Sunday in Porto

Sunday, June 30, 2019
Porto, Porto District, Portugal
The main thing I had planned today was to visit a port winery in Gaia, which is the town across the bridge and river from Porto. Porto people joke that the "best" thing about Gaia is the view of Porto. Ha!  It is a nice and friendly rivalry.  
I decided to take an uber to the winery, because it would've been a decent 35-minute walk, and a lot of it uphill. I also would've likely gotten lost, hot and frustrated, so I think the uber was a good idea. My driver was very kind, and I was able to communicate a little with him in Spanish.
Graham Port Winery started in 1820, and they have about 25 people doing the harvest when it's harvest season. They don’t produce a lot of vine like companies in California, but they focus on smaller batches with good quality. 
The guide explained that for regular table white wine, the wine ferments for about 2-3 weeks. For Port wine, they stop the fermentation on the 2nd or 3rd day by adding a brandy to kill the yeast. This is wine port wine often tastes like a hint of brandy. Port wine is sweet because it keeps natural sugars. The area where they keep the vats of wine is kept at a temp of 16-18 degrees C. 
The vats they use are oak, mainly from France, Hungary and the US. Oak is great for wood flavors. They use the smaller barrels in the photos for the tawny style of port, and the larger barrels for ruby port, which can hold up to 70 tons of wine! The guide also showed us a private cellar with thousands of vintage bottles, some dating back until 1917. After the tour, I was able to try 3 samples, and I like the LBV variety the best, as it wasn't as sweet. 
After the tour, I walked along the Gaia side by the river and had sushi at the Market Beria Rio. It was really cheap and tasty, and lots of people were there eating and drinking beer and wine. I found some nice jewelry by some street sellers, and then walked up the hill instead of taking the funicular. It wasn't too bad, but it was hot. I rested a bit, went to a cafe to write postcards, and then attended 7 p.m. mass at Church of St. Ildefonso, which was built in the early 1700s. It is a beautiful church on the inside and outside, and mass was in Portuguese. 
After mass, I was able to visit another smaller pastel de nata shop and talk to the woman behind the counter, which was interesting. 
Tomorrow, I take the train to Lisbon and then to Sintra, which should be pretty easy. Porto was fantastic, and I easily could've spent another day here. I felt like I did and saw a lot, but I would not be bored staying another day. There is a lot to see and experience, but most people I have spoken with are only here for 1 night or 2, so I feel lucky. 
Thanks for reading, Obrigada!