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- Casa Lata Agroturismo is a popular farm stay and vineyard hotel near Braga, Portugal in the heart of the Vinho Verde wine region. Vineyards, olive groves, and other fruit trees occupy the surrounding fields and there’s a small farm with free-range chickens and turkeys. THE ACCOMMODATION: The old farmhouse buildings at Casa Lata have by now been renovated completely. They have a modern touch but have also kept much of their vintage aesthetic. Their fine, sturdy stone walls are largely left untouched, for example, and the furniture throughout the building leans more toward the antique. The B&B rooms are comfortable and stylishly minimalist, furnished with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms. There is a sociable dining and lounge area at the property as well as two outdoor swimming pools in the gardens. THE WINE: The main attraction here seems to be the wine, and the owners are always happy to show guests around, teach them about the wine-making processes, and take part in tasting sessions. At the moment they produce red and white wines under the Terras de Amares brand with its white Loureiro a particular favourite. THE LOCATION: The Vinho Verde region of Portugal, up in the north near the border with Galicia, Spain, is the country’s largest wine-growing region and has been producing wine for at least two thousand years. Most visitors to the area will have an interest in wine, though in itself the region is pleasant to travel around. The farm is surrounded by classic Northern Portuguese terrain with fertile, green hills all around, meandering rivers, and gently sloping valleys. You’ll find the area around Casa Lata Agroturismo less touristic than the Douro Valley to the south; the majority of the wineries here are small-scale family affairs but some of them do offer visits and tours. The owners at Casa Lata Agroturismo are always happy to advise on other vineyards to visit as well as their own. Nearby towns of note include historic Guimarães, with its famous castle, the beautiful city of Viana do Castelo where the Lima River meets the sea, and of course Braga just to the south of Casa Lata, with its historic centre READ MORE
- Quinta do Rocha is ideally placed for a relaxing break in the heart of some of Portugal’s most lovely countryside; the northern part of the country’s largest vineyard region; Vinho Verde. They have B&B accommodation in a beautiful old mansion farm house, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, which has been in the same family for generations. It is beautifully situated on a lightly wooded hillside with an outdoor swimming pool in the gardens, and the views all around are really quite stunning. THE ACCOMMODATION: The house is large and has a great range of rooms to choose from. All of them are double or twins, though there is one unit which consists of two connecting rooms that can sleep up to four people. They are all classic style, rustic and romantic, and have a nice air of old fashioned opulence. The entire house in fact, feels somewhat from a different, much more grand, era. There is lots of space both inside and out, and you can spend your days by the pool or exploring the orchards and vineyards and in the evenings enjoying a drink on the terrace, which will doubtless include some of their own home grown Vinho Verde wine. And you will be treated to a great breakfast every morning with fresh fruit juice from the farm’s own orchards. THE LOCATION: The Vinho Verde wine region takes up much of Portugal to the north of Porto and is the country’s largest wine growing region. The countryside around Quinta do Rocha, to the north of Braga is surprisingly under visited by foreign tourists, being as it is somewhat over-shadowed by the more well known Douro Valley just to the south, but it is a gorgeous terrain of forests, hills, meandering rivers and of course vineyards and a joy to explore for those who take the time. And for real wilderness we’d recommend a trip to the Peneda-Gerês National Park, just to the west of Quinta do Rocha, along the Spanish border. It has numerous hiking trails through forests and hills that are home to wolves, deer and golden eagles. WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY: “Comfortable rooms, large clean swimming pool, READ MORE