Sep 18, 2023

Social inclusion through wine tourism activities

In the city of Porto, the Douro and Vinhos Verdes regions, there are several examples of projects and initiatives in wine tourism companies that promote inclusion and an awareness to equal opportunities.

These days, concerns about inclusion are increasingly important and a priority in society, companies and public policies. A reality that has naturally reached the wine and wine tourism business, being one of the sectors of activity that has progressed the most in recent years, in constant innovation and development, where no efforts are spared to create inclusive activities and solidarity initiatives that benefit those who come from a more disadvantaged position – either due to some physical disability or social context.

In the city of Porto, the Douro and Vinhos Verdes regions, there are several examples of projects and initiatives in wine tourism companies that promote inclusion in its different forms. We will highlight two projects that focus mainly on creating a more promising future for children:


Bagos d’Ouro

What began as a dream of building a fairer society, and a more balanced, more equitable and, above all, more inclusive Douro, became reality in 2010. Bagos d’Ouro was born in Portugal, a Private Institution of Social Solidarity that defends that all children must have equal opportunities and that new generations have an active role in reversing the cycle of poverty and social exclusion through Education, “the most powerful weapon to change the world”.

Children social inclusion activities © BAGOS D’OURO

The mission is to promote the education of children and young people from Douro, who live in situations of economic need, as a form of social inclusion in the territory. Bagos d’Ouro assumes a long-term commitment and a proximity strategy, developing personalized work with each of the children and young people it supports, and monitoring their educational, social and family journey until their integration into active life.

This institution operates in 6 boroughs of the Douro and carries out its activities with more than 200 children and their families, for a total of about 400 people. The near future plan is to extend the intervention area to two new boroughs.

Bagos d’Ouro seeks the impact of a long-term work: since 2010 with an active role, involving the entire local community, creating a supportive learning environment that integrates the child and family into school and community.
Through its intervention and positive impact, several indicators have improved in the territory. In the 2021/22 academic year, there was 97% school approval, 74% of students committed to Bagos D’Ouro, 0% of early school dropouts, 63% of students that increased or maintained their school performance (positive) and an overall higher school success rate.

The project has the support of several Douro Quintas and wine tourism companies, such as Six Senses Douro Valley, which together contribute to the consolidation and success of this Association, creating effective links between wine tourism and social inclusion in the region.


Project Germinar by Soalheiro

From the work in the vineyard to the design of the label, Soalheiro Project Germinar reflects a global social integration project for young people and adults with intellectual and developmental difficulties. The final product of this project is a very special wine, produced by one of the most prestigious brands in the Vinhos Verdes region. But more than just a wine, it is an awakening of awareness of equal opportunities.

Sourced from a particular parcel of vines, Project Germinar is an intense and complex wine, with a striking minerality, and can be drank young or aged over time. More important, it presents an opportunity for personal, professional, and emotional development.


Soalheiro Project Germinar © SOALHEIRO

The story of Project Germinar is all about awakening an awareness to equal opportunities, since this wine was created with a strong sense of socio-professional integration. In this project, Quinta do Soalheiro involves the people from the Valença Branch of APPACDM (the Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Disabled Citizens) working in the vineyard to promote their personal, professional and emotional development, always bearing in mind their skills, adjusted to each individual profile.

The heart and soul of the project is António Matos who, besides being a wine producer, is also a Senior Social Worker. He monitors the young people working in the vineyards, always aware of their skills, ensuring their integration and growth. According to the project manager, “the work environment is a great vehicle, a catalyst for social participation, where we can feel integrated as part of something, co-builders of society/reality and ourselves, a place where there is a feeling of self-fulfilment”, says António Matos, pointing out that “the aim of the project is to encourage this feeling to germinate in people”, hence the name of the project – Germinar.


Source and Photo Credits: Bagos d’Ouro | Soalheiro Project Germinar (cover photo)

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