Pinhão – Douro valley

The village

The village of Pinhão is planted at the confluence of the Douro and Pinhao rivers in an area of about 3km2.
Its population of about 650 residents has decreased over the last fifty years. The fall of population is due to the exodus or to the coast of the country or to foreign emigration.

The importance

Pinhão is an extremely important village in the Douro wine region context for its central position. One can not claim to be the capital of the Douro and Port wine but it is surely his heart. And here is all heart.

Having acquired its importance during the twentieth century thanks to the network of roads and railways does not present a very rich historical heritage.
Nevertheless be sure to see the magnificent tiles with wine themes at the train station.

The richness

The richness of Pinhão is not its architectural heritage but the people and their knowledge. You will find here an enormous collective wisdom of knowledge and flavors, shared and transmitted between neighbors and friends, in the end of the day, around a glass of wine.

Here we experience a rural Portugal already forgotten the coastal cities.

Pinhão way of being

After work men join together to drink and chat.
At first glance they could frighten who is passing by, in their rude, loud voices and burning discussions , but are not angry.
They discuss as hard for, the last football game of their beloved club, treatments to do in the vineyards, the quality of their wines or the hardness of overthrow olives.
And they teach each other.
They do not keep to themselves what they have learned from their parents and grandparents and even transmit the new knowledge and techniques brought by the new engineers who, arrived to the region by the hand of the great exporters of Port wine.

The jealousy, rivalries and quarrels between neighbors exist here as everywhere. Some of these differences are old family wars, which tend to perpetuate in time.

The two worlds of Pinhão

Pinhão lives in two worlds that coexist. The large landowners and small farmers. They are parallel worlds that intersect themselves, but that hardly mix together. The vanity of some and the rudeness of the others, keep themselves apart from each other, creating in Pinhão a disunited, complex and sometimes autistic Douro.

But that’s the life in Pinhão, strong, hard, hot and dramatic because here, everything is heart.


Trevões Douro Valley

Trevões Douro Valley village is a small wine-growing town of exquisite beauty. Historical old town, Trevões have records of existence in the 10th century, prior to the foundation of the nationality.

History of Trevões Douro

Trevões Old House

We lost the origin of Trevões in Roman empire. There are archaeological vestiges of their presence in this area. Roads and coins were found here in medieval times.

But the first historical records date in the 10th Century, when Trevões was in the in the arabic border.

Trevões always had an history linked to the catholic clergy. First attached to Guimarães Monastery and after to Lamego Bishop.

The bishop of lamego ruled Trevões since the 12th Century. During the medieval age there was a big tension between nobles and clergy for Trevões territory domain.

But the bishopric was always able to persevere Trevões under his influence.

Trevões Patrimony

Trevões Solar dos Caiados

Result of this historical relevance, Trevões nowadays have a an important architectural patrimony. Old noble and clergy beautiful houses, churches and a very well preserved small historical center.

My own tour in Trevões

Beginning of January, the days here in Pinhão, Douro valley, are still beautiful.

We are getting a cold but without rain month of January. This cold temperatures brought with them the flue that I wasn’t able to escape. Nerveless, when the sun is strong enough to lift the morning fog the afternoons are sublime.

Last Sunday I transformed myself in a Douro tourist. My plan was to test a tour that I want to make with my clients. A tour trough Valença do Douro, Trevões, São João da Pesqueira and Ervedosa do Douro.

The left margin of Douro river in Cima Corgo region is absolutely marvelous.

The waving vines along the level curves mixed with the new vertical vineyards make an authentic patch work. I could guarantee to you that to me is one of the best tours in Douro.

I made this rout in this cold January in a time that could be considered bad to see our region.

In fact the absence of leaves in the trees and vines give a sadness look to our Douro valley. But there are other things here in the winter that you couldn’t see other times of the year.

The winter smell of Douro Valley

Trevões Noble Coat of Arms

Everywhere you go you get in touch with the smoke aromas in the air. They come from the home fireplaces and the small private meat smoking plants. This smell invite you to get inside to taste our typical cuisine, usually very strong but that go very well with environment. In the summer this cuisine is to strong to face the high temperatures so you will lose one of our crown jewels, the Douro winter cuisine.

Making this tour last Sunday I was dreaming about the landscape potential beauty along the year. The vines with the first tender leaves in the beginning of the spring, the flowers of the cherry and almonds trees, the grapes getting their color in the summer, the rushy harvest season, the oak and chestnut trees with their autumnal vests…

Best time to visit Douro Valley

When people ask me what is the best time to come to see the Douro valley I never know what to say. The Douro valley must be seen at least four times to be truly absorbed. One in winter, other in the spring, another in the summer and finally one in autumn.

So, what are you waiting for?

Jorge Barefoot