advertisement

This wine producer is usually acknowledged as the most interesting and best-preserved of any in Porto and Vila de Gaia. Owned since 1991 by the French champagne company Roederer, it showcases the creation in 1880 by Adriano Ramos Pinto of an outfit that placed enormous interest in the advertising campaigns of its era. You'll be given a guided tour of the cellars, with information about port and its manufacture, plus tastings at the end of the tour. But what you'll get in addition to the tour of the cellars is a visit to the corporate offices, each re-created in turn-of-the-20th-century style, complete with the artworks and furniture selected by the company founder or his cohorts. On the premises is one of the largest collections of posters ever assembled during the Belle Epoque, many of them works of art in their own right, each proclaiming the virtues of port as a defining factor of an elegant lifestyle. Tours are conducted in Portuguese, French, Spanish, and English, and because of the outfit's strong corporate links with France, you're likely to find goodly numbers of French tourists on board. Incidentally, one of the most celebrated and most frequently showcased products of this company is a 10-year-old tawny port named Quinta de Ervamoira. It's named after a particularly beautiful villa in the region, around which some of the company's grapes are produced. It might be a good idea to haul a bottle of it home with you, as it's not widely available elsewhere.