Anyone planning to visit the Douro should emphatically leave enough time (at least a day, preferably two) to travel its length by train. It's one of the great railway journeys of the world. You can go from Porto right up to the Spanish border - it used to go to Salamanca but the Spanish closed their end of it. But you will get an unparalleled view of the river and the vineyards on the way. You can stop off at Pinhao for some excellent food, with a short walk to some important producers. But Porto itself is so much worth the visit with much to see/visit, plus Villa Nova de Gaia a quick stagger over the bridge for Port sampling purposes. Probably my number one area.

Alsace is great. And to be honest, most Australian wine-growing areas are good to visit these days. I'm leaving so many out which I have enjoyed, but of places I have never been, the mention of Georgia has just moved it up several rungs. South Africa would be great if I could get my act together.
Regarding Salamanca, it is an easy drive from the upper Douro and it is one of my favourite Spanish cities. It was the site of Spain’s first university and it is quite reminiscent of Oxford in parts. The students are lively without the boorish behaviour one can get in England. Salamanca’s Plaza Major seems a mini replica of Madrid’s but with cheaper restaurants and without the drug addicts.
 
On this subject I had a great sappy Georgian red recently, called Poliphonia, made by Pheasants Tears. It is made from around 472 varieties out of what is reckoned to be 525 autochthonous grape varieties in Georgia. Simple wine but lipsmackingly good.
I noticed that on your blog, David, and nearly commented on it.

I tried it in Georgia at Pheasant's Tears (the same vintage) and found it a bit insipid. I put it down to it being an arbitrary blend of red and white varieties, and to be honest there were quite a few wines I tried in Georgia that did not impress. However, I recently bought a mixed case from Les Caves, and they all seemed be much more vibrant than what I experienced in-situ. Not really sure what to make of all that, but I suppose it does mean that I might enjoy the Poliphonia bought here more - as you did. Certainly from your description it sounded like a wine I would enjoy.
 
OK, now you got me on Italy it would have to be the vineyards of Campania (kinda Roccamonfina to Furore via the Avellino heartland). A cornucopia of Campania Felix landscapes, great food, and totally untouristed (OK, a select few of the Amalfi hordes may make it up to Furore...)
 
I noticed that on your blog, David, and nearly commented on it.

I tried it in Georgia at Pheasant's Tears (the same vintage) and found it a bit insipid. I put it down to it being an arbitrary blend of red and white varieties, and to be honest there were quite a few wines I tried in Georgia that did not impress. However, I recently bought a mixed case from Les Caves, and they all seemed be much more vibrant than what I experienced in-situ. Not really sure what to make of all that, but I suppose it does mean that I might enjoy the Poliphonia bought here more - as you did. Certainly from your description it sounded like a wine I would enjoy.
Yes, it was simple but sappy, with vibrant fruit, quite concentrated but lightish at the same time.
 
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