Douro Valley - Port Wine Region - Portugal

Douro Wine Region

UNESCO World Heritage Site and Cultural Landscape 

Alto Douro Wine Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Portugal. It recognises the area around the Douro River where wine has been produced for the past two thousand years. 

The area is sheltered from coastal influences by mountain ranges. It produces the best quality wine in Portugal, attaining the highest classification of Denominação de Origem Controlada.

It produces both fortified and non-fortified wine, with the latter known as Douro Wine. The styles range from light, Bordeaux style claret to rich Burgundian sytle wines.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Alto Douro Wine Region was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 25th session of the World Heritage Committee in Helsinki, Finland, on 11 - 16 December, 2001. 


Cultural Landscape

There exist a great variety of Landscapes that are representative of the different regions of the world. Combined works of nature and humankind, they express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment.

Certain sites reflect specific techniques of land use that guarantee and sustain biological diversity. Others, associated in the minds of the communities with powerful beliefs and artistic and traditional customs, embody an exceptional spiritual relationship of people with nature.

To reveal and sustain the great diversity of the interactions between humans and their environment, to protect living traditional cultures and preserve the traces of those which have disappeared, these sites, called cultural landscapes, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Cultural landscapes include the Douro valley vineyards - cultivated terraces on lofty mountains, gardens, sacred places ... and testify to the creative genius, social development and the imaginative and spiritual vitality of humanity. 

To date, 66 properties on the World Heritage List have been included as cultural landscapes. They are part of our collective identity.  

The landscape in the Demarcated Region of the Douro is formed by steep hills and boxed-in valleys that flatten out into plateaux above 400 m.

The Douro valley is now water-filled behind dams. Soil is almost non-existent, which is why walls were built to retain the manufactured soil on the steep hillsides. It has been created literally by breaking up rocks and is known as 'anthroposoil'. The most dominant feature of the landscape is the terraced vineyards that blanket the countryside. Throughout the centuries, row upon row of terraces have been built according to different techniques. 

Transforming the natural environment, clearing the land, and restructuring the hillsides required a great of labour that was brought in from outside. The more recent terracing techniques, the patamares, and the vertical planting that began in the 1970s, have greatly altered the appearance of this built landscape. Large plots of slightly sloping earth-banked land, usually planted with two rows of vines, were laid out to facilitate mechanization of the vineyard. Trials of other systems are continuing with a view to finding alternatives to the patamares and to minimize the impact of the new methods on the landscape. 


Port Wine Region - Portugal

The creation of a great wine is an art made by both man and nature.

Douro Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. 

Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty, that justifies the inscription of Alto Douro Wine Region as World heritage by UNESCO.

Enjoy this World Heritage Site in a restful, beautiful Villa to holidays

The Villa location just in center is Location and Activities

 villa to rent portugal

Close to the Douro River,  the big terrace its perfect to a sunset wine-tasting with family or friends.

Marvel at the view of the surrounding vineyards from the terrace or enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool. 

You can indulge in Portuguese meals at the restaurants arround or have a glass of wine in the terrace near the pool.

The nearest restaurant is just 1km. Régua and Pinhão are nearby and there is a supermarket 10km from the villa. 

Alto Douro Wine Region  - World Heritage  

This villa its located upstream from Porto, on the  Alto Douro Wine Region, classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in Portugal

Enjoy setting within port wine traditional vineyards, just a 20 minutes walk to the glorious Douro River that runs for miles from Spain to along the Douro Valley to Foz do Douro in Porto City. 

For more photos about Douro Region, see our full gallery »