taste of Northern Portugal’s famous ports and table wines.

Baixo Corgo lies closest to the Atlantic. While it’s the smallest of the three regions, it has more than 33,000 acres of vineyards and yields the largest cultivation of grape vines. Rainfall and ocean-fresh air help nourish the soil. The vineyards threaded through these drastic slopes give life to rich, tawny ports, red and white table wines and sparkling Vinho Verde from Minho Provence.

Cima Corgo is home to a drier climate and proves to be the most fruitful region. The 50,000 acres of vineyards that cling to the Douro’s heartland produce remarkable, long-lasting table wines and ports like those to the Vintage variety in Pinhao.

Douro Superior is the easternmost sub-region. It’s dry conditions, slate-like soil and continental climate give life to some of the finest, most impressive Vintage Ports in all of Portugal.

Source: AMA Waterways