Yesterday at 6:32 pm | Updated yesterday at 6:35 PM. – reading time:
The shortcut is a little simple, but a visit to São Salvador do Mundo and its seven little churches, and the next day, invites the famous Baroque sanctuary of Our Lady of Cure to examine the spiritual benefits of wine in this lush valley.
The wine route is not an alien topic for those who live in our regions. You’ll never be far from it…but getting there on Portuguese soil and along the Douro River literally means hiking the mountain roads past the vineyards that you can see from the river. It is less common.
Where we understand that 250,000 hectares of cultivation has won all the surrounding hills and mountains. Of the 50,000 earmarked for vineyards, 26,000 are dedicated to the port … the rest are grown for drier wine.
Tax issue, already…
History says that the English loved Portuguese wine, especially because after a decision by Colbert, they were taxed less than those of the historical French enemy. So they import a lot.
in the seventeenthAnd In the last century, an English merchant realized that the wine he had sent to England did not support the voyage and ended up in a sloppy state. Then he decided to add a little brandy to the barrel. And so the wine was saved… and turned into a port.
Since then, the production method has been revised but we know the port is a wine that has been liquefied by adding alcohol at 77 degrees to stop fermentation. A process to be performed when the wine is round and fruity enough. Thus, it retains enough sugar, as shown by Quinta do Tedo, a property whose produce sells only to specific clients and which the traveling group of readers has been able to visit before a much-needed taste.
A little earlier on Sunday, in this vineyard that stretches as far as the eye can see, our group will be able to approach the seven churches of São Salvador do Mundo, the work of a pilgrim who returned to Portuguese lands and decided that there he re-establishes the Way of the Cross, which he could not complete .
However, he bequeathed a place of worship and visitation that controlled the Valeira Lock, one of the giant works done on the Douro to control its course and allow for intense navigation as it is modern.
Lamego, where faith (s) moves
On the Monday, the day before departure, the group was barely recovering from the evening of the party when they had to head towards Lamego and its famous Baroque haven Notre-Dame de Rémé which has a feature that can be intimidating: you have to climb 688 steps to reach it. This was of course not necessary because the bus, which had all the “modern comforts”, allowed pilgrims to be delivered directly to the church for a day.
I spent the rest of the day sailing to Porto. To close the loop, the boat was able to go to the mouth of the river and touch the Atlantic Ocean; Moment time and an exceptional view of the city which, in its name, evokes its famous wine as the starting point for many Portuguese navigators.
Diligent explorers, they made this country sparkle all over, with its inhabitants describing it as “small”. By size only. Spread the word…