Almost every Port Lodge has its offices along the south side of the river Douro in a town called Vila Nova de Gaia.
This is a pipe (the traditional barrel used for aging Port. A pipe generally measures between 534 L to 550 L) of Warre's Reserve Port.
Look up at one of the Douro's most prized vineyards, Dow's Quinta do Bomfim.
Looking down Quinta do Bomfim at the village of Pinhao.
This is a thirty year old vine at Quinta do Bomfim. Notice the soil, it is all schist. The amount of this soil type is one of the defining characteristics of great Port vineyards.
This is a Cork tree that has been harvested. It takes about ten years for the bark to re-grow. The "8" painted on the tree indicates that the tree was harvested in 2008.
This is an old vine vineyard planted on its own rootstock in Rioja (sub-region Alavesa). The vines range in age from 80 years old to 120 years. It is a bit difficult to tell from this photo but the soil type is all sand. We were told it was about 6 meters deep. The Ebro river was about 100 meters to the east.
This is a young vineyard in the Rioja Alta sub-region. The soil type is much different that the previous photo. Rioja has a variety of soil types each providing a specific flavor profile to the wines.
This is a the barrel room at Bodegas Marques de Caceres. The Bodegas produces nearly a million cases of wine per year, exports to 119 countries and houses 42,000 barrels replacing 10% every every year (the average cost of a barrel is roughly $750 US, I am averaging the cost of French, US, and other European barrels).
As throughout the wine world many famous architects have been commissioned to design new wineries. This is a spectacular design by my favorite architect, Santiago Calatrava. The winery is Ysios, which I am not very familiar with as a wine but it is imported into the US and has an image of the winery on the label.
Above is the Frank Gehry designed, Marques de Riscal. We were lucky enough to get lost on our way out of Rioja and wound up right in front of the winery. We took a vote and decided to stop so we could take a few photos.