Harvest Tour of Spain & Portugal

September 26 - October 5, 2023

14 Spaces

This tour has strategically been planned to coincide with the harvest of wine grapes in Spain & Portugal.  Few wineries allow guests during this period, however, Wine-Knows has been very fortunate to secure appointments at several world-class producers.  There will be “insider” opportunities to see the exciting harvest activities involved in birthing a wine.  Weather is also idyllic at this time of year.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Appointments at crema de la crema wineries
  •  “Foodie” excursions to an olive oil producer, chocolate maker & an artisanal cheese factory
  • Michelin star dining
  • 4 & 5 star accommodations in unique properties (e.g. 15th century palace & former riverside villa of an iconic wine family)
  • Visits to 2 United Nations World Heritage Sites (UNESCO)
September 25: Last Day to Leave the USA (earlier departure is strongly recommended)
September 26: Welcome to Portugal’s Most Famous Wine Town

 

Morning:  The tour begins mid-morning in downtown Porto.  (It is highly recommended that participants arrive in Porto at least one day early.  Wine-Knows will be happy to arrange for early arrival hotel space).  After introductions and a seminar on Portugal’s wine and food scene, we’ll begin with a tasting at one of the area’s historic wineries that has been producing table wine and Port since 1880.

Afternoon:   Next, we’ll visit another of Portugal’s most iconic Port producers for a private tasting.  

Evening:   Our first dinner will be at a small restaurant in the historic district.   Its cutting-edge chef offers authentic tastes of the area’s local cuisine, as well as a superb wine list.

September 27: Up the Douro River by Train

 

Morning FREE for shopping or site-seeing.

Afternoon:   Today we train to the heart of the Douro Valley where grapes are grown.  The entire wine region is so magnificent that it is one of the few wine areas in the world that  has been declared a World Heritage Site (UNESCO) by the United Nations. The route closely parallels the river, so we’ll be able to follow the former journey of Port as it was once brought down this river on boats.

Evening:    Our first night in the Douro Valley will be a special private dinner at the historical country villa of one of Portugal’s most important Port companies.

September 28: The Douro River by Boat

Morning:    There’s no better way to see the beauty of the Douro’s soaring vine-draped hills than from the river.   Wine-Knows has leased a private boat to view the show.

Afternoon:  Free time.  You may want to consider relaxing at our hotel’s pool which is spectacularly situated right on the banks of the Douro River.   There are also nearby hiking trails in the vineyards to explore.

Evening:   Tonight will be a private dinner at another of the Douro’s super-star wineries with breathtaking views of the river valley.  In addition to producing superb table wines and Port, the company also makes award-winning olive oils.

September 29: Salamanca---one of Europe’s Most Spectacular Cities

 

Morning:   Although today we’ll be heading to Spain, before we cross the border we have one last stop in Portugal at one of the country’s highest rated winery.  

Afternoon:  There will be free-time after we check into our hotel in the legendary university town of Salamanca.  Considered one of the most glorious Renaissance cities in Europe, Salamanca’s entire historic center has been deemed so extraordinary that the United Nation’s has awarded it the distinguished World Heritage award (UNESCO).

Evening:   Salamanca is located in one of Spain’s white wine districts, the Rueda.  Dinner tonight will be in the old town at a restaurant known for its stunning wine list of Rueda wines.

September 30: Wine & Chocolate

 

Morning:   We’ll begin the day with a private guided tour of Salamanca’s historical center. 

Afternoon:  Today we head to the nearby Rueda wine district for a private tour & tasting at one of the area’s best producers of jaw-dropping white wines.  Made from the luscious Verdejo grape, these whites are becoming one of Spain’s newest successes.  Following this, we’ll tour an artisanal chocolate maker that has a cult-like following.

Dinner:  We’ll dine at another rock-star Rueda winery at a private dinner with the winemaker.

October 1: Top-Notch Tempranillo---Olé!

 

Morning:   It may be difficult to leave mesmerizing Salamanca, but we’re off today to one of Spain’s most important wine regions, the Ribera del Duero.   Home to some of Spain’s most notable Tempranillo’s, the Ribera del Duero has been perfecting top quality wines for hundreds of years.

Afternoon:  There will be time to relax after checking into our 5 star hotel.  Located in one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in Europe, the stunning accommodation is surrounded by vineyards.  It also offers an excellent spa.

Dinner:  This evening we’ll enjoy both a private tasting and dinner at one of the Ribera del Duero’s most highly regarded wineries. 

October 2: Medieval Castles & Bullfighting Plazas

 

Morning:   We’re off to the eastern side of the wine district where there will be a private tasting at a winery that has won countless international awards.

Afternoon:  Today we’ll have free time in the charming town of Penafiel.    Its dramatic hilltop castle can be viewed across the surrounding vineyards for nearly 50 miles.  Don’t miss the town’s center square where bullfights are held.   Next, there will be a private tasting at a well-known producer just outside the walls of Penafiel.

Dinner:  Tonight we’ll dine at a winery with panoramic views of Penafiel.  We’ll sip wine & eat dinner while we watch the lights of the castle illuminate the entire town.

October 3: Spain’s Tuscany--the Rioja

 

Morning:   We now continue our journey further east to Spain’s most important wine district, the Rioja. This is quintessential wine country—beautiful vine-draped rolling hillsides, medieval hamlets, and exquisite wines.  We’ll stop enroute in the wondrous city of Burgos for lunch and to see one of Spain’s most revered cathedrals.

Afternoon:   Get ready for the earth to move as we visit our first Rioja producer.  A full lineup of their wines will be featured including both white and red.

Evening:  Dinner tonight will be at one of our favorite restaurants in all of Spain.   Built in the 17th century, the restaurant features an amazing wine cellar (which we’ll tour)!   We’ll dine on meticulously prepared traditional cuisine by a chef who infuses cutting-edge modern ideas.   

October 4: Local Artisanal Cheese & More Vino!

 

Mid-day:   By a stroke of luck one of the Rioja’s best producers of quality cheese happens to be located in the town in which we’re staying.   We’ll tour the small factory and observe the entire cheese-making process.  (And these exceptional cheeses can be purchased to take back home!)

Afternoon:   Next, is a private tasting at a Rioja winery whose wines are beloved by wine critics around the globe.   But, wait….it’s not over yet.  Right across the street from this winery is another remarkable producer we simply cannot miss.  

Dinner:  Tonight is free for dinner.  There are numerous restaurants just out the hotel’s front door.

October 5: Michelin Star Farewell

 

Morning:   Today we head to one of the Rioja’s cultural treasures—a wine museum unlike no other in the world.  This one seductively chronicles the relationship between man and wine over 8,000 years.

Afternoon:    Lunch will be free in the town of Logrono, home to one of the best street of tapas bars in Spain!   Next, a private tasting at one of the brillant wineries nestled in the foothill district—a great experience to compare the different terroir from yesterday’s wines in a different micro-climate with differing soils.

Evening:   It’s only fitting that our farewell dinner be held in La Rioja’s gastronomic shrine, a Michelin star restaurant.  This one is a little different, however, as it is also located in one of Spain’s most prestigious wineries.  Oh, yes, and this absolutely breathtaking building was designed by Frank Gehry. 

September 14: Adios Amigos !

 

Morning:   Say goodbye to all of your newly-found friends, as the trip concludes after breakfastArrangements can be made for you back to Madrid by private transfer.  The town in which we’re staying also has rail service making connections to other cities in Spain a possibility.

 

FAQS

The tour begins in downtown Porto, Portugal on the morning of September 26, 2023.   Porto’s airport (OPO) can be reached from all major European cities.  It is strongly advised that participants arrive in Porto at least one day before to avoid any missed air connections & to help in adjusting to jet lag.  (Wine-Knows will be happy to arrange for early arrival accommodations). 

Group airfare has purposefully not been included to allow maximum flexibility in arrival & departure options. You may go early & stay over after the trip concludes.   Wine-Knows Travel, Inc. provides land only arrangements and does not provide airfare.

Our groups are composed of people from diverse occupations, singles & couples, men & women, a mix of young & old, well-seasoned international travelers as well as novices.  All have a common interest in food & wine.  The majority of participants on our tours are repeat clients or their referrals.  In addition, each tour participant is a non-smoker. 

One of the hallmarks of the Wine-Knows’ brand is seeking out those oh-so-special spots to stay.  We typically look for historical accommodations that ooze old-world European charm, but offer the latest in 21st century creature comforts such as air-conditioning, a spa & WIFI .   Furthermore, we avoid large “tour group” hotels, favoring the smaller boutique properties.  This trip will feature a mix of 5 star hotels (3) and 4 stars (2) including:

  • Riverside collection of historic homes that have cleverly been joined.  This distinctive 5 star property is located in the epicenter of the old town & offers dazzling panoramas of Porto’s waterfront & skyline.   Their spa should be a welcome luxury after a long international flight.

 

  • Former villa of an iconic Port family built on the banks of the Douro River. Each bedroom at this extraordinarily preserved 4 star landmark offers panoramic views of the river.  Filled with precious family antiques & a mix of modern, its relaxing gardens & a pool complete the postcard perfect venue.

 

  • Restored 15th century palace turned into a 5 star boutique hotel.  This luxurious gem features only 17 rooms—each one individually designed and decorated using sumptuous fabrics & high quality linens.  Located just a 5 minute stroll from the cathedral and main square, it’s also convenient for shopping.

 

  • One the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in Europe.  Surrounded by vineyards, this 12th century wine-producing property is also a 5 star resort-spa.  Featuring 79 comfortable rooms within its magnificent stone walls, the property is an oasis for travelers who enjoy the peaceful countryside.

 

  • A 600 year old convent that is now a 4 star property.   60 comfortable rooms reflect the wealth of this building’s history as century-old stone walls are juxtaposed with modern bathrooms.  The former cloisters are now a dazzling lobby.   Located in the heart of town, all services are just out the front door.

All dining experiences have been mindfully selected. Meals will be special culinary events, ranging from a Michelin-star restaurant to a wine bar.   In addition to carefully chosen restaurants, this tour will feature foodie excursions including visits to an olive oil producer, artisanal chocolate maker & hand-crafted cheese factory.

Participants must in good physical health and be able to keep up with the pace of the group.  The tour often requires climbing two or more flights of stairs in wineries, walking distances of up to 3/4 mile (1200 meters) at a moderate gait, and negotiating cobble-stone streets and other irregular surfaces including dirt, gravel and/or wet surfaces.   Participants will be required to carry their own hand luggage and personal items.  Concerns over any aspect of the tour’s physical requirements should be addressed with Wine Knows before placing the trip deposit.  

Yes.  We suggest you use Squaremouth.com to compare the different policies for travelers.

  • A non-refundable fee of $300.00 US, applies for all cancellations. Cancellations received prior to April 1, 2021 will be fully refunded less the cancellation fee.
  • 75% refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between April 2, 2021 and November 1, 2021.
  • 55 % refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between November 2, 2021 and July 1, 2022.     25% refund of the remaining funds, if any, will be made to those who cancel between July 2, 2022 and March 1, 2023.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations after March 1, 2023.

Europeans dress more formally than Americans and Wine-Knows would like to respect their tradition.  The tour will be business casual during the day. Men need to bring a sport coat (tie optional) for the more formal dining experiences, & women should plan a similar level of attire (cocktail dress or fancy pantsuit) for these evenings.  Some of our hotels have gym and/or swimming pools so plan accordingly if you plan to use these services.  Non-skid shoes are imperative as wineries will be in the middle of harvest and floors can be slippery (also, there will be many cobblestone streets).

 Early autumn weather in the northern parts of Portugal & Spain average about 70-75 degrees so pack accordingly.  Be sure to bring a sweater as evenings along the sea in Porto can be chilly.

The price is based upon double occupancy.  Should you wish to share a room, every attempt will be made to find you a roommate (most of the time we have been quite successful in doing so), however if we are unable to find you a roommate, you will need to pay the single supplement of $1,360 US.

We have provided free time as detailed in the itinerary.  Furthermore, it is not mandatory that you attend all of the planned experiences, although most of our clients do!  This is your trip—if you would rather sleep in, shop, or simply chill out at a café, then do it!

Yes.  We accept payment through PayPal (PayPal.com).  Since PayPal charges us a fee, this fee must added to the cost of the trip.

Registration Form will be available late 2020 or early 2021 after prices are posted.

TOUR PRICES

 

Tour Dates*

Book Before :

Book After :

September 26 – October 5, 2023

TBD

TBD

Price is being finalized and will be posted at end of 2020 or early 2021.

 

  • will be posted winter 2020/2021
  • will be posted winter 2020/2021
  • will be posted winter 2020/2021
  • will be posted winter 2020/2021

State of California Seller of Travel # 2091232-40