Food and Wine of Portugal and Galicia
Experience the best wines of northern Portugal and Galicia with wine expert Jeremy Shaw. Sip port in Porto while overlooking the Douro River. Learn about vinho verde and alvarino in Melgaco. Visit Pazo de Señorans, the makers of excellent albariños. Savor tapas in the pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela. Discover Braga and Pinhao. Visit the famous library at Coimbra University. Enjoy a tasting at Bussaco Palace. Savor regional dishes each day. Conclude in Lisbon.
Depart on flights from the U.S. to Porto, Portugal.
Arrive in Porto this morning and transfer to our hotel, beautifully situated on the waterfront in the heart of the world heritage site of Porto’s old town. In the late afternoon visit Grahams Port Lodge, for a tour and tasting. Our welcome dinner is at Feitoria (The Factory House) which is styled like a gentleman’s club and is still the meeting place for the British port shippers in Porto. Pestana Vintage Porto (D)
Head north to the vinho verde region. En route we stop in Ponte de Lima, Portugal’s oldest town. We also stop at Melgaco, the alvarinho sub zone of the vinho verde region. Enjoy a tour, tasting and lunch featuring Bisaro pork and ham dishes at Soalheiro. After lunch continue to the northwest Celtic corner of Spain where the echo of pipes and green misty valleys defy the Spanish stereotype. Finally, arrive at the university town of Pontevedra, in the heart of the Rias Baixas. Tonight enjoy a walk through town, along with a tapas dinner of Galician wines and specialties. Parador Pontevedra (B,L,D)
Visit Val do Salnes, part of the Rias Baixas region that revolutionized Spanish white wines in the 80s and 90s and sets the standard for great delicate albariños. Enjoy Pazo de Señorans, an old Galician country house that makes one of the very best albariños. We then continue north to Santiago de Compostela, the resting place of Saint James the apostle and one of the world’s best loved pilgrimage destinations. Experience a tapas lunch with Galician specialties - octopus, shrimp, padron peppers, scallops and conclude with Galicia’s classic dessert, the almond based Tarta de Santiago. Take a guided tour of the town, including the cathedral that is the end point of the Camino de Santiago. Parador Pontevedra (B,L)
Visit Braga, historically Portugal’s religious center. View the dramatic Bom Jesus Monastery and its famous Baroque stairway. Enjoy some modern Portuguese cuisine, and a tapas style lunch. Continue to the Douro River wine region, a world heritage site and the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Dinner tonight includes wines from the Douro, as well as ports. Vintage House (B,L,D)
Visit Quinta do Noval, a port producer since 1715. Under the guidance of Christian Seeley, Noval remains a great traditional port name. (Their Nacional 1931 was listed as the 2nd best wine of the 20th century, according to Wine Spectator.) Enjoy a boat ride on the Douro to our lunch destination, Quinta dos Malvedos. After a visit and tasting, we make our way to the private family house for a very special lunch featuring traditional Douro dishes such as duck rice. The evening is free to enjoy on your own. Vintage House (B,L)
Travel to Coimbra, a Roman city that was once a Moorish and Jewish center in the Middle Ages. The University of Coimbra is the oldest in all of Portugal and we visit the Baroque university library, home to over 300,000 books and widely acknowledged as one of the most stunning libraries in the world. Continue to the Bussaco Palace Hotel, a Neo Manueline Palace built by the last King of Portugal on the estate where the Duke of Wellington slept after the Battle of Bussaco against Napoleon’s troops. Enjoy dinner with Bussaco wines, made and sold solely on location from Bairrada and Dao grapes. Palace Hotel Bussaco (B,L,D)
En route to Lisbon we stop in Tomar, site of the Convento de Cristo, constructed in 1160. Its Templar Church was modeled on Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre. Continue to the Ribatejo wine region, and to Casa Cadaval, home to great wines, as well as Lusitano horses. We’ll enjoy a tasting, lunch and horse demonstration before continuing to Lisbon. Dinner tonight is at a wine bar in the Chiado district. Pestana Palace Hotel (B,L,D)
Take a guided walking tour of central Lisbon, including the Alfama district, the Rossio, and Praca do Comercio Square. Sample the country’s famed custard tarts, pastel de nata. Enjoy an independent lunch and afternoon. In the early evening visit Belem before our dinner at Feitoria, one of only 3 restaurants in Lisbon to hold a Michelin star. Pestana Palace Hotel (B,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or stay on additional nights and enjoy Lisbon on your own. (B)
Cost and Details
Cost: $5,495, per person, double occupancy
Single Room Supplement: $800
Tour leader and food and wine expert Jeremy Shaw; activities as specified; airport transfers on designated group dates and time; transportation throughout; accommodations as specified (or similar); meals (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner) per itinerary; wine at lunches and dinners; bottled water on buses and during tours; special guest speakers; local guides; gratuities to local guides, driver, and for included group activities; pre-departure materials.
International air; meals not specified as included; optional outings and gratuities for those outings; alcoholic beverages beyond wine at lunches and dinner; travel insurance (recommended, information will be sent upon registration); items of a purely personal nature.
To enjoy this program travelers must be in overall good health and able to walk 1-2 miles a day (on average) and be able to stand for several hours during touring. Participants should be comfortable walking on uneven surfaces such as cobble stone streets, and getting on and off tour buses without assistance. Drive times are 2 ½ to 3 hours on days we move hotels. Dinners in Spain and Portugal are usually served late and are lively affairs.
Terms and Conditions
The Commonwealth Club (CWC) has contracted with Iberian Wine Tours (IWT) to organize this tour.
Reservations: A $1,000 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed Reservation Form, will reserve a place for participants on this program. The balance of the trip is due 90 days prior to departure and must be paid by check.
Cancellation and Refund Policy: Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
• 91 days or more prior to departure: $250 per person
• 90-60 days to departure: $1,000 deposit
• 59-1 days prior to departure: 100% fare
Tour can also be cancelled due to low enrollment. Neither CWC nor IWT accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance as coverage against a covered unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave trip while it is in progress. A brochure describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation.
Medical Information: Participation in this program requires that you be in good health. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure.
Itinerary Changes & Trip Delay: Itinerary is based on information available at the time of printing and is subject to change. We reserve the right to change a program’s dates, staff, itineraries, or accommodations as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed, or the itinerary changed, due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, airline schedules, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which CWC or IWT or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays or changes is not included.
Limitations of Liability: CWC and IWT its Owners, Agents, and Employees act only as the agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with this program (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. CWC and IWT shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CWC/IWT for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for the trip, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CWC/IWT shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the traveler. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.