Vila Nova de Gaia Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by J_Antunes
  • Martin at Croft's, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
    Martin at Croft's, Vila Nova de Gaia,...
    by Martin_S.
  • Taylor
    Taylor
    by Martin_S.

Most Recent Things to Do in Vila Nova de Gaia

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    Wine, wine, wine

    by solopes Updated Feb 1, 2013

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    Gaia - Portugal
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    Gaia is not a touristy destination, but no visit to Porto would make sense without crossing the bridge.

    They should call it "Gaia wine", instead of "Port wine". All the great producers line the river in Gaia waterfront. Which one should you choose? Well, they all offer from the common Port to the excellent one, so that's up to you,and if you are extremely exquisite and want to identify the differences, no problem, two months of intensive daily tasting should be enough.

    (Don't forget at the end to post the conclusions in VT.)

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    D. Luis Bridge

    by solopes Updated Feb 1, 2013

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    Porto - Portugal
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    Does it belong to Porto or Gaia? I mean: what is "the other side of the river"?

    Until I decide it, I better mention the bridge in both pages. If you read about it in Porto's page just skip this. Or... go back there, and find how it looks more complex after a carefull and detailed wine tasting. And... don't drive back. Porto, in the other side, is at a safe walking distance.

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    Croft's (port wine producer)

    by Martin_S. Updated Oct 26, 2011
    Croft's, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
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    After visiting the Tourist Information center at the waterside near the cable car station, we learned that Croft's gave its visitors free taste testings and tours, so it was immediatly on our tour list.
    Also the Port Wine we tasted (4 different types), was excellent and we of course took a bottle or two home. For a small extra fee you can try out some other more expensive types and if you enjoy wine it is worth the outlay because you WILL take some home.

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    Taylor's (port wine producer)

    by Martin_S. Updated Oct 26, 2011
    Taylor
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    Like Croft's, Taylor's also offers free tasting of several of their brands. They also have a restaurant, but I believe it is reserved for special events. They have a large selection and their staff is very helpful in advice for making a choice. If you do have problems making a choice, then choose to take several bottles.
    They also have an interesting display in the tasting section, some old books and ledgers dating back to the beginning of the business and also a map showing the wine growing region for the grapes used in making Port.

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    Croft Cellars - Free!

    by J_Antunes Updated Dec 6, 2008

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    In December 2008 I went to the Croft Cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. It was a nice experience. First the place is free of charge. They give a white port to taste, then you can do a short tour along the cellars with a friendly guide (it takes 15 minutes and highlights the main points) and then back to the nice bar full of caskets and typical tables to taste another port. After that you can continue to order port wines for as much as 0,70€/glass and enjoy the atmosphere, purchase some bottles of wine or just move on to the next interest point.

    Open all year round, seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm, except January 1st and December 25th.

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    Cálem cellars won the Best Wine Tourism award 2006

    by MarioPortugal Updated Sep 11, 2007

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    Postacard - C��lem

    Cálem cellars won
    the Best Wine Tourism award 2006
    A recognition among all the Great Wine Capitals Global Network: Bilbao, Bordeaux, Cape Town, Florence, Melbourne, Mendonza, Oporto and San Francisco.

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    The Cálem Port Wine Lodges

    by MarioPortugal Updated Mar 9, 2007

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    The Cálem Port Wine Lodges
    The company was founded in 1859 by Mr António Alves Cálem.

    When one's walking from the city of Oporto, the lodges are the very first Port Wine lodges at the riverfront right after the D.Luiz metallic bridge.

    Due to its privileged location, the Cálem Port Wine lodges welcome an average 100,000 visitors per year.

    A couple years ago the lodges were subject of some major restoration and in 2006 the Cálem lodges were awarded the "Best Of Wine Tourism"

    There's a €2 (two euros) ticket for a visit to the lodges. All tourist visits are lead by a professional guide and the end of the visit visitors are offered a couple tastes of Cálem Port Wine.

    It is not required to make prior reservation for the visits. However, for larger groups it might be better to contact Cálem's tourism department in advance at turismo@sogevinus.com or Tel: 00 351 22 374 6660.

    Open hours:
    * May - October: every day 10am - 7pm.
    * November - April: every day 10am - 6pm.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    The Sandeman Port Museum - The Centaur poster.

    by MarioPortugal Written Oct 26, 2006

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    ----- quote -----

    The Centaur Poster
    The Centaur poster, painted by Jean d'Ylen in 1926, was a controversial mark in Sandeman's innovative advertising.

    The poster was part of a larger series created by the French artist for Sandeman.

    "A poster, must be expressive and bold, clean colour - both of which conduce to compel the passerby to look it!"

    - Jean d'Ylen.

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    Sandeman Port Museum - Drawing by William Prater

    by MarioPortugal Updated Oct 26, 2006

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    a
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    ---- quote ----

    Drawing by William Prater
    When we taste a good Port Wine we often can not imagine the hard work that is needed to create it.

    These scenes, in the drawings of William Prater, show us how Port Wine was made in the old days. From picking grapes in the Douro Valley, to shipment of the wines from the Sandeman Lodges, one can see a process very much unchanged today.

    Although some of today's operations are simplified, Port making is not much different and many of these scenes can be still recognized.

    These drawings belong to the collection of original drawings by William Prater - 44 drawings - property of the House of Sandeman.

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    Sandeman's Bottle Collection

    by MarioPortugal Updated Oct 26, 2006

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    At the Sandeman Lodges visitors will find an interesting display of 60 very old bottles at the Sandeman Port Wine Museum.

    Many of those bottles are from the early XVIII century period.

    -------- Following is a quote from their brochure --------

    THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOTTLE

    The bottles on display in the SANDEMAN Port Museum form one of the most comprehensive antique bottle collections in the world. Made possible by the new glass-producing techniques of the day, these bottles that originally acted as decanters to be refilled by wine merchants were considered prize possessions, each bearing the owner's seal.

    By 1765 the bulbous form had evolved towards the narrow cylinder permitting Port to be shipped in bottle to assure quality. In addition this new shape made it possible for the first time to lay bottled ports down in bins for long-term storage, and thus allowed the creation of a new style of wine, Vintage Port, that matured in glass rather than in cask.

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    The Sandeman Port Museum - The Fire Brand.

    by MarioPortugal Updated Oct 26, 2006

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    ----- quote -----

    The Fire Brand
    The bottles used by the House of Sandeman for their Ports and Sherries are branded with a seal showing the first trade mark used by the Company.

    Created in 1805 this embossed brand bears the initials GSC, for George Sandeman & Co, also known as the "crow's foot".

    This "brand" - in the true meaning of the word, as it would originally have been branded into the wine casks - was on of the first to be registered as a trade mark on 23 March 1877.

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    GREATEST Port trip ever! - by David Spriggs

    by MarioPortugal Updated Aug 14, 2006

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    by David Spriggs

    In October 2005, Mr David Spriggs toured the Port Wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. This Tip features parts of his report.

    GREATEST Port trip ever!
    [...] Day 1:
    [...] We were off to Ferreira. Now honestly, I never thought much of Ferreira, but I came away with quite a lot of respect and admiration for what they are trying to accomplish. Their tawny ports were some of the best of the entire trip. And the dry wines are getting to the top echelon as well. We were extremely lucky to be able to taste with José Maria Soares Franco - the long time maker or Barca Velha. We started tasting dry red wines.
    [...]
    Next we went to Cockburn for lunch. Cockburn has a lot of sentimental value to me since I drank a lot of there ports when I first got in to port. In my opinion their vintage ports have been a downslide quality wise for many years – the last great one being the 1983. It was exciting to taste wines and then eat lunch with the directors of the Lodge. The food was quite good and the wine was a surprise as well. Things are on the upswing here. I didn’t know that they had acquired Martinez – one of my favorite port houses.
    [...]
    For dinner it was off to Sandeman for a special private tour of the Sandeman museum and port lodge, and then a tasting and dinner with George Sandeman and his wife. The dinner was really great and the conversation and wines were even better. I didn’t take notes, but the mystery wine at the end of the night was spectacular – a 1967 Sandeman Vintage Port. I gave it 94 points.

    Then we walked back to our hotel for a much needed rest! [...]

    Click here for the complete David Spriggs' Port Wine Tour report.

    For future Tours to the Port Wine Lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, please visit
    For The Love Of Port - www.fortheloveofport.com

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    The Ramos-Pinto Museum

    by MarioPortugal Written Jul 21, 2006

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    The Ramos-Pinto Museum is open to the public and was set in the area that once used to be the company's offices.

    Museum Opening hours:
    From Monday to Fridays: 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.
    From June to September is also open on Saturdays from 10am till 6pm.
    In July and August it's open everyday from 10am to 6pm.

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