Posted August 21, 2009 by Kate Hamman
As a World Heritage site and a producer of many fine wines, Portugal's Douro River Valley is worth protecting. Come experience the natural beauty of its land by tasting organic olive oil, drinking biodynamic wine, and staying in a hotel that's powered by renewable energy and surrounded by nature. Best of all, you can save money while pleasing your conscience.
Casa Agricola Roboredo Madeira (CARM): Comprised of about 543 acres of organic olive groves, CARM has been family-run and producing extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) since the 17th century. Every harvest, the olives are hand picked and then pressed without adding any water, thus preserving the full flavor of the fruit. Come for a free tasting, and leave with a bottle of your own EVOO.
Quinta de Covela: As the first Portuguese wine estate to be accepted into the biodynamic Renaissance des Appellations group, Quinta de Covela takes pride in its biodynamic wines and stunning setting. The 47 acres of organic vines surround a 16th-century amphitheater overlooking the Douro River. All vintages are grown, handpicked, aged in oak, and bottled on the premises. Tastings are free, and bottles start at about €1.
Moinhos da Tia Antoninha: Using solar energy from a photovoltaic field and micro hydropower from a hydro-turbine, Moinhos da Tia Antoninha's renewable energy practices shine. The inn features three twin bedrooms, three doubles, and one apartment, and all come equipped with private bathrooms, central heating, and Internet access. The natural surroundings make it easy to spot many different wild animals in their element, including foxes and wolves.
To search for flights and compare prices to Lisbon, which is home to the Douro River Valley’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.(Photo: iStockPhoto/Luis Pedrosa)
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