Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The River and the Valley

I apologize in advance for the serious daydreaming most of you will incur into after reading this post, because I've been daydreaming about going to the Douro Valley in Portugal for days already. The valley receives it's name from the river bearing the same name that crosses northern Portugal and ends in the ocean in the city of Oporto.

This region is still quite undeveloped in terms of tourism and it's fairly easy to go from one place to the other. It is widely know for it's vineyards that produce Port wine but lately has been gaining a good reputation for it's wine production, especially unfiltered reds along with rose and white.

Many hotels in this area used to be manor farm type houses {called quintas} of the families that lived here for generations growing vines and producing Port. Many of the hotels sit on the bank of the river with spectacular views not just of the river but of the surrounding vineyards and olive groves.

The soil is so fertile in here that olive oil production has taken an important place in its economy. The harvesting of the olives happens in November and it's done by hand, and on the same day they clean and wash them to go into the extraction and filtration phases.

The food in here is very healthy as they use fresh ingredients and is enriched by the creativity of world renowned chefs. The food usually consist of local meats, charcuterie, and vegetables that vary with each of the seasons.

No doubt a visit to this picturesque place that is not overpopulated by tourists is a great discovery and one to consider for your next vacation as it counts with mild winters and summers making it a great vacation place... and drink some good wine!

Have a great day and feel free to daydream!