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Douro Region

In December 2001, UNESCO has raised the Alto Douro Wine Region Heritage of Humanity. A title given by a unanimous vote that awarded the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, ordered by Marquês de Pombal in 1756. Unique region by gathering the virtues of schist soil and its sun exposure which is privileged with unique characteristics of its microclimate along with the hard work of man of the Douro.

Its Landscape highlights three main aspects: the unique character of the territory, the natural relationship of the wine culture with the olive and almond trees and the diversity of the local architecture. Beyond these aspects, the application highlighted the remarkable work done by man on the construction of schist walls that extend the slopes and, above all, the authenticity and integrity of the cultural landscape.

The demarcated region of Douro, where the wines are produced corresponding to designations of origin "Port" and "Douro", covers 250 000 hectares, of which 48,000 are occupied by vineyards, and form part of 22 towns. However, only 24 000 hectares, or one tenth of this area, which encompasses thirteen towns, was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. However, the classified area is representative of the diversity of the Douro, since it includes the Baixo Corgo space, the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior.

The territory of the Alto Douro Wine Region, the classified area, part of the valley of the River Douro, which is already World Heritage on the extremities, including Oporto, and opposite the archaeological park Côa. The thirteen municipalities that are part of the zone are distinguished by UNESCO Alijó, Armamar, Carrazeda Ansiães, Lamego, Mesão Frio, Peso da Régua, Sabrosa, Santa Marta de Penaguião, São João da Pesqueira, Tabuaço, Torre de Moncorvo, Vila Nova de Foz Côa and Vila Real, stretching along the slopes of the Douro River and its tributaries, Varosa, Corgo, Távora, Torto and Pinhão.

The classification of the Douro as a cultural landscape, living and evolving has given its contribution and impetus to a series of changes that were already happening in the Douro region, since the very project of the application defines a set of measures for the development and management of the territory and qualification and environmental value. On the other hand, intensified traffic of river cruise ships for tourists, many traditional farms joined the philosophy of the Port Wine Route, opening doors to visitors, promoting visits, wine tastings and events. The historic train returned to the Line of Douro, tourist routes in which passengers are "back" to the beginning of the century. Water sports have become a constant in the waters of the Douro. The entire region is metamorphosing announcing itself at every turn, new hotels five star hotels and the restoration and adaptation of older properties in cozy hotels or the homes of rural tourism in rural areas.

With pride, but also with redoubled sense of responsibility that the celebrated Douro Valley in 2006, with numerous cultural events, the passage of its 250 years as a demarcated region.

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