You can participate in harvest activities including grape picking and stomping at the Douro Valley quintas, usually in the month of September.
Harvest season in the Douro Valley is a time that symbolizes the culmination of a year’s hard work and the anticipation of exceptional wines.
Due to its difficult to manage landscapes, Douro Valley wineries mostly practice hand-picking as tractors cannot access steeply terraced vineyards.
A dedicated team of grape pickers, who are often family and friends of wine growers, meticulously hand-select the grapes from the vineyards and place into baskets or crates.
When is harvest in the Douro Valley?
The exact start date of the harvest season in the Douro Valley varies each year, usually occurring in the middle of September. The timing depends on weather conditions throughout the year and the vineyards’ response to those conditions.
Hotter summers would trigger earlier harvesting in late August and early September.
Logistically, harvesting and grape stomping experience is not always the easiest, as factors such as weather, availabitly of ripe grapes and harvest teams make it a bit unpredictive.
Wineries will often schedule your participation and confirm the night before.
Can I experience harvesting in the Douro Valley?
Yes, harvest experience is possible in the Douro Valley.
You can also participate in grape picking and grape stomping at some quintas.
While harvesting is hard physical labor often involving long periods under a scorching sun, bending and lifting, it is a way to explore the winemaking, enjoy nature and make new friends. Plus, vineyards in the Douro Valley are incredibly beautiful. A day of harvesting in the Douro Valley will be a lifetime memory.
What is grape stomping?
Stomping is a traditional way of pressing grapes. I first saw in the Adriano Celentano movie.
In the Douro Valley grape stomping is traditionally done in granite lagares, square-shape containers. After stomping, free run juice is typically moved to larger vats for fermentation.
I often ask winemakers why grape treading by feet is so important and wheather there is any difference in wine pressed by human feet vs. machines.
Apparently, human touch is very important. When people stomp grapes they do not crush seeds which gives wines softer tannins and more elegant taste.
Which Wineries in the Douro Valley For Grape Stomping?
Quinta da Pacheca
Located near the town of Peso da Régua, Quinta da Pacheca is one of the oldest and most traditional estates in the Douro Valley. They offer two harvest program options:
– Shorter Duration Program: Includes a visit to the estate, available in Portuguese, English, French, and German, followed by a wine tasting and a fun stomping session. There’s also the possibility of extending the program and having dinner at the property at the end of the day. The dinner buffet includes well-known Portuguese staples such as cod fritters, regional charcuterie and cheeses, and different cuts of meat.
– Full-Day Experience: Includes grape picking, traditional harvest lunch, and grape stomping. This experience is available from mid-September until the end of the month. You can book online on their website following the link below.
Quinta da Roeda
Become part of the making of the famous Croft Port.
Quinta da Roeda offers grape treading in the traditional lagares.
Price is very reasonable includes a visit to the winery and a tasting.
I would also highly recommend checking a picnic option at Quinta da Roeda which can be a nice relaxing moment after the treading.
Quinta do Vallado
Established in 1716, Quinta do Vallado is one of the oldest wine-producing estates in the Douro region. Their harvest program offers a comprehensive experience:
– Morning Option: Starts with a light breakfast and a short briefing on the day ahead. Participants are provided with a “harvest kit” including scissors, a bucket, a hat, and a t-shirt. They then head out to the vineyards to pick grapes and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Afterward, there’s a tour of the winery and cellar, followed by a wine tasting session and grape stomping. The experience concludes with a traditional harvest lunch.
– Afternoon Option: Includes a tour of the winery, a wine tasting, a grape stomping session, lunch, grape picking, and a regional snack.
Quinta do Tedo
Quinta do Tedo offers a hands-on harvest experience led by owner Kay Bouchard. Guests will be given scissors and buckets and head to the organic vineyards to help harvesting. After a traditional lunch with grape pickers accompanied by Quinta do Tedo wines, participate in grape stomping in old lagares.
In 2023, the session was scheduled for September 14. The dates may differ from year to year.
Quinta da Côrte
Quinta da Côrte, located in Valença do Douro, offers a “A Day to Harvest” program usually from the end of September to the beginning of October. The program starts at 10 a.m. with a welcome coffee, followed by grape harvesting of typical wine grape varieties like touriga nacional and touriga franca. Participants then proceed to the winery for the traditional grape stomping, known as “pisa.” The experience concludes with a tasting of their selected wines, such as Princesa or Quinta da Côrte. A typical lunch of the region paired with two table wines and two portos is included. To participate, a minimum of six people is required.
For reservations, you should email email@example.com.
Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo
Quinta Nova, with its rich history and listed status since 1756, offers an immersive harvest experience. This year you can join the harvest on September 8th or 12th, cut the grapes, enter the winery and taste the first wine.
Participants engage in grape picking, a guided tour of the vineyard, the Fernanda Ramos Amorim Wine Museum Centre, the winery, historic wine cellar, and barrel rooms. They also taste the first wine and enjoy a classic Douro wine tasting. The experience concludes with a regional harvest lunch.
Quinta da Avessada
At Quinta da Avessada – Enoteca Douro, you have the opportunity to partake in the grape harvest experience. This includes actively participating in various tasks such as harvesting the grapes, cutting them, transporting them to the wine press, and even engaging in the traditional method of foot treading. Additionally, a delightful traditional Douro lunch is served, allowing you to savor the authentic flavors of the region. To complete the experience, wine tasting sessions are available, allowing you to sample the exceptional wines produced in the Douro.
Participating in the grape harvest at Quinta da Avessada – Enoteca Douro offers a unique and memorable journey into the heart of the Douro region. It allows you to engage in the time-honored traditions of winemaking, indulge in delicious cuisine, and appreciate the remarkable wines that result from this labor of love.
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Title: Grape Stomping and Other Harvest Experiences in the Douro Valley
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Published Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2023 14:07:04 +0000