Porto and Northern Portugal, September 19-27, 2020

Porto and Northern Portugal
Food and Wine Spectacular
September 19-27, 2020

angela_harvest_portugal

Angela Kallsen and her freshly cut Touriga Nacional grapes, 2016 harvest during The Flying Grape Harvest tour.


On the evening of Saturday, September 19th, 2020, a small band of wine lovers will gather at Catavino The Lab, in the heart of old Porto, to kick off what will be one of the top educational food and wine tours of Northern Portugal you can possibly imagine
… and we invite you to join us!

OVERVIEW:

  • Trip leader: Ryan Opaz of Catavino. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan and his wife moved to Spain and Portugal over ten years ago and are leaders in Portuguese wine education and tourism. You couldn’t be in better hands!
  • 1 Night at Hotel Cristal in Twin Standard Room with breakfast included
  • 3 Nights at Delfim Douro in Double Standard Room with breakfast included
  • 4 Nights at Porto Bridges in Double Standard Room with breakfast included
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Minibus at disposal as per itinerary
  • 6 dinners at local restaurants (pre-set menu with wines), 1 with special guest
  • 5 Winery visits with premium wine tastings, 4 with lunch
  • 1 Port wine cellar visit with premium wine tasting and lunch
  • Private Cooking class with lunch
  • Private walking Food Tour in Porto
  • Private visit with tea tasting at Cantinho das Aromáticas
  • Catavino’s expert coordination and support
  • Welcome information packet, restaurant recommendations, Catavino’s 24-hour contact number.

Price: 4300 Euro per person, based on double occupancy, based on 10 to 12 participants.

1/18/2020 update: trip is SOLD OUT

Registration for the Northern Portugal Spectacular 2020

Private lunches and dinners with legendary winemakers!

Private lunches and dinners with legendary winemakers!

Led by Ryan Opaz of Catavino.net, this amazing journey will cover the food and wine of Northern Portugal like no other, and give participants a lifetime of knowledge and memories while traveling in style and comfort.

Our "legs on the ground" in Portugal, Ryan Opaz. He'll be with us every step of the way as educator, translator, and organizer.

Our “boots on the ground” in Portugal, Ryan Opaz. He’ll be with you every step of the way as an educator, translator, and organizer.

Testimonials from previous Portugal wine tours

“Ryan’s broad knowledge of wines and the winemaking process combined with his infectious enthusiasm adds invaluable depth to the winery visits and the wine travel experience.”
 
“Wow, you did it! You promised this would be a great experience, and it was. The people, the food & wine, the wineries & vineyards, the views, the itinerary…exceptional!”
 
“They delivered more than promised on this wine tour. It was a wine education and a food extravaganza that would be hard to top.”
Get ready for some of the best food of your life!

Get ready for some of the best seafood in the world! Simply prepared, explosive flavor, and as fresh as can be.

If you are into food, wine, history, and culture you don’t want to miss out on the Northern Portugal Food and Wine Spectacular 2020 tour!

In depth educational presentations every day!

In-depth educational presentations every day!


The top trip available to Northern Portugal for lovers of food and wine

Registration for the Northern Portugal Spectacular 2020

*** DETAILS ***

DAY ONE: Saturday, 19 September 2020
PORTO

Dining on the Douro River in Porto.

Dining on the Douro River in Porto.

Arrive at Porto International Airport.

  • Meet private English-speaking driver outside customs and leave towards the hotel in Porto – one per couple.
  • Arrival and check-in at a 4-star hotel located in the city center.
  • Walk 10 minutes to Catavino Lab, an artisanal tasting room located in the heart of historic Porto. Designed to be an open and dynamic space to explore flavor in all its forms, our tastings are fully customized to meet the specific needs of every client. From the essence of Biodynamic wines to exploring Portuguese history in a glass, we invite you to share in this exciting experience! Wine tasting and light dinner will be served at The Lab.
Old port barrels in storage in the lodges of Villa Nova di Gaia.

Port barrels in storage in the lodges of Villa Nova di Gaia.

View of old Porto from Villa Nova di Gaia, the location of the first night's dinner.

View of old Porto from Villa Nova di Gaia.

DAY TWO: Sunday, 20th September 2020
Vinho Verde

Depart Porto and head to Vinho Verde!

Vinho Verde is the biggest DOC of Portugal, up in the cool, rainy, verdant northwest. The vines grow in fertile, granite soils along rivers that flow from the mountains of the east to burst out into the ocean between golden surfing beaches.

Cool, wet weather always makes ripening more difficult, but the climatic problems were long compounded in the region by the tradition of training vines along pergolas on the edges of fields, and sometimes up trees, in order to gain space and free up the center of fields for other crops.

  • Check out the hotel in Porto. Meet your wine guide, Ryan Opaz, at the hotel lobby and leave towards the Douro Valley.
  • Arrive at Quinta da Covela, a boutique winery located on a beautiful estate in the Vinho Verde region, between Douro and Minho. It is situated in the geological transition between granite and schist, in a south-facing amphitheater on the river’s right-bank. The estate covers 34 hectares, where 14 are vineyards. The wines produced include not only some of the greatest whites in Portugal but also rosés and award-winning reds. Lunch is included.
  • Arrive and check-in at your 4-star hotel in Régua. Perched on a mountain top with panoramic views, this hotel offers luxury accommodation with private balconies overlooking the Douro River.
  • Dinner will be served at the hotel restaurant. A special guest will select some of his best wines for your dinner at the hotel restaurant (pre-set menu with wines).
The best seafood in Europe!

Octopus abounds!

DAY THREE: Monday, 21st September 2020
The Douro

Long famous as the source of port wine, the Douro is now also renowned for its fine, rich unfortified wines, both red and white. This is one of the wildest, most mountainous and rugged wine regions of Portugal, cut through in deep twists and turns by the River Douro. Defying gravity on the steep slopes along the banks of the river and its tributaries, the vines are planted in poor, schistous soils.

  • Meet your private bus driver and wine guide in the lobby.
  • Leave towards S. João da Pesqueira. Friends of ours for many years, Oscar will show us around his family estate and give us another glimpse into the winemaking process of the Douro. Including a chance to get your purple foot club badge.
Oscar Quevedo, our winemaker guest for dinner the first night in the Douro.

Oscar Quevedo, our guest winery owner for the first day in the Douro.

  • Head to Quevedo’s Quinta D’Agodinho and savor lamb and octopus on the grill while basking in the vineyards! Make sure you have your swimsuit with you if you want to take a dip in the Douro this day!
  • Leave towards Ervedosa do Douro.
  • Now is the time we put you to work. Make sure to have shorts or a suit that you don’t mind getting dirty. We’ll be climbing in a lagar, more info on that soon!
  • Leave towards Restaurant/private venue
  • BBQ dinner with Douro flavours at a private outside venue (if the weather permits) or the Restaurant.
  • Depart to hotel. Arrival and drop-off.

Note: For this day bring comfortable clothes, shorts, and walking shoes. Also, pack a change of clothes and a swimming suit. We will be out all day today and will not have the chance to get back to the hotel before dinner.

The view from your private balcony at Hotel Delfim in the Douro Valley.

The view from your private balcony at Hotel Delfim in the Douro Valley.

DAY FOUR: Tuesday, 22nd September 2020
Douro Valley continues

  • Meet your bus driver and Ryan Opaz in the lobby.
  • Start your day with a private Cooking Class, beginning with an informal tour with a Countess. Her estate, filled with olive groves, cherry trees, and organic gardens will provide you with ample ingredients to use in your meal. The Countess employs a traditional approach to cooking, combined with a taste for simple yet deliciously rich ingredients, to showcase the most authentic regional cuisine. At the conclusion of the cooking lesson, lunch will be served in the elegant dining room, or al fresco on the patio, where you will enjoy the dishes you have helped to prepare. Lunch is included.
  • Depart towards the hotel after lunch. Time to relax.
  • Around 7:30 pm meet bus driver and Ryan Opaz in the lobby and leave towards Régua.
  • Located inside an old wooden warehouse that once belonged to the local railway station, this completely remodeled interior makes for a cozy, intimate experience. Enjoy pleasantly updated traditional cuisine accompanied by an excellent wine list presented to guests on an iPad.
  • Transfers back to the hotel by taxi (included).
Get ready for the incredible scenery of the Douro Valley!

Get ready for the incredible scenery of the Douro Valley!

DAY FIVE: Wednesday, 23rd September 2020
Douro, Dao, Bairrada

  • Check out of the hotel in the Douro Valley. Meet your bus driver and Ryan Opaz in the lobby and leave towards Porto.
  • Today we visit a family-owned winery currently run by the charming and enthusiastic Luis Lourenço, Quinta dos Roques, one of three properties owned by the family, all planted with grape varieties indigenous to the Dao region. Quinta dos Roques itself lies about 10km south of Mangualde and the name comes from the family name, Roques de Oliveira. Luis was the son-in-law embraced by the family to the extent that he gave up his former life as a maths teacher to make wine on the family property. They purchased a second property, Quinta das Maias, in 1997, at around 600 meters above sea level and its unique position allows farming without herbicides or pesticides.
  • After lunch, your tour continues to the Bairrada Wine Region, for a visit and wine tasting at Vadio Winery, a project from the couple Luís Patrão and Eduarda Dias. Born in Bairrada, Luís divides his time between Vadio and Alentejo, where he worked for 13 years at Herdade do Esporão, and is currently the winemaking director at Herdade de Coelheiros. Eduarda, a Brazilian from Pernambuco and granddaughter of a Portuguese from Dão, has lived in Portugal for 11 years and runs the daily life of the small family business. The visit will let you see how a small operation can make stunning wines while respecting the land and local culture.
  • At the end of the afternoon, your driver will take you to Porto. Arrive and check into a 4-star hotel in Porto. Night off.
Angela enjoying duck rice, a Portuguese specialty.

Angela enjoying duck rice, a Portuguese specialty.

DAY SIX: Thursday, 24th September 2020
Porto

  • Morning walking Porto Food tour. You’ll be taken to several tasting locations to enjoy ten traditional and iconic Portuguese foods. You will also learn about the families and history behind each of the restaurants, cafes, and specialty food shops that you’ll visit. In between tastings, you will hear about the history, architecture and culture while you walk the streets of Porto. The Food Tour itself will be enough for lunch, but if you’re keen for something more substantial, see below Porto’s restaurant suggestions.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Dinner at a Portuguese family home: Visiting far off lands is always exciting! The sights and smells of a new country allow us to step out of our norm and create new memories, but rarely can we step into a family’s home and share their everyday life. Tonight, you will have the opportunity to not only join a Portuguese family for dinner, but you’ll learn invaluable tips on how to create a traditional meal, an in-depth understanding as to the richness of the Portuguese culture, and most importantly, why the Portuguese are known as insatiable eaters! With a full wine glass and a never-ending buffet of food, savor a very unique experience. Transportation is included.
Traffic jam in the Portuguese countryside!

Traffic jam in the Portuguese countryside!

Group lunches and dinner with new friends and amazing food!

Group lunches and dinner with new friends and amazing food!


DAY SEVEN: Friday, 25th September 2020
Porto

  • Meet private driver and wine guide at the hotel lobby and leave towards Monção.
  • Arrive and enjoy a private visit with premium wine tasting and lunch at a Quinta de Santiago. This winery offers very special and unique wines, made with passion and high quality using a very traditional method, and applying all the knowledge transmitted from their grand-mother. Have a limited production and with single varietal Alvarinho. Wines are exclusively and 100% made of their own grapes.
  • After lunch, you will return back to Porto with an optional stop Ponte de Lima for a stroll on the city.
  • Arrive at Porto at the end of the afternoon.
  • Night off.
Sunset view from old town Porto.

Sunset view from old town Porto.

DAY EIGHT: Saturday, 26th September 2020
Porto

  • During the morning enjoy a visit at an organic farm near Porto (a true oasis just 10 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city center). Cantinho das Aromáticas is an agricultural company whose main purpose is the production, drying, packaging and commercialization of dried aromatic herbs, produced in Organic Agriculture. From seeds to potted plants, you will find a wide variety of herbs.
  • Enjoy a private visit of an independent family-owned business, managed by the Poças family since its foundation in 1918. Before your premium tasting of Tawny Port in their newly built tasting room, experience the unforgettable smell of a Port Wine Cellar where you’ll learn everything about Port wine’s history and culture. Lunch will be served at the Port Lodge.
  • After lunch, you can choose to return to your hotel by bus or be on your own to explore more of Gaia Port Lodges.
  • This evening we’ll head to dinner for a seafood fest at O Gaveto! This family-owned restaurant is an icon in the city, not only for its wine list but for its divinely fresh fish. From the minute you walk in the door, you’re encountered with trays of the days fresh fish while being served heaps of seafood, from stuffed rock crab, tiny orange shrimp from the coast of Portugal; and gooseneck barnacles. Combined with their outstanding service, it’s a food lover’s dream! (Pre-set menu with wines).
seafood_ogaveto_portugal

A seafood feast awaits at O Gaveto!

DAY NINE: Sunday, 27th September 2020
Return home

  • Meet your private driver at the lobby and leave towards Porto International Airport – 1 per couple.
  • Flight back home.

***

FIVE REASONS TO CONSIDER JOINING THE FLYING GRAPE’S NORTHERN PORTUGAL FOOD AND WINE SPECTACULAR TOUR 2020

1) Strength of the dollar against the Euro.
See the graph below to understand the value of the dollar against the Euro at this moment. A tour such as this would have cost thousands of dollars more just a few short years ago. There hasn’t been a better time in almost twenty years to travel to Europe!

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 8.11.25 AM

2) Small group tour with an educational focus.
The group will be capped at twelve participants plus the guide (Ryan Opaz). This size is perfect for wine touring, being large enough to have a great time but small enough to get into intimate restaurants and wineries. It’s small enough to make great new friends but big enough to have your own personal space.

The goals of the trip are of course to have an amazing time, to enjoy incredible meals, and to develop a lifetime of memories. But as you can imagine, being organized by The Flying Grape we are also there to LEARN. Particular focus will be put on wine education during every step, helping you grow as a wine lover and understanding deeply the culture of wine and food in Portugal.

3) Some of the best food you can possibly imagine.
There will be fancy meals. There will be simple meals. There will be street food. There will be lots (and lots) (and lots) of delicious Portuguese coffee and pastries. I guarantee this will be one of the top gastronomic journeys you will ever experience.

4) Traveling with a local expert the whole way.
Ryan Opaz is a force in the European wine community. Featured in Decanter magazine in 2011, he is one of the most sought after wine speakers and has traveled to almost every country in western Europe to judge, speak, present, or educate. We are lucky to be able to have him to ourselves for a week, and as a resident of Portugal, he will guide us through communication and logistics.

5) The views, the people, the history, and the love that is Portugal
Please see some of my favorite posts on Catavino.net to gain a sense of this special place:

Move over Paris: Porto is the New Gastronomic Grand Dame of Europe
Portugal: A Gourmet Traveler’s Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Ordering Coffee In Portugal

and one of my favorites of all time:
The Undiscovered Inland Cuisine of Portugal (“bacon is butter here”)

Raising a glass in Portugal! October 2016 tour.

Raising a glass in Portugal! October 2016 tour.

Pricing for Northern Portugal Food and Wine Spectacular 2020

All pricing based on double occupancy.
All reservations and payments co-ordinated through CATAVINO.

Price per person
based on 10-12 people participating

4.300.00€ (cost in euros, approximately $4790 USD)

Single supplement: 900.00€

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Included

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  • 1 Night at Hotel Cristal in Twin Standard Room with breakfast included
  • 3 Nights at Delfim Douro in Double Standard Room with breakfast included
  • 4 Nights at Porto Bridges in Double Standard Room with breakfast included
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Minibus at disposal as per itinerary
  • Expert Wine Guide, Ryan Opaz, at disposal as per itinerary
  • 6 dinners at local restaurants (pre-set menu with wines), 1 with special guest
  • 5 Winery visits with premium wine tastings, 4 with lunch
  • 1 Port wine cellar visit with premium wine tasting and lunch
  • Private Cooking class with lunch
  • Private walking Food Tour in Porto
  • Private visit with tea tasting at Cantinho das Aromáticas
  • Catavino’s expert coordination and support
  • A welcome information packet, restaurant recommendations, our 24-hour contact number.

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Not included

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  • Lisbon Touristic Taxes (2€ per person per night, paid directly to the hotel at the end of your stay)
  • Porto Touristic Taxes (2€ per person per night, paid directly to the hotel at the end of your stay)
  • Personal Expenses

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Payment Conditions

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  • UPON CONFIRMATION: 500€ per person will be paid within 3 working days of the issuing invoice date
  • 6 MONTHS PRIOR ARRIVAL: 1500€ per person will be paid within 3 working days of the issuing invoice date
  • 2 MONTHS PRIOR ARRIVAL: remaining value + upgrades, extras and supplements will be paid within 3 working days of the issuing invoice date
  • Client will assume any and all bank fees associated by a bank transfer
  • CATAVINO may cancel the booking if payment is not received according to the present terms

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Cancellation Fee

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  • Installments are non-refundable
  • Notice of any cancellation must be received in writing and any fee assessed is due 15 (fifteen) days after issuing of the invoice
  • Any additional service(s) or/and space(s) confirmed after the signature of this agreement will be used for calculation of the fee for full or partial cancellation

READY TO GO TO PORTUGAL?

Registration for the Northern Portugal Spectacular 2020