Enotourism is a popular travel category, but for all its wine-drenched promise, how much further can you go than a winery visit, vineyard jaunt, and wine tasting? The newly opened World of Wine in Portugal promises much, much further.
The best of wine tourism immerses the tourist in the local culture, giving travelers a unique experience. But many of these activities—such as outdoor adventures or local festivals—revolve more or less around wine without fully dipping you into the juice, so to say. World of Wine, or the aptly abbreviated WOW, promises to immerse you in wine-centered experiences in the vibrant, historical city where it was built, Porto.
Portugal is an acclaimed European travel destination for its unparalleled viticulture and fortified wines. Porto, located along the banks of the Douro River, is known for its extensive history, beautiful architecture, and stunning views. And soon, it will be known for one more thing: as a hub of global wine tourism with WOW, Porto Wine District, which was inaugurated July 31st, 2020.
What to Expect at WOW in Porto
How does WOW promise to deliver as the wine adventure land of your dreams? With its collection of six immersive museum experiences, nine restaurants, bars and cafes, event spaces, temporary exhibition space, retail outlets, and a wine school, WOW is a new cultural district within the city and is one of the largest tourism projects to launch in Europe this year.
WOW offers world-class, multi-sensory experiences appealing to a wide variety of visitors all curated by experts in the fields of wine, history, and culture.
- The Wine Experience demystifies wine, taking visitors on a sensorial journey of discovery—exploring the regions, climates, grape varieties, and production methods that make wine so diverse.
- Porto Region Across The Ages aims to lay bare Porto’s history, helping to put the city, its people and culture into context.
- Planet Cork allows visitors to discover cork and explore this underplayed sustainable and innovative industry, half of which of the world’s production comes from Portugal
- The Bridge Collection is an exhibit documenting “9,000 Years of Drinking.” It tells the story of humanity through the evolution of drinking vessels from WOW CEO Adrian Bridge’s personal collection.
- The Chocolate Story takes the visitor on a journey through the wonderful world of cacao and chocolate, drawing parallels between the harvesting and processing of grapes and cacao. Not to mention: chocolate and Port is an exceptional pairing (famed chocolatier Jacques Torres thinks so, too).
- Fashion & Fabric Museum, which will open later in 2020, shines a light on Portugal’s textiles, fashion, and jewelry industry
- WOW Wine School will offer a variety of daily and multi-day workshops on Portuguese wine and gastronomy in partnership with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Located in the historic Vila Nova de Gaia, WOW has been strategically designed to provide stunning views over Porto and the Douro River. Furthermore, helmed by Broadway Maylan, its construction was completed without disturbing the existing landscape by utilizing pre-existing historical structures centered around a new open-air square.
The central square will provide access to a variety of wining and dining options. ‘Angel’s Share’ wine bar, ‘1828’ fine dining restaurant, ‘Root & Vine’ vegetarian fare, and ‘Golden Catch’ fish restaurants all feature panoramic views of the city. Additional casual fare options include ‘Suspiro’ dessert café, Lemon Plaza for grab & go options, and a bistro offering traditional Portuguese cuisine.
WOW founder and CEO, Adrian Bridge, says, “Our goal at WOW is to help define Porto as a cultural destination through engaging educational experiences, telling the story not only of wine for which the city is world famous, but also of the city, its people and their adventures across the ages. For any visitor to Porto or Portugal, WOW should be on their list of things to do and see.”
The project is spearheaded by The Fladgate Partnership, owners of iconic Port wine brands such as Taylor, Croft, Fonseca, and Krohn, as well as luxury hotels in Portugal including The Yeatman and Infante Sagres in Porto, and The Vintage House Hotel in the Douro Valley.
World of Wine experiences are priced at €15, with the exception of The Bridge Collection, which is €10. Children, students, groups, and multi-experience discounts are provided.
For more information, please visit the official website at https://www.wow.pt/.