Portugal is a country with a long tradition of wine production, but in recent years a new trend has emerged: wine tourism. With the opening of several wineries and wine museums, the country has taken a big step towards the promotion of wine tourism. On 1 and 2 March, at the 4th edition of FINE #WineTourismExpo, we will be able to see this in much more detail.
One of these places is The Wine Experience, or WOW, located in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, in the north of Portugal. This museum is considered one of the best wine museums in the world, and is dedicated to attracting wine enthusiasts of all levels, from amateurs to experts.
The site was created from the restoration of several old wine cellars, and offers a wide range of experiences around not only wine, but also cork, textiles and Portuguese fashion.
The WOW has 9 restaurants and shops, as well as 6 museums: The Wine Experience, where you can learn about the secrets of wine; Planet Cork, which explores the cork manufacturing process; The History of Chocolate; The Bridge Collection; The Porto Textile and Fashion Museum; and The Wine Experience at WOW Porto.
The open-air square is the focal point of the WOW neighbourhood and offers a privileged view over Porto and the D. Luís I Bridge.
El museo, el epicentro de la experiencia WOW
The WOW experience begins with a visit to the museum house, where the wine production processes and their impact on the taste and quality of the final product are explained.
Visitors can learn about grape variety, terroir and winemaking techniques, as well as the importance of climate and soil in wine production. Expert guides also help visitors understand the differences in taste, aroma and colour between white, red and port wines.
The experience culminates in a wine tasting, which is an essential part of any visit to a winery or wine museum. Visitors can taste different wines and compare their flavours and aromas, while learning to evaluate the characteristics of each wine. They are also offered the opportunity to taste Portuguese wines and learn about the differences between wines from different regions of Portugal.
WOW and wine tourism
But WOW is not just a museum, it is also a wine tourism centre. Visitors can choose from several visit options, including packages of two or three museums that allow them to explore beyond the winery itself and discover the culinary and cultural delights of the Douro region.
WOW is part of a larger movement in Portugal to harness wine tourism as a way to promote the local culture and economy. In addition to wine production, the Douro region is known for its local cuisine, traditional architecture and stunning natural landscapes.
Tourists visiting the region can enjoy a wide range of activities, including visits to other wineries in the area, wine tastings and cooking classes, as well as boat trips on the Douro River and walks through the vineyards.