Harvest in Spain & Portugal

September 29 - October 7, 2024

5 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)
September 29: 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 30: 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.

October 1: 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.

October 2: Welcome to Spain!

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:  Our first stop in Spain will be the Toro wine district, one of the country’s latest “red hot spots” for top-scoring wines.  There will be free time once we check in to our Wine Spa hotel to relax.

Evening:  Dinner will be at a popular wine bar.

October 3: Zamora: Spain's "Romanesque Museum

 

Morning:  Today we’ll visit with a private guide nearby Zamora famous for its wealth of well- preserved architectural wonders 

Afternoon:  Private tour & tasting at one of the area’s best producers in the Toro wine district.

Dinner: Dinner will be at a rock-star winery in Toro. 

October 4: Wine & Chocolate

Morning:  Our first stop will be at an artisanal chocolate maker who has a cult-like following.  Then, we’re off 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 5: 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:  Dinner tonight will be on your own.  Our illustrious hotel has 3 dining venues from which to choose.

October 6: 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:  Our dinner tonight will be held in the Rioja’s gastronomic shrine, a Michelin star restaurant.  This one, however, is located in one of Spain’s most prestigious wineries.  An absolutely breathtaking architectural masterpiece (designed by Frank Gehry) is thought by many to look like a flamenco dancer’s skirt.

 

October 7: Local Artisanal Cheese & More Vino!

Morning:  Free time to explore our charming town Haro

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 winery whose wines are beloved by wine critics around the globe.   

Evening:  Our farewell dinner will be a private affair held at one of the Rioja’s most highly regarded wineries.

 

October 8: ADIOS AMIGOS !

Morning:   Say goodbye to all of your newly-found friends, as the trip concludes after breakfast.  Arrangements 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 29, 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.

In addition to clients from >20 states in the US, we have had several clients from Europe, Canada, Asia & even New Zealand.  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 a few 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 mixture of 5 and 4 star hotels including:

  • A spectacular 5 star winery spa hotel with only 35 rooms.  Surrounded by vineyards, this exclusive wine resort complex features spacious vineyard view rooms, spa featuring innovative wine treatments & fitness club, outdoor pool, and tennis courts.

  • 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.
  • 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 $500.00 US, applies for all cancellations.  Cancellations received prior to May 1, 2023 will be fully refunded less the cancellation fee.
  • A 70% refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between May 2, 2022 and July 1, 2023.
  • A 50 % refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between July2, 2023 and December 1, 2023.
  • A 25% refund of the remaining funds, if any, will be made to those who cancel between December 2, 2023 and April 1, 2024.
  • There will be no refunds for cancellations after April 2, 2024.
  • Trip cancellation insurance is *strongly recommended* and can be purchased for a nominal fee.
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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 $1,299 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.

TOUR PRICES*

 

Tour Dates

Book Before June 1, 2023:

Book After June, 1st:

September 29 – October 7, 2024

*PRICES ARE BASED UPON A MINIMUM OF 12 TRAVELERS.

$5,493

$5,790

State of California Seller of Travel # 2091232-40