Graham's Port Lodge
Douro region, Portugal
Red, white and rosé wines
The city of Porto is two cities in one. Split by the River Douro, the north bank is home to the city of Porto proper, while on the south bank is Vila Nova de Gaia. It is here in the 'new town' that the great Port producers had their 'lodges', where the wines they made upriver in the Douro Valley would be bought to age in the cooler conditions near the coast, close to the Atlantic Ocean. Today, these lodges fulfil a dual role, continuing to be a space for the storage and ageing of premium Port wines and also as visitor centres where curious wine lovers can learn all there is to know about the history of Port and the intricacies of its production from vine to bottle and the people who make them. Built on the hill above Vila Nova de Gaia in 1890, Graham's historic lodge commands spectacular views of the twin cities and the river gorge that separates them.
The tour begins with an introduction to Graham's vineyards further up the valley. Part of the B Corp-certified Symington Group, Graham's combines traditional and sustainable methods with cutting-edge viticultural and vinification techniques to ensure the utmost quality of the wines that will eventually make their way down to the lodge for ageing. The experienced guide then takes you into the lodge itself, where, between the ancient wooden beams and earthen floor, all of Graham's Port wines are aged in either wooden cask or barrel. Through the museum, ageing room and Vintage cellar – which holds wines dating from the 19th century – the tour ends in the tasting room with its spectacular views or in the grandeur of the Vintage Room. A visit doesn't have to end there either. Continue to drink in the views with a white Port & tonic and light refreshment on the terrace before heading into the restaurant Vinum. Here you can dine on the full spectrum of Portugal's rich culinary heritage, with fresh fish served every day, a selection of meats cooked on the grill, seasonal vegetables and decadent pastries, all served alongside fortified and table wines from the family-run company's estates across Portugal.
For those looking to experience the magnificence of the Douro Valley and its wines, Graham's Lodge offers an unforgettable introduction that will send you head over heels in love with this magical destination.