2024 Portugal Wine+Architecture Experience
History's Colorful Canvas
Our journey together begins as it should: with wine! A welcoming toast kicks off the camaraderie, followed by an introduction to the exquisite world of Portuguese wines to tease your palate. Next, a local guide leads us on a walking tour through the enchanting streets of Évora, unveiling a tapestry woven with history. Our first day together culminates with a delightful dinner at a charming family-owned locale brimming with laughter and the flavors of the Alentejo.
Cultivars & Cork
Today unfolds with an informative visit to Casa Relvas winery, where we delve into Portuguese varietals. We continue to Herdade do Freixo for a private lunch hosted by Taberna Quarta-Feira, a celebration of local cuisine surrounded by architectural ingenuity. After lunch, we'll visit a nearby wine and cork producer for a nature walk into the cork oak groves to understand more about Portugal's exclusive cork industry.
Infusions of Innovation
Our activities today showcase two contemporary wineries, and another major regional specialty: olive oil. We start at Herdade de Rocim, where tradition meets innovation in every sip. At Quinta do Quetzal we delight in gorgeous vistas of undulating vineyards from the balcony of the restaurant as we indulge in a meal that harmoniously blends local cuisine with the estate's wines. After lunch, we enjoy an informative olive oil tasting at Lagar do Marmelo, where you can savor the delicate nuances and rich flavors that define Portuguese olive oil.
The Flavors of Legacy
Today in Évora, embrace time on your own to explore the charming city, wandering its cobblestone streets and leafy parks and diving into its rich history. Visit the Roman Temple of Évora, the Sé Cathedral, or the hauntingly beautiful Chapel of Bones. Reconvene for an evening at Cavalariça, an enchanting courtyard restaurant that blends the past with the present, where the elegance of the palace's original architecture intertwines with modern design. Delight in a menu that reflects this fusion, offering innovative culinary creations alongside nods to Portuguese tradition, promising a dining experience that honors both heritage and innovation in every flavorful bite.
Today we venture to the nearby town of Estremoz for the Saturday Antiques Market, popular with locals and visitors alike. It offers a delightful array of local produce, art, and treasures from bygone eras. Then it's off to our favorite tile museum, the Berardo Collection. Here our guide will unveil the artistry of the colorful tiles that are such a part of Portugal's cultural heritage, complemented by a tantalizing tasting in the museum from Bacalhoa winery. Lunch at one of the acclaimed local restaurants is followed by a special treat: our friends have invited us for a Blind Wine Tasting at their beautiful Alentejo country home.
A visit to the Alentejo is not complete without a stop at Herdade do Esporão, a testament to excellence in both quantity and quality. Our cafe lunch is a streamlined experience with all the great food of the Michelin-Star kitchen without the four-hour commitment! Our adventure reaches new heights at São Lourenço de Barrocal, where the thrill of a hot air balloon ride offers a breathtaking perspective of the Alentejo landscape, painting an aerial canvas of vineyards and rolling hills. We'll culminate our day with a golden-hour toast: one more chance to savor local wines against this picturesque backdrop.
The Traveler's Table
Évora to Guimarães
Today we bid farewell to beautiful Évora, embarking on a journey toward the historic city of Guimarães in the north of Portugal. En route, a reverent pause at Fátima offers a moment of contemplation and reverence at this renowned religious site, crowned by the Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity. Our journey continues, weaving through picturesque landscapes, with a delightful stop for a group lunch featuring the famous Leitão (suckling pig) paired with the Portuguese sparkling wine famous in the Bairrada region. Arriving in Guimarães, we'll check-in at the charming Hotel da Oliveira, setting the stage for a stay filled with comfort and historical ambiance.
A guided walking tour will acquaint us with our new host city, showcasing architectural projects like the Teatro Jordão and the Estacionamento Camões nestled in this UNESCO World Heritage site. Your day is free to investigate cultural landmarks old and new, including the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança, where you will be transported to a bygone era of aristocratic luxury or the José de Guimarães International Art Center that beckons you with its avant-garde exhibitions and architectural simplicity. The group will meet for dinner at Restaurante 34 for an unforgettable gastronomic journey while embracing rich heritage and contemporary allure.
The Douro Valley unveils a diversity of design experiences and inspirations. Our first visit is to Quinta do Portal, a masterpiece by the renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, where you will see his visionary design in action. In Pinhão, our lunch at a rustic riverside restaurant promises a feast of local flavors and river views. We'll relax on a serene Rabelo Boat trip along the Douro River, showcasing the valley's breathtaking scenery from a unique perspective. Our visit to Quinta da Faísca, hidden in the hills 501 meters above the Douro River, adds another dimension to this day of discovery. In this "secret spot," the artistry of wine and architecture intertwines with nature's magnificence.
The day's itinerary leads us to the noble city of Braga. We start with a visit to the Municipal Stadium envisioned by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. This captivating structure highlights innovative design defined by its sporting functionality. Enjoy lunch in the city center and an afternoon of free time. Braga's picturesque streets, squares, and gardens, coupled with its lively atmosphere, invite exploration at your leisure. We return to Guimarães for a relaxing evening and a convivial group dinner.
Today we head into the heart of the Minho Region, where the day is dedicated to exploring the famous Vinho Verde wine. A visit to Vila Nova de Famalicão and its Mercado Municipal promises a plethora of culinary delights and local produce, and an opportunity for a personalized lunch experience. Returning to Guimarães, the afternoon offers leisure and freedom to explore the city's charming streets, immerse yourself in historical treasures, or simply unwind. Meet up for a friendly dinner, sharing stories and discoveries of old-world charm and modern innovation, the essence of Guimarães.
We culminate our journey together with a trip to the outskirts of Porto. Our morning includes a stop at the Casa da Musica, the contemporary icon by Rem Koolhaas, showcasing Porto's modern artistic spirit. Continuing to the coast, we revisit the architectural genius of Álvaro Siza Vieira. Here, the Piscina das Marés exhibits a mastery that transcends time and trends. Our final group meal unfolds at Siza's magnum opus, Michelin-Star Restaurant Casa de Chá da Boa Nova. Prepare yourself for an unparalleled journey of innovation through design and gastronomy! After lunch, choose your drop-off location: the Serralves Museum, to delve deeper into art and culture; direct to the post-tour hotel in downtown Porto; or the São Bento Train Station to continue your exploration of Portugal!