Wine, Amazing Food, Beaches, Sun, New Friends, and Portugal!
This September, we've been invited to a few of my favorite family-owned vineyards in Southern Portugal to participate in the art of winemaking, the old fashioned way. During this unique 10-day experience, we'll treat our palates to the ultimate journey as we meet some of the country's most beloved wine makers, viticulturalists, and national food and wine celebrities.
We'll also spend some time getting to know the region's most popular "Michelinsque" restaurants as well as my favorite off-the-beaten-path local spots. After we've stomped on our fair share of grapes, we'll head to the southernmost tip of Portugal, where old world charm meets the newest playground for European jet setters. We'll relax and play on one of the world's most photographed beaches while enjoying some of the Iberian Peninsula's most sought-after coastal cuisine.
We'll also have a few days on each end of the trip to discover my second home: Lisbon. Within hours, you too will fall in love with the dazzling mix of Roman, Moorish, and Baroque architecture, amazing food, beautiful sunlight and unique fusion of cultures from former Portuguese empires.
Learn to Harvest Like a Pro is an intellectually-stimulating and flavorful experience-based journey not found anywhere else in Portugal. There are only two dates available, each capped at 16 people with a well-proportioned group-to-free-time ratio to keep us all balanced! So come alone or bring a few friends. Either way, you'll feel like you're at home as soon as you arrive.
Places Visited: Lisbon, Cascais, Estoril, Sintra, Alentejo (Évora & Vila Viçosa), The Algarve (Lagos).
Day 1: Bem-vindos a Portugal: City Walks, Fun Foodie Stops, Cocktails and Unforgettable Sunsets
Get ready for an unforgettable afternoon! We’ll start off with a Walking Tour with one of Portugal’s most popular licensed tour guides. She’ll show us colorful neighborhoods, medieval castles, breathtaking vistas and much more. As we’re exploring the city, we’ll also discover the magic of the famed green wine, rich Portuguese coffee, magical “natas” and cod croquettes. We’ll end the afternoon on a cool and funky terrace as we watch the sky come alive with a typical late summer Lisbon sunset. It will be love at first sight! Dinner on your own (recommendations provided). Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 2: Portuguese Food and Wine 101: Falas português?
Today we go all in as we start with “The Portuguese Language for Food and Wine.” Learn the basics to skillfully eat and drink your way around the country.
We'll have lunch with our Portuguese teachers at one of my favorite local restaurants where you'll have the opportunity to practice your newly acquired language skills. Afterwards, we'll visit some of Lisbon's most stunning lookout points as we learn how to capture these amazing images with the help of a local photographer.
Later in the afternoon we'll meet for a crash course on two of my favorite topics: cheese and wine! National cheese expert and, local food advocate, Pedro, will take us on a gastronomical journey as he skillfully introduces our palate to some of Portugal's most sought-after treasures. We’ll also have a quick introduction to the grape varieties that we’ll encounter later this week. Dinner on your own (recommendations provided). Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 3: Welcome to Alentejo: Europe’s New Tuscany
After breakfast, we’ll leave for an unforgettable multiday adventure to the Alentejo region, recently named Europe’s "new Tuscany". Get ready to explore rural Portugal at its finest. In addition to boutique family-operated vineyards, we’ll visit traditional cheese factories, olive oil mills, luxury country homes, wine resorts and spas, world-famous gourmet restaurants, and much more. This will be the ultimate rejuvenation for your mind, body and palate!
Our first stop will be in the UNESCO medieval town of Evora, where you'll use your new photography skills as we tour a well-preserved Roman temple and an early Gothic cathedral. Afterwards we'll meet Tiago, a regional wine expert, who'll give us a quick and fun workshop on the grape varieties, soil and climate conditions of the Alentejo region. Then we'll have a typical lunch at a popular local eatery before visiting our first vineyard, where you'll meet my new friend Alex and his talented team. Alex will give us a private tour of his family's winery, as he teaches us about the 6,000-year old technique of making wine in clay amphoras. We'll end our visit with an extraordinary wine tasting curated and explained by Alex himself. Afterwards, we'll travel to one of the most romantic towns in the country, Vila Viçosa. Here you'll have the opportunity to explore this elegant little village, learn about the fascinating world of marble, visit an ancient castle and cathedral, relax with an array of spa treatments, or enjoy one of my favorite "Michelinsque" restaurants. Dinner on your own (recommendations provided). Overnight in Vila Viçosa.
Learn more about the wine making process here.
Day 4: Welcome to Alentejo: Let's Harvest!
After a luxurious country breakfast at our hotel, we'll head over to one of the region's best family-owned vineyards. Owner and master winemaker Luis and his team will give us a quick tour before we get to work! They'll teach us what their family's been doing for generations at this time of the year: hand picking the best grapes and starting the fermentation process the old fashioned way! After you've stomped on as many grapes as you can manage, we'll have a blind wine tasting followed by an elegant traditional lunch prepared on site by an amazing and well-known local chef. Then we'll return to our hotel in Vila Viçosa, where you'll have a free evening to enjoy as you wish. Dinner on your own (suggestions provided). Overnight in Vila Viçosa.
Day 5: Welcome to Alentejo: Country Living Fit for Royalty
After breakfast, we'll have some free time to explore the historic village of Estremoz before visiting a stunning 300 hundred-year-old property that was a gift from King Dom Pedro to his beloved mistress, Dona Maria. We'll tour this internationally-known winery and enjoy a wine tasting with the family members who inherited this breathtaking property. Afterwards we'll drive over to my new favorite luxury wine resort designed by the local rockstar J. Ribeiro. Here we'll have a beautiful lunch, prepared by the well-known chef, Filipe. Afterwards, you'll have the chance to take a local cooking class, swim, rest, explore ancient Roman ruins, read a book or go horseback riding. Later in the evening, weather permitting, we'll go up to the tower that gives the property its name, and enjoy the beautiful sea of stars against the pitch black sky. Dinner on your own (suggestions provided). Overnight in Monforte, Alentejo
Day 6: The Magic of the Algarve: Golden Sand Beaches, Delectable Food and Old World Charm
After breakfast we'll head south to the world-famous Algarve, where you'll marvel at the drastic "end of the world" seaside cliffs, unspoiled golden sand beaches, crystal clear water and quaint fishing villages in Salema, Sagres and Lagos. Here you'll have the chance to play in the water, hang out on the beach, relax in the spa and enjoy one of my favorite regional wine bars. Late afternoon, we’ll meet to take a private three-hour sunset wine and appetizers cruise aboard a stunning catamaran where we'll meet and chat with regional food expert and chef Maria. Make sure you bring your bathing suits, cameras and appetites for this special experience. Lunch and dinner on your own (suggestions will be provided). Overnight in Lagos.
Day 7: The Magic of the Algarve: Golden Sand Beaches, Delectable Food and Old World Charm
Today, after breakfast, you'll have the chance to continue exploring this breathtaking area of the Iberian Peninsula. You'll have plenty of beach, water, shopping and cultural activities to choose from. Lunch and dinner on your own (suggestions will be provided). Overnight in Lagos.
Day 8: A Memorable Visit to Baixo Alentejo: Wine, Luxury Country Estate and Gourmet Lunch
After breakfast this morning, on our drive back to Lisbon, we'll stop by one of my favorite vineyards and country homes for a well-curated wine tasting and unforgettable "Michelinsque" lunch on a gorgeous estate. You'll be enchanted by the property, its owners and their fascinating philosophy on life: fazer da vida uma festa (make life a party!) Once we arrive in Lisbon, you'll have the rest of the evening to enjoy as you please. Dinner on your own (suggestions will be provided). Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 9: Breathtaking Castles, Picturesque Villages and Coastal Towns
After breakfast, we'll head to the majestic town of Sintra, designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. This masterpiece is filled with breath-taking castles, winding roads, and amazing cheese tarts. We'll enjoy a lovely bon voyage lunch together in one of the region’s most noteworthy restaurants before heading over to the picturesque villages of Estoril and Cascais for a late afternoon stroll, and a bit of people watching in the most upscale area of greater Lisbon. Dinner on your own (suggestions provided). Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 10, Sunday: Lisbon
Breakfast at the hotel. This is the end of our core 10-day program. Boa Viagem! For those staying on to tour northern Portugal, join me for a celebratory glass of sparkling wine at my favorite palace in Lisbon!
*This program is subject to change due to the drastic changes in dates for the harvest season in Portugal over the past few years. Please contact us for more information.
Note About Program Pricing:
Immersa Global's programs are tailor-made to fit your or your clients' needs. This gives you the flexibility to use our expertise, contacts, and resources to create a truly unforgettable experience. Costs will vary significantly based on dates, the number of participants, type of accommodations, availability of private ground transportation, and number and type of meals included. Based on the details below, the average price for Learn How to Harvest Like a Pro is $3650.00 USD. Contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2018 (date on demand)
The Program Includes:
- Small group guarantee (the experience is capped at only 16 people)
- 10 days/ 9 nights at boutique hotels and exclusive countryside wine resorts (such as Palacio Ramalhete and Torre de Palma Wine Resort)
- All ground transportation during the core 10-day program
- All programmed activities (wine harvest, wine tastings, guided tours, private sunset champagne cruise, etc)
- All cultural immersion experiences with local people
- Daily breakfast
- All programmed gourmet lunches
- All taxes, services fees and gratuities
Immersa Global's Small Group Experiences are exclusively for very active adults. Please contact us for information on our family-friendly programs.
The Program Does Not Include:
- Visas (if applicable)
- Meals not mentioned in the program
- Travel Insurance