The Alto Douro Wine Region is a region of north-east Portugal. Snaked along the Douro River, the region produces wines for over 2,000 years, highlighting among them the Port.
Their notoriety came in the mid-seventeenth century, when the Port began to be exported, mainly to England. But with the high profits obtained here came the fraud and the wines were adulterated, thereby altering its quality. So the producers request government intervention in 1756 that creates the “General Company of Agriculture of the Upper Douro Vineyards”.
This government intervention, is primarily responsible for the Marquis of Pombal, thus creating the first demarcated region and regulated in the world. It was demarcated an area with 201 landmarks granite and in 1761 were placed over 134 marks, thus making a total of 335 “Pombaline landmarks.”
The Douro and its tributaries are now more than ever covered terraces supported by schist walls that carry full vines white grape clusters or ink. The lives of these people as well as the Douro landscape is dramatically changed with the production of wine. In winter there is a climate of extreme tranquility in the region, which in turn gives rise to intense activity in late summer and early autumn.
In the early twentieth century, the demarcated region is broad and goes to the Upper Douro.
In 2001, UNESCO classified as World Heritage, in the cultural landscape category, part of the entire specified region – about twenty-four thousand hectares.
With this recognition, the Douro region, benefiting even more of a demand to tourist level – the river cruise boat traffic intensified, the number of the 5th opened doors to tourist visits and the historic train back to the line of Douro for excursions.
The region is constantly changing, from the appearance of new units to the hotel recovery and adaptation of old properties in rural hotels or tourist homes in rural areas.