Portugal may not have the same international renown for wine as European superstars like France or Italy, however, what this pint-sized Iberian nation lacks in notoriety it more than makes up for in tradition and quality pours.
Fans of a little something sweet at the end of a nice meal may be familiar with port, the fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley. Cellars line Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto. Of course, it’s not just the saccharine stuff that’s worthy of praise and attention. True oenophiles have long lauded native grape varietals such as Touriga Nacional, Alvarinho, and Tinta Barroca. It’s just the rest of us who are late to the game.
Having recently returned from a month in Portugal, I’m here to tell you that we’ve all been missing out. Because the vinho coming out of Portugal rivals that of the most prestigious wine regions around the world (ahem, Provence, Tuscany, and Napa Valley).
The breathtakingly beautiful settings where visitors get to swirl the nectar of the gods are pretty incredible, too. That includes vineyards that cascade down hillsides and wrap through cork territory. And as wine tourism continues to grow, some family-run quintas have built out a few rooms to welcome overnight guests. There’s also a spate of well-heeled hotels with on-site wineries, gourmet restaurants, spas, and vineyard views.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to sip and slumber on your next trip to Portugal, scroll on for seven of the most gorgeous stays for a vinho-filled getaway, from the Douro Valley to Alentejo.
Torre de Palma Wine Hotel
A boutique gem that’s tucked away in a remote corner of Alentejo, Torre de Palma Wine Hotel is a family-run member of Design Hotels that keeps the heritage and wine-making traditions of the past alive. The small working winery hosts tours and tastings and also supplies all the vinho for the property. That means guests can look forward to selecting a robust housemade red to pair with local pork in the gourmet restaurant, leisuring over a glass of rosé at the bar, or splitting a bottle of crisp white on a picnic in the olive groves before snoozing soundly in character-rich accommodations.
Six Senses Douro Valley
Duoro Valley holds the title of the oldest democratized wine region in the world. In the middle of all this history and verdant terraced vineyards sits the Six Senses Duoro Valley, a hilltop hideaway that’s regarded as one of the most luxurious stays in the land. Despite residing inside a 19th-century manor house, it’s quite contemporary with an endless string of cosseting comforts and vinho-oriented amenities. The state-of-the-art wine library has self-service dispensers and sommelier-led tastings in a cozy setting. Inspired by natural elements, the spa is a resplendent place to recharge with warming schist vinotherapy, herbal sauna sessions, and dips in the vitality pool.
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova
Travelers keen to experience the more pastoral side of Portugal should set their sights on Alentejo, the sprawling agrarian heart of the country. Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, a five-star Relais & Chateaux and agritourism, comprises horse stables, pastures where cows roam, vegetable gardens, an apiary, an award-winning restaurant, and a small-but-mighty wine production. Visitors can tour the facilities and swirl red, white, and rosé in the modern tasting room. The guest quarters are just as thoughtfully curated as the rest of the estate. That elevated rural ethos comes through in the distinctive units that provide cozy rooms, spacious suites, and private villas, plus indoor and outdoor communal spaces.
Azores Wine Company
Azores Wine Company is an ambitious viticulture and hospitality project located on the north coast of Pico Island that comprises a winery, fine dining restaurant, and hotel. While the property’s gastronomic prowess and architecturally striking apartments featuring private terraces and spellbinding sea views have garnered plenty of attention, its winemaking roots remain in full force. The ambitious vinho venture, which is credited with putting indigenous grape varieties from the Azores on the map, boasts beautiful vineyards, a cellar, and a striking tasting room to sip the critically acclaimed pours.
Quinta da Gricha
The soul of a destination really does shine brightest at a small inn like Quinta da Gricha, a relaxed respite on a 50-hectare vineyard in Douro Valley. With just four bedrooms, the remodeled farmhouse very much feels like an intimate country home that oozes authentic hospitality and a sense of place. Guests are encouraged to lean into the laid-back lifestyle while lounging at the infinity pool and learn about viticulture through bespoke winery tours and lunch paired with award-winning Churchill vinho on the panoramic terrace overlooking the river.
Set along the vinho verde route, Hotel Monverde is a vineyard-studded hideaway that’s built for leisure and relaxation. The property has indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a rejuvenating spa for vinotherapy like the signature harvest ritual and red vine leaf treatment. The most swoon-worthy guest rooms flaunt natural stone and wood, soaking tubs, and direct access to the vines. Because oenophiles know that great food complements and enhances the pleasure of drinking wine, there’s an upscale restaurant that pays homage to Portuguese gastronomy.
Quinta do Vallado
Perched on the Corgo River and surrounded by verdant vineyards, Quinta do Vallado earns the affection of self-proclaimed oenophiles and casual sippers alike. Cellar tours, tastings, and strolling through the vines are some of the vinho-centric highlights. For accommodations, visitors have the option of staying in a renovated suite in the ochre-hued, 18th-century manor house or the new eight-bedroom extension designed by architect Francisco Vieira de Campos. Guests can count on losing track of time in the lovely garden and savoring a picnic of local charcuterie by the outdoor pool.