Alto Douro Vinhateiro – Alto Douro Wine Region
The most ancient demarcated wine region in the world is also a landscape of rare beauty and of an unquestionable historical importance. As such, it was declared World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2001.
In 1756, it was established the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro (General Company for the Agriculture of the Upper Douro Vineyards) and what would be the first demarcated wine region in the world, the Douro.
The classification of the Alto Douro Vinhateiro (Upper Douro Wine Region) as World Heritage followed several criteria, among which is the fact of being a wine producing region for over 2000 year with a landscape that besides being a nature masterpiece is also the result of the hard work of Humankind, that has shaped it to transform it in what it is today. Besides that this wine region with a long tradition in producing wine has become a landscape of unique beauty that shows its technological, social and economic evolution.
The classified area includes 13 municipalities that besides vineyards also convey the cultural and historic context of life in this region. It is a rich area in historical heritage, which you will have the chance to admire when visiting the region. Among mountains, wine estates and vineyards stand out great 18th century manor houses, of imposing façades that showed the importance of the families living there. Once in a while one can see some urban centres with Régua, Lamego and also Vila Real, though not so close to the riverbanks, standing out.
Already in the Middle Ages, Lamego was connected to wine production, the Sweet Wine from Lamego, as it was known at the time. Besides that it also became an important religious centre, as can be verified by the architecture heritage that we can still see today such as the Cathedral of Lamego, Santa Maria de Almocave church, Santa Cruz Church and the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Sanctuary, that during its festivities in September attract thousands of people to town.
Douro, a wine region of an unutterable beauty, awaiting your visit!