Through the Symington’s eyes, a lodge functions not only as a warehouse, but also a perfect incubator where a huge range of different wines can age at the right temperature, humidity and light exposure for long periods of time.
When visiting these cellars, the guests can acknowledge the patience, precision and persistence required to produce such a refined product. By integrating the warehouses into their tours, Symington offers their visitors an intimate experience with the complex wine ecosystem.
The still working cellar, built in 1890, is situated in Vila Nova de Gaia across the river from Porto.
Holding 2,000 pipes (550l barrels), 40 tonels (large vats) and hundreds of ageing wine bottles, this magnificent old warehouse offers the visitors a great insight of Symington family’s and Port wine’s history. After the tour, guests can taste the amazing Graham’s Port in the Main tasting room or in the Vintage space.
For an even more unforgettable journey, the visitors can enjoy lunch or dinner at Vinum, a restaurant with a fabulous view over the Douro river. Vinum was born from the partnership between Symington Family Estates and the SAGARDI group. The distinctive menu is shaped around Symington’s wine list and transpires influence from the North and Atlantic regions of Portugal.
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Vinum is a celebration of the best food that the Trás-os-Montes region, Northern Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean have to offer. Each dish is specially created to be paired with the Douro’s fine wines. Only the best natural ingredients that can be sourced in northern Portugal are used, and fresh fish from the local Matosinhos harbour is served daily. In the stylish Vinum Wine Bar you can also enjoy a variety of tapas, pintxos or sweet pastries.
The glass atrium has one of the very best views of any restaurant in Gaia and Porto: spectacular both during the day and the night, when all the medieval landmarks are beautifully floodlit. There is also an open-air terrace, ideal for enjoying Porto’s year-round sunshine with a glass of chilled white wine, or perhaps a lightly chilled Old Tawny Port.
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Situated in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the Douro river from Porto, Cockburn’s Lodge is home to the largest wooden Port cellar. It is the only place in the Douro where you can still find a full team of coopers working on to maintain the casks and vats in optimal condition. Thus, ensuring the best quality of the marvelous Cockburn’s Port wine.
The guided tours give visitors the chance to explore the museum, visit the huge warehouses where you will find the infamous calçada portuguesa aka the Cockburn’s tile floor logo, as well as a peek into the private collection of Cockburn’s. An unmissable stop to the cooperage to meet the team and have a chat with the craftsmen.
Finally, Port lovers will have the chance to try the House’s wines, chosen from a wide selection, either in the Main room or in a more refined Vintage division.
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Acquired in 1896 by George Warre, Quinta do Bomfim has established itself as the origin of the best Dow’s Port wines during the past century. Located between both moderate and Mediterranean climates; the vineyards grow mainly on south-facing schist terraces. After harvest, the grapes are trodden in the Quinta’s own lagares.
During the tour, visitors can walk around the scenic property, the old cellar and the modern winery. Guests will have the option of choosing their type of tasting from a wide range of options. It is a wonderful experience to try some of Symington’s highly awarded products.
Bomfim also offers you the option of ordering a picnic setup and enjoying your meal outside with the amazing backdrop of Pinhão.
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Property of the Blandy’s family since mid-19th century, Blandy’s lodge holds 650 barrels and vats of the finest Madeira wine. Each wine is segregated in different rooms, varying in temperature and humidity levels, that influence the wines profile.
With these different types of cellars, a cooperage division, and their private collection the Blandy’s property offers their guests a memorable visit. Guests choose from two different tour options – premium and vintage – to conclude their visit.
Additionally, visitors can embrace Madeira’s rich at the museum, which houses letters from Winston Churchill as well as a 17th century wooden lagare.
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