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Located in Vila Nova de Gaia, like all warehouses where Port wines are aged, Churchill's Visitor Centre has what the brand wants to convey: elegance and style.
As Pedro Guimarães, the guide who accompanied me on the tour, told me: “We seek to place the visitor as close as possible to the working reality of a Port wine cellar”. Add to this an incredible view of the Douro river and the city of Porto.
The Churchill´s brand
Founded in 1981, this is the newest port wine brand.
It came about when the Englishman John Graham from a Port wine family since 1820, decides to sell the Graham's brand to the Symington Family and then create his own project drawing inspiration on the name of his wife Caroline Churchill.
From the outset Churchill’s has sought to produce wines of excellence. Their wines are always rated with the letter A by Instituto do Vinho do Douro e do Porto.
Its recent history is the major challenge of producing quality wines in a thousand-year-old brands market. But Churchill’s has been earning its place as a boutique company, and the awards it has been receiving have only proven it.
The tour and the tastings
Churchill’s Visitor Centre is further away from the Vila Nova de Gaia riverside area and is therefore ideal for those looking for a welcoming and tailor-made tour.
The warehouse, the laboratory, the production line are all housed in the visitors centre, so it is no wonder that during a tour to the cellar, we see between the Churchill’s storerooms the staff at work. Transporting the wine barrels back and forth, checking the vintage bottles or even the lab and administrative staff.
After seeing the various spaces and learning more about the wines, comes the best part of the tour: the tastings.
These can be done either in the modern, clean room just near the entrance, or in an iconic setting amongst the oak barrels in the warehouse where the wines are aging, or in Churchill's “secret” garden, a true oasis in a tranquil setting with spectacular views of the Douro river and the city of Porto.
Through its Visitor Centre, Churchill's always strives to create innovative experiences, bringing it even closer to its visitors and wine lovers. This was the case of the event “Rethink Port Wine”. A unique and sensory wine tasting experience using neuro-technology. That transmitted the tastings data by a headset sensor placed on the head of the taster.
And that's why it just won the Great Wine Capitals Award 2019 in the Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences category.
A Port wine cellar to visit!