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Wine Tasting with Kids in the Douro Valley, Portugal (Tales from the Road (Trip) … with Kids Part 4)

The beautiful infinity pool at Aquapura. Grapevines and the River Douro are the perfect backdrop.

En route from Lisbon, to Galicia we decided to spend a night in the Douro Valley, Portugal’s famed wine region. We selected the Aquapura Hotel because it has a great reputation, was in good proximity to wineries and they were offering an amazing deal on the rooms.

Aquapura Hotel - Our Whole Village

Our grand plan was as follows:

1.  Check into the hotel and drop off our stuff;

2.  Ask the hotel staff to recommend a local winery (or enoteca – with limited time we couldn’t be too picky);

3.  Pack the kids back into the car;

4.  Visit a local winery and sample some regional wines;

5.  Purchase some wine and return to the hotel to enjoy said wine on the hotel’s terazza.

The beautiful infinity pool at Aquapura. Grapevines and the River Douro are the perfect backdrop.
The beautiful infinity pool at Aquapura. Grapevines and the River Douro are the perfect backdrop.

Here’s what really happened:

1.  We arrived at the hotel tired and famished;

2.  We checked in and dropped off our stuff;

3.  We haltingly ate lunch (and drank a couple of glasses of wine) while corralling, entertaining and feeding our kids on the aforementioned terazza;

4.a.  After lunch, we were thoroughly revived so we headed to a local winery;

Haha. That would have been great. But, no…

4.b. Lacking the energy to endure yet another car ride with the little monsters… er, I mean, munchkins, we forewent the winery visit and took the kids down to the pool.

Ah, life with kids…

The wading pool for kids at Aquapura. With the kids occupied, you can relax with a drink or snack from the poolside bar (just our luck, the bar opened for the season the day after we were there).
The wading pool for kids at Aquapura. With the kids occupied, you can relax with a drink or snack from the poolside bar (just our luck, the bar opened for the season the day after we were there).

So, our trip to Portugal’s wine country did not quite go as planned. But, it didn’t stop us from sampling some regional wines. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

This isn’t the first time that we’ve had to abort or modify our wine tasting plans because we had the kids in tow. Luckily, when you’re in a wine producing region, you can always find a way to satisfy your thirst.

The drive down to Aquapura, flanked by rows and rows of grapevines.  Our daughter's comment,
The drive down to Aquapura, flanked by rows and rows of grapevines. Our daughter’s comment, “Daddy, be careful so you don’t drive off the side.”

As with most hotels, Aquapura had on offer, by the glass and bottle, several regional wines. For lunch on the terazza we decided to try a local white. It paired perfectly with our meal, the weather and the chaotic ambiance of eating with kids.

Local Portugese white wine. Light and refreshing with good body and a great (read: low) price tag!
Local Portugese white wine. Light and refreshing with good body and a great (read: low) price tag!

Later that evening, I attended a free wine tasting offered by the hotel. The wines were entry level and not great but it was fun to try some new grapes and labels (and it was free, as I said) so I can’t really complain.

For dinner, we fed the kids in the lounge while we each enjoyed a glass of some of the regional red wines. We ordered room service for ourselves after the kids were sleeping. Savoring the peace and quiet, we lingered over the rest of the white wine that we had purchased with lunch.

Aquapura doesn't advertise itself as a kid hotel. But as the "Forbidden for Adults" menu shows, they obviously have kids in mind in the details.
Aquapura doesn’t advertise itself as a kid hotel. But as the “Forbidden for Adults” menu shows, they obviously have kids in mind in the details.

The day wasn’t as we had planned but we did get to sample of number of area wines, the kids had a great time (our daughter declared it the best place on the trip yet) and we didn’t have to get back in the car. See? You can have your wine and drink it too!

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