With all the wine lodges and quintas nearby, you're bound to do a fair amount of drinking in Pinhão. It's practically Pinhão's raison d'être. However, it's a tiny town without much going on after dark, so the drinking and nightlife scene is focused on wine lodges and hotel bars. The choice of ports and wines will keep you sufficiently entertained.
Drinking in the Douro
Pinhão offers some enticing exploring for wine-lovers, with picturesque 18th-century manor houses overlooking steeply terraced vineyards leading down to the Rio Douro. To explore the quintas (estates) on your own, you’ll need a vehicle. Ask the tourist office in Peso da Régua about lodges open for tours and tastings. Be warned, all of the quintas below do get some package tourists and groups, but service is excellent. A few good places to start your viticultural journey include the following.
Quinta do Panascal Producer of Fonseca ports, this lovely estate offers self-guided audio tours (in nine languages) through some beautifully situated vineyards, followed by your choice of tastings. It’s located about 15 minutes’ drive west of Pinhão, well signed from the N222.
Quinta do Portal This award-winning vineyard produces ports, red and white table wines, and a little-known muscatel wine. The surrounding region is one of the only places in the country producing muscatel (the other is Setúbal). Tours include a visit to the cellar with a tasting of two wines. There’s a fine-dining restaurant and guesthouse onsite (doubles €120 to €160). The winery lies about 12km north of Pinhão, along EN323, in the direction of Vila Real. Call ahead.
Quinta do Crasto Perched like an eyrie on a promontory above the Rio Douro and a spectacular ripple of terraced vineyards, Quinta do Crasto quite literally takes your breath away. Stop by for a tour and tasting (of five wines) or lunch (€65 with wine). The winery produces some of the country's best drops – reds that are complex, spicy and smooth, with wild berry aromas, and whites that are fresh, with a mineral nose and tang of citrus and apples. Designed by Portuguese starchitect Eduardo Souto Moura, the plunge pool here appears to nosedive directly into the valley below. Call ahead, as groups sometimes storm the place.
Quinta Seara D’ordens A 60-hectare property run by three charming brothers who make some of the most quaffable and affordable table wines in the valley. Make an appointment and they'll guide you through their product line, pouring glass after glass, and if you buy a couple of bottles the tasting is free.
Quinta do Tedo Blessed with sublime real estate carved by two rivers – the Douro and Tedo – this American-French-Portuguese–owned 14-hectare estate offers tours of its certified organic winery, followed by a tasting of port, table wine and organic olive oil. There are also certified hiking trails on the property that are especially wonderful for birdwatching.
Quinta do Seixo Worth visiting for its dizzying vistas alone, this gorgeous hilltop estate is the proud domain of Sandeman, one of the Douro Valley's oldest Port producers. Visits begin with an informational video, followed by a tour of the production facility, but the real star here is the end-of-tour tasting, enhanced by mesmerising views across the vines to the sparkling Douro.