Porto’s Port wine cellars

After our walking tour of Porto, next on the itinerary was touring the Port wine cellars across the river. Now that I knew my luggage was (allegedly) on its way, I could drink enjoyably instead of drinking myself into oblivion.

Boats sailing in barrels of Port wine to the cellars

We walked down to the riverside (past the Ribeira houses and street vendors selling cute Portuguese crafts and foods) and towards the bridge. You can cross the Dom Luis bridge on two levels – either the lower one or the higher one. The higher level is way up there, and our first night in Porto we thought we’d like to explore it, but it was really high, so we stuck to the lower level. Plus, that would get us to the cellars faster.

Sandeman Port wine cellars

We took a tour of the Sandeman Port wine cellars and learned some facts:

  • Port wine is always produced in the Porto region
  • There are three types of Port wine: white, ruby and tawny
  • Vintage Port wines actually age in the bottle (as opposed to just the casks)
  • Port wine is stopped in the fermentation process, which is what makes it so sweet

Although, to be honest, I found the history of Sandeman’s advertising and branding to be almost more interesting.

A Sandeman billboard in Porto, featuring the brand's icon - a cloaked figure

Either way, we got a tasting at the end. Unfortunately, we only got one glass of white wine and one of tawny, and of course I was most looking forward to trying the ruby. But learning about Port wine does kind of make me want to host a Port & cheese/nuts party.

After the Sandeman cellars, we took advantage of two free cellars: Croft and Offley.

Finally, it was time for me to pick up my luggage from the hotel. I’ve never been so happy to lug around that heavy backpack! And, most importantly, I was reunited with my tulip slippers.


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