The Sandeman Port tour, Porto, Portugal

In Drink, En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Portugal, Sense, Senses, Trip-Types by JanisLeave a Comment

Go on, give it a try!

Surely any trip to Porto isn’t complete without a taster of the local tipple of Port.

The Sandeman logo, Porto, Portugal

So, you’ve ventured over the Dom Luís I Bridge to catch one of Porto’s most iconic views. You stroll along the Gaia side of the Douro, enjoying the hustle and bustle on and off the river. It’s time to decided which port cellar you’re going to visit.

Decision time

You really are spoilt for choice; we considered Taylor’s, Ferreira, Dow & Graham’s. However, we decide to take a cellar tour with Sandeman; ‘The Don’ swung it for us.

The Gaia side of the Douro river, Porto, Portugal

You have the option of different types of tours (in different languages), although the Classic Tour was the only one available that afternoon. It lasts about 1 hour and includes a guided tour through the cellar, a movie on the background of Sandeman and a couple of glasses of Port to enjoy at the end.

The Sandeman barrels, Porto, Portugal

Good to know

We saved 30% by using our Porto Card, the savings vary between on & off season. The full price was $12 per person.

A Scottish background

The history of Sandeman dates back to 1790. When the son of a Scottish cabinet-maker George Sandeman, borrowed £300 from his father to set up a Port & Sherry business in London.

Outside the Sandeman cellars, Porto, Portugal

In 1805, its headquarters were in St Swithin’s Lane in the City of London, where a Roman vault was used as a cellar. George shipped his barrels of fortified wine from Oporto for his Port, and Jerez for the Sherry, to blend and bottle them in the cellars below St Swithin’s Lane.

Did you know?

That the Historic Centre of Porto has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

Looks familiar

What I had completely forgotten about until we embarked on the Sandeman tour was that I had previously eaten in what is now ‘The Don’ restaurant in St Swithin’s Lane. The jigsaw finally came together.

The artwork that is so synonymous with the Sandeman brand was created in 1928.

It marries the Portuguese student’s cape with the wide-brimmed hat, of the Spanish Caballeros de Jerez.
Bringing them together to create a symbol of the two origins of Port and Sherry.

Although, it wasn’t until 1935 that the silhouette was named ‘The Don’.

The Don, Sandemand Port, Porto, Portugal

Kept in the dark

Our guide for the tour dressed in The Don outfit and leads us down into the cellars where he talks us through the process of producing Port.

As we wind our way between the towering wooden barrels which are used for the ageing process of the port, the aroma of the wine is incredible.

We visited the Tio Pepe sherry bodega while in Jerez a couple of years ago, and the wonderful smell that surrounds you is so distinctive, it felt the same here.

Into the Sandeman cellars, Porto, Portugal
Ageing barrels, Sandeman house,, Porto, Portugal

Why not?

Start creating your own Portuguese adventure and discover its historical colourful towns and cities for yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.

Over 220 years

The tour and the movie are really informative of the history behind the methods and how the progress of time has in some instances changed the productivity. Conversely, in other cases, they still retain the age-old techniques of maturing, that have stood the test of time.

The Sandeman Estate, Douro Valley, Portugal

However, the colourful flat-bottom Rabelo boats, that used to ship the wine along the Douro River from the valley are no longer used. Today they add a lovely piece of unique history to the city.

Sandeman Rabelo on the Douro, Porto, Portugal

Tempted to?

Discover more of historic Portugal and tour its picturesque countryside around the Douro Valley or even head south to the Algarve coastline.

You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Under lock & key

As the tour continues we pass by some of Sandeman’s prized vintages and their most treasured wines. All kept out of our reach behind locked gates, we could only dream of tasting these.

Under lock and key in the cellars, Sandemand cellars,, Porto, Portugal
Sandeman Vintage 1933 and 1937, Porto, Portugal

A little interesting fact is that an average of 21 bottles of Sandeman wines is bought worldwide every minute.

A little taster

Our Sandeman visit is coming to an end so that can only mean one thing, we’re going to enjoy a little taster. We were given a Ruby and a 7-year-old Tawny port to try, both were very enjoyable. Just like our Sherry tasting in Jerez, it’s given us the incentive to discover more about this little tipple.

Sandeman Ruby and Tawny port, Porto, Portugal

It also gave us a chance to have an interesting chat with a couple of German guys from Hannover.

Have You?

Visited Portugal and discovered any towns or cities that you really want to share with us, as we can’t wait to start planning our next road trip?

Douro Valley

During our road trip around Portugal, we also enjoyed a couple of days touring around the Douro Valley. This is an incredible region to travel around the scenery is beautiful. Standing high above the Douro Valley looking down on the river, you get to appreciate the steep terraces of the vineyards.

The Terraces of the Douro Valley, Portugal

Something from Get Your Guide?

Why not check out what else is on offer through Get Your Guide.

(These options are provided by GetYouGuide.Com. We will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you book through our site)

Inspired to visit Porto?

Explore the streets of Porto or while away some time enjoying a glass of Port by the Douro River. Porto has so much to offer.

For further information on things to see and do in Northern Portugal, take a browse around Visit Porto & The North local tourist website.

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The Sandeman Port tour, Porto, Portugal

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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The Sandeman Port tour, Porto, Portugal was last modified: September 19th, 2018 by Janis