INFOCasa das Pipas
Portal do Concelho, 5060
Sabrosa, Portugal: House wine
Yes, we like to sleep near the alcohol. You got a problem with that?
Better known as wine tourism, staying on the grounds of a winery, distillery, or brewery allows you to learn all kinds of interesting things about the history and creation of your favorite potion. And of course to partake of same.
One of the nicer places to commune with nature and its bounty is on the estate of Quinta do Portal in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. First off, the whole area is beautiful and not spoiled by tourist overcrowding.
Second, this a family-run winery that produces excellent results: Malvasia-based whites, Muscats for dessert, and Tawny ports. The region has not traditionally been known for its reds, yet wineries, including this one, have begun experimenting with red grape varietals and the results have been promising.
Staying at the guest house here (rates start at about $165 dollars a night, breakfast included) is the best way to soak in the landscape (and the pool), soak up the wines (you can visit the winery and its tasting room), and have a fine meal in the restaurant. Service could not be nicer from the beginning to the end of your stay.