29 Oct 14 - Pinhao, Vega de Terron (Spain)

Today we were docked in Pinhao, Portugal and after an early breakfast we departed for the Sandeman's Quinta Do Seixo wine estate. The ride up the hilltop is not for the faint of heart since the road is barely a few feet wider than the bus!  

On the south bank of the river Douro, in Cima-Corgo, right opposite the Quinta do Porto lies Quinta do Seixo, which provides a breathtaking, stunning view over the river Douro. Owned by Sogrape Vinhos since 1987, in 2007 the company invested approximately €7.5 million here in a modern winery, where high quality Portos and Douro wines are produced. An innovative project not only for the state-of-the-art technology used in the cellar, but also for creating a tourist experience that is both educational and attractive!

The guides are dressed in black capes and hats which is the brand design on all the Sandeman wine products. We had a full tour of the winery and then we led to an outdoor patio with a panoramic view of the Duoro valley, for wine-tasting.

This tour offers a first-hand demonstration of the production methods behind Portugal’s most famous wine and provides an explanation of the characteristics which make the Douro region so unique. 

It is worth the scary drive up the hill just to get a glimpse of the fabulous view of the Duoro valley from up here.....was breathtaking!

After our visit we drove back down the steep slope to the town of Pinhao. This is a sleepy little town in the middle of the Duoro river valley wine region.  

We had some free time to wander around before we boarded the ship and I ran into this little guy in the doorway of a hair salon and he was more than willing to pose for me ....... I love the slogan on the door... lol

By noon we were sailing towards Vega de Tarron. I always love the afternoon sailings since it is great to sit in your cabin, open the sliding glass door and watch the villages and wildlife go by. I was quite happy to enjoy the view and then have lunch in the dining-room where the glass-enclosed room allows you to continue with the view while you dine.

At around 4:30pm we arrived at the Pocinho Dam, located in the Northeast Transmontano, surrounded by almond orchards and flowering cherry trees. There are always several locks and dams to pass through on a river cruise but this one was very interesting.

The ship enters a narrow entryway and then a large steel door closes behind us, there is a large waterfall in front as we then rise up 20 metres to continue along the river.

The rest of the day was spent onboard enjoying the scenery passing by.

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