On Line and In the Douro

Bloggers capturing the incredible views of Symington Quintas from a lookout point high over the Douro

If you are reading this blog from Graham’s or follow our blog on The Vintage Port Site, you know how brilliantly the internet can bring you into remote wine regions, and how much you can learn about wine on-line.  Graham’s was one of the first Port producers to commit to an on-line presence, and as we have expanded our activities, it has been a pleasure to meet and entertain many other writers, photographers and videographers whose curiousity and passion for wine is shared on-line.

Last week we entertained some of the most creative of the new generation on-line wine enthusiasts as they made a harvest tour of the Douro Valley, starting with a convivial dinner at sister brand Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim near Pinhão, hosted by Charles and Marta Symington.  The next morning Miguel Potes of our Marketing Department played Pied Piper leading them over the mountains through tiny Douro villages (and narrow roads!) to show them some of the most breathtaking outlooks over the region.  The journey ended at Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos where they enjoyed a tour of the winery with Miguel and Henry Shotton.

Spectacular view of Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim on the Douro at Pinhão

Watch their sites for news and information about the Douro, Port and Douro DOC wines and their experiences here, and enjoy their unique approaches to learning and sharing information about wine:

Ryan Opaz of Catavino – Ryan and Gabriella Opaz were among the first to focus on Iberian wines through this lively site which brings  together a broad range of content and personal insights to the food, wine, travel opportunities and cultures of Portugual and Spain from a great team of collaborators.

Robert McIntosh of Thirst For Wine – In this site, Robert writes of his own tasting and wine travel adventures, with particular focus on the UK wine scene.  Together with Ryan and Gabriella, Robert has been a leader in leveraging digital and social media outlets to bring wine to the non-specialists, and this site also includes his observations on many aspects of the wine business and communications.  Robert found a few moments in the middle of the week long itinerary to post Catching My Breath in the Douro.

Tara O’Leary is the UK-based Wine Passionista.  It’s an appropriate name as writer and sommelier Tara’s passion for wine comes through in her engaging videos which help viewers learn about wine with a fun but down-to-earth approach to get past the potential confusion and straight into the sheer enjoyment of wine.

On the West Coast of America, Madeline Puckette, together with Justin Hammack and their team, are also aiming to educate the novice wine drinker on their site Wine Folly, which “bridges the gap between wine geekery and pop culture.”  Madeline is a sommelier based in Seattle who is using a variety of media to help you learn about wine; whether you want guidance through the maze of selecting a wine, wonder what minerality is about, or want to settle down to an on-line wine course, her site will have something to educate and entertain.

Duncan Rhodes is the Barcelona-based founder and editor of the Urban Travel Blog, for the adventurous traveller who isn’t remotely interested in the usual top-sights-and-Michelin-starred-restaurants itinerary.  A vast collective of writers from around the world contribute feature articles and City Guides which report not just on the travel experiences, but local trends and culture as well as nightlife, eco-tourism and the occasional foray beyond the city limits.

Many thanks to Bárbara Ameal of the IVDP, the Port and Douro DOC wine regulator, who organised and hosted this trip.

L to R Justin Hammack, Barbara Ameal, Robert McIntosh, Tara O’Leary, Charles Symington, Ryan Opaz, Cynthia Jenson (SFE) and Madeline Puckette
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