Blue sky. Perfect temperature. The occasional tweets of birds talking to each other, the buzzing of a fly. The near-total silence of the vine-carpeted mountainside interrupted as the truck’s engine spluttered into life. Victor plunged our truck down the rocky dirt track and the tyres spewed clouds of dust in our wake.
Then round a corner – a hive of activity. Men and women, young and old clipping away at the vines and ferrying bucket-loads of grapes to the waiting tractor.
Such is the setting in Quinta after Quinta in the Douro Valley. Sadly, our visit did not coincide with the traditional grape-treading but ‘lagars’ lay full in readiness, and sacks of skins of already trodden grapes waited to be turned into brandy for fortifying port.
The Douro Valley is a truly great place for wine-lovers to take a holiday break. Peace and tranquillity blended with climbing hilly steps. Wine tastings at the premises of local producers. Portuguese food in convivial company. Life close to nature.
What better way to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of city life?