Winetravelers Will Love Portugal’s New World of Wine Museum (WOW) in the Porto Wine District

Though there may not have been much traveling happening throughout the year of 2020, one European city was busy preparing to open a sizeable tourism project that would be considered the largest to launch during this year. In Porto, Portugal, the WOW, Porto Wine District opened its doors on July 31, 2020, and welcomed guests to 429,050 sq. ft. of cultural, gastronomic, and retail experiences located in renovated centuries-old wine cellars in the historic Vila Nova de Gaia neighborhood, or the Port wine cellar district. This prime real estate in the city has impressive panoramic views of Porto and the Douro River that can “wow” visitors from day to night.

Vila Nova de Gaia view from World of Wine Porto
The view of Porto as seen from Vila Nova de Gaia. Image courtesy World of Wine.

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The WOW (World of Wine), Porto Wine District is not only a perfect destination for Winetravelers visiting Porto, and there is expected to be hundreds of thousands of them on an annual basis, but it is considered a “Project of National Interest” in Portugal as it will bring hundreds of jobs to the area while stimulating the economy through its many entertainment and dining options. The project is spearheaded by The Fladgate Partnership, led by CEO Adrian Bridge, and it required $117 million in investment over the course of five years of development. Amazingly, the complex was completed without disturbing any of the current landscape. Pre-existing historical structures were simply restored to provide for the space needed to build out the retail, restaurant, and cultural components of the project, which are centered around a new open-air square, providing for optimal views of the city. Now, as of 2020, Portugal’s World of Wine is ready to accept guests.

The World of Wine (WOW) in Portugal
World of Wine layout in Vila Nova de Gaia. Image courtesy World of Wine.

The World of Wine Experiences in the Porto Wine District

Visitors to WOW have the option to choose from six immersive museum experiences, nine restaurants, bars, cafes, event space, temporary exhibition space, retail outlets, and even a wine school. Wining and dining are top priorities when visiting a city like Porto, and at the World of Wine, travelers have the option to enjoy a juicy steak at a top fine-dining spot, indulge in a chocolate treat, or simply grab a sandwich to-go with options such as the following establishments.

1828 Steakhouse, offers fine dining with panoramic views of Porto and the Douro River.

Angels Share, a wine bar that serves a wide variety of wines by the glass and small plates.

Root & Vine, a vegetarian-led restaurant boasting views of the iconic Dom Luís Bridge.

The Golden Catch, offering variations of fresh fish and chips.

Suspiro, a dessert bar and café serving coffee and a wide range of pastries.

Mira Mira, serving upscale tapas with a healthy twist.

Lemon Plaza offers prepared meals to-go such as sandwiches, soups, salad, and traditional Portuguese pastries.

V.P. Portuguese Cuisine, a pop-up spot offering traditional dishes of Portugal.

Vinte Vinte Chocolate Café is located at the end of The Chocolate Story experience, presenting sweet treats made by the chocolate factory onsite to any visitors to WOW.


“There is a distinction between a tourist and a traveler. Travelers want to interact with and learn about where they are, to connect with the culture and country that they are visiting. We at the World of Wine want to engage with the avid wine traveler across two floors dedicated to the demystifying wine and putting Portuguese wines into context in the world. But more than this we want to explain to visitors the history of Porto, demonstrate the versatility of cork, breakdown chocolate from bean to bar, and shine a light on the stories and rituals associated with drinking.”

Adrian Bridge, Founder/CEO World of Wine


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Winetravelers to the area who are looking for something more than just food & wine can enjoy one of the many multisensory cultural experiences offered at the World of Wine. These museums and experiences include the following activities.

The Wine Experience, which sends travelers on a sensorial journey to demystify wine through exploring the many regions, climates, grape varieties, and production methods that create diversity in the glass. Porto Region Across the Ages dives into Porto’s history, while Planet Cork looks at the innovative and sustainable history of that product. The Bridge Collection uses CEO Adrian Bridge’s personal collection to examine 9,000 years of drinking through the evolution of drinking vessels, and The Chocolate Story follows the parallels of harvesting grapes and cacao.

The Fashion & Fabric Museum will explore the story of Portugal’s textile, fashion, and jewelry industries when it opens at the end of 2020. Lastly, The WOW Wine School (set to open in 2021) will offer a variety of courses about Portuguese Wine and Gastronomy including, How to Taste Wine, How to Serve Wine, Food & Wine Pairing, The Perfect Host: Placing Wines in its Context, and The Grape & the Vine, and courses will be in partnership with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Tickets to most of the museums are 15-17 euros. The Bridge Collection is 14 euros. It’s always a good idea to check ahead of time to make reservations as prices and operating hours may change. 


 “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.”

Adrian Bridge, Founder/CEO World of Wine


Every Winetraveler knows that history, wine, and culture are subjects to be discovered throughout a journey to wine regions near and far. If visiting Portugal and staying in Porto to taste and experience the famous fortified wines and viticulture of the region, make time to visit WOW & immerse in the history and culture of this beautiful region and country. For more information visit wow.pt or send an email to info@wow.pt. 


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Comments ( 2 )

    • Hi Arlene, you’d need to check the various embassy websites on current restrictions, but as it relates to Portugal at the time of this writing, U.S. citizens traveling directly from the United States to Portugal for non-essential (tourist) travel are currently prohibited from entering Portugal. Hoping to go back soon myself and check out this incredible setup in Porto.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacqueline Coleman is a professional wine + travel writer, wine judge, columnist, and consultant based in Miami, FL.

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