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While there are many great reasons to visit the beautiful city of Porto, port tasting is a must-do. The city’s position at the mouth of the Douro River has made it the home of dozens of the best port houses. The grapes are grown upriver in the Douro Valley. The Douro is worthy of a visit itself in order to see the terraced land & the annual harvesting by hand of 120 unique grape varieties each September. My guide to port tasting in Porto will help you find the best port cellars to visit since the number of choices can be overwhelming. Here you will find the best port houses in Porto, along with port tours & port wine tasting tips to help you get the most out of your experience.
Most of Porto’s port scene is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is on the south side of the Douro. Here you will find blocks of port houses, with their branded signs identifying each building. In addition to the port lodges, there are also plenty of liquor stores and other bars where you can purchase port. Gaia is easy to get to by walking or taking public transportation over Ponte Luis I, Porto’s iconic bridge. You can also book port tours to make your experience wine tasting in Porto even easier.
Below you will find my guide to port tasting in Porto. During my visits, I have tried to get to as many different port houses as I can. On those visits, I’ve learned these port-tasting tips that I hope will be helpful during your trip.
Porto Port Tasting Tips
Book tours ahead of time: Many of the larger port houses in Porto only allow tours and tastings on a set schedule. You can’t just show up and taste port, but rather you must go on port wine cellar tours first. If you want an English tour, you may have to plan ahead even more. Unfortunately, those who want to casually wander from place to place drinking port may find themselves disappointed.
However, there are still some options for casual port wine tasting in Porto. I have noted a few port houses in particular that are more friendly to drop-in port tastings & where full tours are not required. If planning out your own schedule isn’t your thing, you may be interested in one of these port tours in Porto.Book your hotel in Porto now!
Be adventurous: It’s tempting to tour port houses from companies you are familiar with, such as Sandeman’s, Cockburn’s, Graham’s, and Taylor’s. However, if you’ve traveled all the way to Porto to go port wine tasting, why not focus on brands you can’t easily get back home?
At the very least, mix things up, as the smaller port makers offer more intimate experiences. There are plenty of signs & maps scattered throughout Gaia, so don’t be afraid to get lost while trying to find your new favorite port. I have roughly listed these in order of which port houses are my favorites, but everyone will have different preferences. Some of the best port wine cellars in Porto are the smallest ones!
Be flexible: The schedules for port wineries in Porto are more limited than you might expect. Don’t visit thinking you’ll be able to have late nights out tasting port. You’ll have to go to regular wine bars if you want to do that. Instead, get ready to do some day drinking (yay!). This is one other reason why booking winery tours in Porto is a good idea.
Drink water & eat food: One last tip for visiting the best port houses in Porto: eat plenty of good food & stay hydrated. Port is stronger than wine, so you will feel the effects of your port drinking sooner. There are plenty of great snacks around. Be sure to take advantage of food both at the port cellars as well as at the kiosks lining the Douro.
I particularly recommend the amusingly-named “farturas”, which are fried dough with a creamy filling inside. I also recommend Gelados de Portugal, which offers unique local flavors such as pastel de nata, Madeira banana, chestnut, and port. For an entertaining food experience that also includes port, head to Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau. The quirky spot has live organ music, plus food & port pairings. Try the pastry with bacalao and cheese along with a glass of white port!
Get an even deeper port experience at the actual wineries: The port cellars in Porto are only the last step of the journey from grape to glass. Port production actually takes place at the Douro Valley wineries, not far from Porto. These port wineries are popular day trips from Porto. Book a Douro Valley day trip with port winery visits & river cruises here.
The Best Port Houses for Port Tasting in Porto, Portugal
Kopke Port House
Kopke Port House (website) is the oldest port house in Porto, having opened in 1638. Unlike some port houses, there are no tours at Kopke. What you will instead find is a small, intimate port tasting room. It’s easy to overlook it given some of the massive port makers that are located in Cais de Gaia, but don’t miss it. There are only a few tables, so it can be difficult to get in. If you do, you’ll have one of the finest experiences of port wine tasting in Porto.
Kopke Wine House lets you select what you would like to taste from its expansive tasting menu. If you want to try their basic ports, you can, or you can venture into rarer, more expensive varieties. The port is also paired with chocolates.
I had their 10-year White, their Late Bottle Vintage (LBV) 2012, and their 10-year Tawny. The pours were generous, and the wine tasting room is the most relaxing in Porto. When other places are crowded, it somehow remains still super chill. Don’t overlook Kopke.
Vinhos Quinta Do Noval
Vinhos Quinta Do Noval (website) is also located along the Douro River, just a few doors down from Kopke. They have been in operation since 1715. Like Kopke, it’s another Porto port house that has no tour, only tastings, making it a great drop-in option.
Vinhos Quinta Do Noval offers flights that are a solid value over individual pours. On my first visit, I opted for a flight of five different ports, including a 20-year Tawny, for €25.30. The Tawny alone retails for around €70 per bottle. It was one of the best ports I’ve ever had. I also particularly enjoyed the Colheita 2003.
The server was also knowledgeable & took plenty of time to answer my questions. In particular, I was curious about why white port is not common in the United States. He said that Americans know port as red, so that’s why we generally only see ruby & tawny ports except in specialty shops.
On a subsequent visit, I sat on the lovely Quinta Do Noval patio and enjoyed a full port tasting & wine pairing with friends. It remains one of my favorite wine bars in Porto.
Espaço Porto Cruz
Espaço Porto Cruz (website) has a regular port wine tasting room, but that’s not the reason why I enjoyed it so much. The primary reason for going to Porto Cruz is to take advantage of their rooftop bar on the 4th floor, which has 360-degree views above Gaia & across the Douro.
The bar specializes in port cocktails, which is another experience you are less likely to have had while drinking port elsewhere. In most places, port is a dessert drink that is savored, but it’s actually quite versatile in cocktails. The rooftop drinks are especially delicious on a warm day.
Get to Espaço Porto Cruz in the late afternoon, claim some space, and then enjoy the magnificent views of the sunset over Porto. There’s no better view, aside from perhaps from Ponte Luís I. It’s a great place to go to end your day of port tasting in Porto, perhaps after a Douro cruise. You can find great Douro cruise & port tour options here.
Cálem (website) is the closest port house to the bridge after Burmester. It’s also one of the “newer” ones, having opened in 1859. Their port wine tours in Porto run somewhat differently, as you start with a museum visit, then 30 minutes later the tour begins. You really won’t need 30 minutes to get through the museum, so if you’ve booked ahead, you’ve got some leeway.
The museum includes information about what makes the land of the Douro Valley special. This isn’t specific to their port, but each port lodge’s tour & museum covers slightly different topics. This is nice since you’ll potentially be seeing several of them while port tasting in Porto. The overall gist of the process is the same, but some focus on the terroir & broader history of port, while others focus on their own company’s history. In the case of Cálem, there is also a pretty display of the colors of the port aging process. The museum also discusses the British origins of the port industry. It was created to prevent spoiling after the British could no longer import French wine, but still wanted to drink.
The tasting includes a Fine White and a Tawny Special Reserve. Both were healthy, tasty pours. Uniquely, Cálem also has a Rose port. If you haven’t experienced White port, you certainly haven’t tasted Rose.
Quevedo Port Wine
Quevedo Port Wine (website) is great for several reasons. Notably, no reservations are necessary for their port wine tastings, plus they are also open a bit later than the other port cellars in Porto.
The port lodge was formerly a cooperage that made barrels and casks for Vila Nova de Gaia’s port houses. While now having been refurbished as a tasting room, its history goes back some 200 years.
The winery offers a variety of tastings as well as workshops. In addition to wine flights with different pricing levels from classic to legendary, Quevedo also has blind tastings for those who are looking to learn even more about the port.
In addition to the port wine tastings, there are cheese and chocolate pairings, plus other snacks.
I opted for the cheese & port combo since it offered a couple of nice older ports including a Colheita 2002 Single Harvest and a 30-year white, plus some delicious local cheeses.
The Quevedo Port Wine tasting room is a lovely spacious upstairs place with a variety of tables, including some barrels that overlook the churchyard across the street. Thanks to not being on the Douro, it’s one of the most relaxing places for port tasting in Porto.
Quinta dos Corvos
Quinta dos Corvos (website) is a small, family-run port winery in Porto that has been in operation for over 150 years. Unlike some of the port houses that are owned by foreign conglomerates, Quinta dos Corvos is entirely Portuguese-owned. All of their wine comes from just 25 hectares in the Douro Valley.
Stepping into Quinta dos Corvos genuinely feels like it’s a family operation rather than a corporate space. Visitors can walk in for a port tasting at any time, with tours also scheduled. Quinta dos Corvos means “Estate of Crows” in Portuguese. If the combination of wine & crows doesn’t immediately get you thinking of Schitt’s Creek, you need to watch the show.
Their 20-year white port was phenomenal, with rich, complex flavors. It was one of the nicest white ports I’ve ever had. The intensely-flavored 40+ year tawny port was also excellent.
The Quinta dos Corvos port tasting room & cellar was located in a stone building with pretty wood beams, but that space is now occupied by Quinta Do Bom Dia following Qunita dos Corvos’ move to another nearby building in 2023.
Rodrigo’s Port Wine Shop (Quinta do Portal)
Rodrigo’s Port Wine Shop (website) is located on a side street with other wine bars & port houses, including Quinta dos Corvos & Porto Augusto’s. As a result, it also tends to be quieter.
Rodrigo’s is another place where you don’t need a reservation to go port tasting, making it another option for last-minute visitors. It’s not a port cellar but rather a wine bar. It’s also the best value for port in Porto.
Visitors who are on a budget will enjoy Rodrigo’s and Quinta do Portal. In addition to several different port flights, they offer glasses of port for as little as €1. Or you can also get all the way up to a 40-year tawny port for a lot more.
The quality of a €1 glass of port might not match that of other places for wine tasting in Porto, but you can’t beat that price. It’s a nice place to go if you’re not sure if you will like port, but want to give it a shot for a low investment.
Rodrigo’s Port Wine Shop (Quinta do Portal) has patio tables lining the street, so you can sit outside while enjoying some port with cheese, charcuterie, and other snacks.
Porto Augusto’s (website) is the newest port winery in Porto. It’s a small, family-owned port house in a cozy old stone building with a wood roof. The company was started in 2014, but the family has long experience in the port industry. It’s one of the few 100% Portuguese port brands.
Porto Augusto’s produces around 35-40k bottles per year from their two Douro vineyards. Their wines are sold only at their port cellar or on their website. Other port makers can produce that in a single day.
They offer a few tours & port tastings per day, so booking ahead is essential. The visit includes a 20-minute tour. The tour starts in a waiting room with giant cork seats, then goes through their small cellar with French oak barrels. They also show an intro video showing the harvest & production process of port, including foot stomping. Other port tours in Porto typically don’t show videos.
The tour was followed by a tasting of 2 wines (which actually was 4 wines on my visit, as they did half pours of 4 different bottles – a fine white & a fine tawny, followed by a reserve white & a reserve tawny).
Graham’s Port Lodge
Graham’s Port Lodge (website) is the furthest of the port wineries in Porto away from the main group on the south side of the Douro River. However, it’s still worth making the trek to. If you stay up in the hills, it’s a pleasant walk in an area with little traffic, aside from the workers at the port houses & local residents.
As for the lodge itself, it’s a huge property, which will impact your thoughts about it positively or negatively. It has the usual tastings & tours you’d expect at Graham’s 1890 Lodge, however, Graham’s now requires reservations ahead of time. Book Graham’s port tours & tastings here
That doesn’t mean you can’t drop in for some port & food. There is also a restaurant & bar called Vinum on site. When I visited at 2:30 pm, the tables were all filled with tour groups. However, there was still plenty of space in the bar. It was only on my way out that I found out that I could have also sat on their huge patio overlooking the city.
Graham’s had the best food & port combinations I tried in Porto. First, I had tuna from the Azores in a soy & sesame sauce along with a fantastic Quinta Dos Maldevos Vintage 2004. Next, I had a selection of cheese with Graham’s 20-Year-Old Tawny.
Founded in 1880, Ramos Pinto (website) is one of the newer port houses in Porto. The tour includes a museum, then a visit to their cellars. The museum focuses heavily on the history of the company, with unique views of its old office interiors. Founder Adriano Ramos loved women, so he included them in the marketing of the port. Any sort of marketing was actually groundbreaking, as Ramos Pinto was the first to do this. If you pay close attention, you can catch a glimpse of a Ramos Pinto port poster in some episodes of “Friends”. It’s on a wall in Monica’s apartment. Ramos Pinto was also the first port maker to export to Brazil.
Ramos Pinto was where I tried my first white port. The port wine tasting included one glass of white, and one glass of tawny.
Taylor’s Port Winery
Taylor’s (website) opened in 1692 & is one of the largest port makers in the world, so, unsurprisingly, their visitor’s center is one of the largest & most polished. They offer a self-guided audio tour, which means you can skip the parts of it that you’ve already learned about elsewhere.
The tour includes two port tastings, but you can purchase additional pours. Taylor’s is near the World of Wine (WOW Porto), a sprawling cultural district with restaurants, bars, and museums that has rehabilitated large portions of Vila Nova de Gaia.
Fonseca Port Wine Cellars
Fonseca Port Wine Cellars (website) is another Porto wine tour that is self-guided, so there is no need to book ahead. Like Taylor’s, the winery is next to WOW Porto.
The Fonseca port tour is located in a former cellar space. Those who have previously gone on port tours in Porto may recognize the facility as previously having been the home of Offley.
The self-guided tour at Fonseca was reasonably priced and came with a glass of Bin 27 port, which is Fonseca’s reserve brand.
The tour started with talking about the Douro Valley and the vineyards. It then moved on to the port-making process, including displays with equipment used in wine production. Next, the tour showed how the port traveled from the vineyards to the port cellars in Porto.
Next, the tour segues into the styles of port, including a nice, simple display of ruby port vs tawny port & the aging process, along with an aroma experience where you can test your knowledge of guessing various scents in ports.
The final section of the tour tells the history of Fonseca, passing by vats used for aging, along with the history of various bottle labels, including Bin 27.
The Fonseca port winery tour is a quick but thorough overview of all of the elements of port production. If you can’t book a full scheduled tour of one of the other port cellars in Porto, I highly recommend it for learning more about the industry.
After the tour, visitors head up to the House of Fonseca, the winery’s tasting room. In this huge room with vats and barrels, there are displays with information about their vineyards as well as their specific ports, including notable years of their history. This includes Bin 27, with a focus on the history & marketing of it.
The House of Fonseca has beautiful rooms from the windows across the rooftops of Gaia and over the Douro River.
The tour then concludes with a tasting of Bin 27, but wider ranges of port tasting are also available for purchase, along with food. There is actually a side entrance where you can get into the Fonseca tasting room & shop without doing the self-guided tour.
Sandeman (website) is located in the heart of Gaia. It’s the largest port house along this stretch of the waterfront, and as such, it’s one of the most popular Porto wine tours. Its outside bar & patio is a particularly big draw.
When I first visited, Sandeman was being remodeled, and drinks were being served out of a cargo container out front. Despite the remodeling, tours were fully booked well in advance. This cargo container has remained as a port bar that has extended opening hours, providing lovely sunset views of the Douro.
Burmester (website) is the closest port house to the Ponte Luis I.
Their tour & tasting schedule fills quite quickly, so book ahead if you want to visit. Book Burmester tours & tastings here
Cockburn’s Port Lodge
Cockburn’s Port Lodge (website) has recently been renovated. Reservations are required for tours, which you can do on their website. The website also helpfully states, “Please pronounce and drink responsibly.”
Churchill’s is one of the newest port lodges in Portugal, having only opened in 1981 by John Graham. Yes, of that Graham family. Their upscale visitor’s center is along the Douro, just down the hill from Graham’s. They offer tastings, but only with advance booking.
Instituto Dos Vinhos Do Douro e Porto (Porto Wine Institute)
The IVDP (website) functions as sort of a visitor’s center for all of the region’s port. Located in the old centre of Porto, it has an exhibition, bottle shop, and tasting room. While it doesn’t give nearly the same experience as visiting a port house, it’s an option if you cannot make it to any of the Gaia port houses, but still want to go wine tasting in Porto.
Garrafeira Soares – Loja 20
Garrafeira Soares – Loja 20 (website) is a centrally located wine shop in Porto. They have a huge selection of port, making them another convenient place to buy bottles to take home. Garrafiera Soares also has a machine for port tasting. They also have other stores around the country, especially in the Algarve.
As you can see from my list of the best port houses in Porto, my favorites tend to be the smaller operations. I like being able to try port from wineries that are much harder to get back home (or even impossible).
Whether you’re looking to tour larger, more corporate port wineries, or if you want a more intimate visit, there’s something sure to fit your every desire when port tasting in Porto. There’s nowhere else in the world that you can have this experience, so making a trip to Porto for port tasting is a must-do for any aficionado. These port tours are a great way to experience the city.
Looking for a place to stay while drinking port? Here are some Porto hotel options.
Once you’re done with port houses (but really, how could you ever be?), check out these other things to see & do in Porto.